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Triggers

Smells!

  • By EGlew

    Anybody have any ideas on how to avoid perfumes and still go out in public? The last couple of times I’ve gone to my primary care doctor I’ve had to wait outdoors because somebody in the waiting room had on too much lotion or aftershave or hairspray or… Breathing that stuff puts me out of commission for about 3 days.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi EGlew,

    UGH! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that! It never ceases to amaze me the amount of fragrance people use and have no idea its effect on others. I’ve been in doctors offices where there is a sign saying no perfume, fragrances etc. Maybe you can suggest that to your doctor the next time you see him.

    I have a diffuser I carry with me that has peppermint oil and a carrier oil that helps clear the offending fragrance. You can read more about aromatherapy here; https://migraine.com/blog/aromatherapy-for-migraines/ and https://migraine.com/blog/guide-to-cam-plant-based-medicine/.

    I hope that helps!
    Nancy

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  • By mindwiped

    For me it was somebody at work. They put on some sort of watermelon scented body spray that they thought would hide the scent of their smoking…blegh! I went running for the ladies’ lavatory, thankfully I made it before I got ill. The next day an email was sent out about perfumes and scent issues. Next time, I’m getting ill at my desk. Hopefully the person who had the perfume gets ill hearing other being ill (sorry, I’ve got a passive aggressive streak a mile wide).

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi mindwiped,

      I totally understand! As I get older I’m becoming more sensitive to various scents and odors.

      I’m happy to hear a directive went out to fellow staff to be aware of this issue.

      Fingers crossed this doesn’t happen again,
      Nancy

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  • By Laurie Vincent

    One single whiff of a strong perfume, hand lotion, body spray, air freshener or cigarette smoke is all it takes to give me a really bad Migraine. As soon as I smell a strong smell, I use Origins Brand ‘On the Spot’ peppermint lotion. I rub some under my nose, plus a thick layer under my chin area. This happens on the Trimet Max Train, often. I always let the person know in a really polite way, either when they stand up to get off, or when I stand up to get off. I figure it just might prevent other people from getting a bad Migraine, from their strong perfume in the future. I work for a company that leases a store space inside a large hotel. This national hotel chain pipes extremely strong rose air freshener into the entire lobby area and guest bathrooms. I have to wear an odor blocking painter’s mask when I walk across the lobby. It is extremely humiliating, but it works! It is white, looks like a thick white surgical mask, and it has a breathing valve built in. I also have to keep a fan turned on full blast, pointed towards the front entrance into the gift shop. And I don’t have any problem telling our hotel guests why the fan is pointed towards the front entrance. If I were an actual employee of this large hotel chain, the hotel would be forced to remove the air freshener, due to the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). But, I work for a different company, so the hotel’s General Manager won’t remove the rose air freshener. He said it is part of the national hotel chain’s advertising campaign, to enhance the guests’ experience. Inside the Gift Shop where I work, I let all new employees know about strong perfumes being a severe Migraine Trigger for me. And, I have a large sign posted in the stockroom that reads: Fragrance Free Zone. My office is inside the stockroom. I hope you find some ideas that will help you.

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi Laurie Vincent,

      Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks with us. I’m sure they will be helpful.

      I wonder if you could decorate, or paint your mask (with odorless paint of course) so it won’t look so sterile?

      Just a thought.

      Take good care,
      Nancy

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