General Discussions

Smoky Smell

  • By aimes

    Hello, I’m new this this. I hope this is the right place to ask this question. I been diagnosed with migraines for almost 2 years now. I’m taking topamax. My question is, does anybody ever get a smoky smell that you smell. The smell stays with you but theres no smoke around you. This has happen to me a handful on times. This time it’s been with me now for 1.5weeks. I’m about to go crazy. Anytime I mention it to my doctor, she acts like I’m crazy. I asked if others have experience this. She said no but I can’t say it hasn’t happen. When I look up on the internet others say they have. So I was just wondering if anyone here has. Thanks

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi aimes,

    Thank you for your question and being part of the discussion forum – we’re glad you’re here!

    YES! Olfactory hallucinations, or smelling odors that aren’t there, can be part of a migraine attack. You’re not alone, I know from time to time I’ve smelled smoke too. I’ve also heard from other patients who’ve experienced similar things. Let me share with you this expert answer on this topic;

    You may want to investigate finding a doctor who is a bit more knowledgeable about treating migraine disease. When you get a minute take a look at this information that discusses the difference between general neurologists and doctors who are board certified in headache medicine; and

    Let me know what you think,

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  • By Maddie36

    Hi! New to the site, but already finding a ton of useful information.

    I too smell smoke. It’s actually unusual now if I DON’T smell it before a migraine. Can’t tell you how many times I blamed my husband for allowing the campfire, meat smoker, or smokey clothing inside of the house. Turns out, it really was me!
    I will also smell it even if I don’t end up having a migraine. I feel your pain, aimes.

    Thanks for the info, Nancy.

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  • By ElleM

    Hi there. Yes, i smell smoke before the onset of a migraine. This is actually a relatively common, if bizarre, symptom.

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  • By Beth

    I have the smoke smell hallucinations. I asked my doctor about it and he replied that I’m not crazy and some people actually smell baking cookies or other pleasant smells. I want cookies! But I’m stuck with the cigarettes smell. Mine only sometimes accompanies my migraines, so I can’t use it as a predictor of headaches unfortunately.

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