Personal Scent Triggers Chronic Migraines

(c) Can Stock Photo

December 22, 2014

What do mosquitoes and migraines in Dallas, San Antonio and elsewhere have in common? They both become bothersome as a reaction to certain scents. With mosquito season in full swing from Dallas to Providence, RI, many people choose natural alternatives to toxic pesticides in order to fend off the pesky critters.

The trouble is that some of these herbal based repellants it may also trigger chronic migraines among their friends, family and partners. And certain other scents have the opposite effect, attracting the nasty biters. Mosquitoes just like migraines may attack in response to certain fruity and floral scents.

A recent Yahoo! story about a woman battling scent triggered migraines explained that some of these headaches may be set off by fragrances in shampoo, but not by the powerful odor of paint. The key to understanding this reaction has to do with how the brain processes scent information.

A representative from the National Headache Foundation explained in the article, that when the sensors in your brain perceive a certain scent, that information is programmed into the cerebral cortex. If this scent triggered your chronic migraine, it is likely that the trigger response will become highly sensitive and activated the more frequently you are exposed to it.

He further noted that since many personal care and household products contain fragrance, it is probably best to opt for fragrance-free alternatives to be sure you don’t begin ‘storing’ the triggering scent information.

It’s apparent now that choosing a new deodorant, body wash or shampoo can be troublesome this time of year when you suffer with migraines in Dallas and other places where mosquitos are especially assertive, and sometimes also infected with serious diseases like West Nile Virus and EEE (eastern equine encephalitis.)   A 2011 research study by scientists from Universidade Metropolitana de Santos, Santos, SP, Brazil, published on PubMed, found that cigarette smoke, perfume and cleaning products were most associated with triggering migraines.

When fending off chronic migraine while also deflecting pesky mosquitoes, be sure to choose your personal care products and insect repellants carefully.



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