How to treat headache due to perfumes?

(Last Updated: Sep 18, 2007)


Many people suffer from fragrance sensitivity, a condition that can lead to sneezing, severe headaches, migraines and other symptoms. Many people find certain scented products irritating. Those who suffer from certain conditions such as asthma or those with chemical sensitivities will usually develop some sort of allergic reaction when exposed to some scents, especially the stronger ones.

Perfumes and scents such as itar are not technically allergens. They are better classified as irritants, but they may also produce reactions similar to allergens such as sneezing. In some cases such as yours, people will experience more severe reactions in the form of headaches or migraines.
Apart from headaches, you may also experience other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a runny nose, a tightening around the chest and skin irritation if you have come in contact with the perfume. Asthmatics may experience breathing difficulties or other symptoms associated with an asthma attack.

According to experts, the headaches and migraine attacks are caused by the perfume being absorbed into the bloodstream when you inhale or smell it. The perfume molecules may then disrupt the flow of blood to the brain and cause a headache.

While it is not possible to control what perfumes people wear, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent and to treat headaches that are caused by perfumes.

The best way to prevent headaches triggered by fragrances is to avoid them. If it is a particular perfume that you are using then stop using it. If you notice a headache coming on after smelling a friend or co-worker’s perfume, request them to change their perfume. While not everyone may be cooperative, avoid going close to someone wearing the offending perfume.

There are certain medications that can be taken as a preventive measure against migraines and severe headaches. These will be prescribed by your doctor and include anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, ergotamine, cardiovascular medications or antihistamines.

Other medications that can help provide symptomatic relief include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen ( Naprosyn, Aleve) and diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam).

Other medications that may be prescribed by your doctor include anti-nausea medications and opiates such as codeine.

answered by M W

Many times perfume or other strong smells like itar smell can be a causative factor or a trigger for headaches. Avoid using strong perfumes and stay away from itar smell as far as possible to avoid the onset of headache. The best way to turn a headache off is to sleep and relax in a dark room until it subsides. Massage the temples firmly in circular motion until you feel relief and try to avoid stress as far as possible.

answered by S P


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