Strong Odors: A Migraineur's Kryptonite

strong odors, Asheville migraine relief
strong odors, Asheville migraine relief

Are you among the rare few who have a severe adverse reaction to perfume, paint lacquer, or car fumes? Do you experience crippling migraine episodes after getting a whiff of these scents? Do these strong or strange odors make you feel vulnerable like how Kryptonite does for Clark Kent, the Man of Steel?

Superman’s invulnerability disappears when he gets exposed to even the smallest piece of the glowing green meteor rock, causing him to become highly susceptible to the nefarious plans of his arch-nemesis. 

In many ways, thousands of people looking for a dependable source of Asheville migraine relief share a similar fate with the ever-famous DC character. Like him, you become more vulnerable to your migraine symptoms when exposed to triggers such as strong odors. But how can certain scents cause problems for people with migraines anyway? Let's dive deep into this.


Why Strong Odors are The Kryptonite of Many Migraineurs

Studies offer varying explanations why strong odors are the Kryptonite of many people with migraine. Below are the top two the most usual explanations that doctors and other healthcare professionals offer to their patients: 

Blame it on the trigeminal nerve 

A study explains that several scents stimulate the trigeminal nerve – the same nerve structure associated with the onset of painful headaches and migraine episodes.

You might have osmophobia

According to the American Headache Society, as much as 95 percent of migraineurs have osmophobia or sensitivity to certain scents. 

Unfortunately, allergy or intolerance to products or other items can set off inflammatory responses that affect various parts of the body, including the inner ears. The inflammation can affect fluid balance and pressure inside the head, contributing to worse migraine episodes.


Scents that Migraineurs Must Stay Away From

Now that we've established that strong scents can sometimes have the power to set off worse migraine episodes, we suggest learning a thing or two from our quick list below. As you read on, you will discover some of the commonly reported scents that our patients seeking Asheville migraine relief usually steer clear from the following: 

#1. Perfumes

As per 2019 statistics, about global perfume market, has reached up to 22 billion in total value. While the volume of produced perfume units has decreased significantly over the years, it remains a lucrative niche market, especially among female consumers. 

And the main reason is that perfume invokes certain emotions – and to some extent, provides its users with a brief taste of luxury. However, some fragrances might invoke a different feeling for migraineurs, which in most cases translates to pain, anxiety, and discomfort. 

#2. Paints and Thinners

Paint and thinners contain volatile chemicals that irritate the lining of your nasal passage and sinuses. That's why you might find it helpful to avoid these products, especially when revamping your home or working on a quick DIY project. You can try asking for help from a loved one or hire a pro to handle jobs requiring exposure to these items. 

#3. Scented Candles

While scented candles are a staple for home spa sessions and Me-Time weekends, some patients seeking migraine relief note that they experience problems when lighting their go-to aromatic candles. Some of the possible reasons for this include:

  • The fragrance used – If you have sensitivities to certain aromatics, read the product label of your scented candles to avoid triggering a painful migraine episode.
  • Paraffin content – Most candles contain paraffin, a by-product of gasoline, so they produce soot and release toxins that might irritate your nose and cause an adverse reaction.

#4. Gasoline

Have you ever felt a burst of repulsion at the scent of diesel or gasoline? Did your recent trip to fill your tank for a long road trip make you feel sick and nauseous? If you answer yes to both questions, you are likely sensitive to gasoline, which may trigger your episodes. Best avoid or limit exposure to these substances if you want to lead more migraine-free days.

strong odors, Asheville migraine relief

Unlock Lasting Asheville Migraine Relief with The Help of Upper Cervical Care

Avoiding exposure to your "Kryptonite" or migraine triggers is just one of the many ways you can manage your condition. Another option you can explore is Upper Cervical Chiropractic. For many years, gentle atlas bone adjustments have provided migraineurs with significant improvements to their health, so you might want to add this to your current care plan as well.

Upper Cervical Care works by addressing postural misalignments that usually follow a neck or head injury. Undetected changes in the neck alignment can cause varying issues including poor blood to the head, increased excitability of the nerves and brain cells, and heightened pain sensitivity. 

The postural imbalance can also cause the neck muscles to stiffen, adding more pressure to your blood vessels and nerves supplying the head. 

Fortunately, you can readily explore Upper Cervical Chiropractic for effective migraine relief. All you need is to book an appointment with an upper cervical doctor like Dr. Nygaard so you can determine if you are a good candidate for atlas bone adjustments.

Find out if you should consider seeking Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care by scheduling a quick consultation with Dr. David Nygaard of Atlas Brain and Body.


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Nygaard, call our Asheville office at 828-253-0700. You can also click the button below.

If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

Book an Appointment Now!

Are you suffering? Is your body telling you something is wrong and isn’t working correctly? Explore a different approach to maintaining health.
This doesn't have to be the way
you feel for the rest of your life. Find long-lasting pain relief and restore brain-body balance at the only atlas orthogonal clinic in Asheville.


190 Broadway #205,
Asheville, NC 28801



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