Is a hypersensitivity to odors a symptom of a migraine attack or a trigger for an attack?
Those with migraine usually have a heightened sense of smell. This hypersensitivity to odors can be both a trigger and a symptom of a migraine attack.
“... people with migraine unfortunately have this hyperactivity to odors. Odors, certainly like light and sound can both be a trigger for migraine attacks, as well as a symptom of the attack itself. There are certain smells that, you know, that individuals might find more bothersome than others. Things like perfume, cigarette smoke, these are very commonly cited odors that are particularly bothersome to individuals.”
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Todd Schwedt, MD
Professor of Neurology
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona
As a Professor of Neurology the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona, Dr. Todd Schwedt has seen thousands of migraine patients and evaluated a large number of scans of our hypersensitive brains. His research using advanced MRI techniques has been widely published. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society, is the Vice Chairman of the Headache and Facial Pain section of the American Academy of Neurology, is a member of the International Headache Society Classification Committee, and is an Associate editor of Headache, Cephalalgia and Pain Medicine journals.