Our sense of smell can affect us in amazing ways. It can bring back memories of childhood and have an immediate calming influence. However, scents can also make us sick.
Fragrances Are Everywhere
They are not just in our perfumes and colognes. Fragrances are also added to air fresheners, soaps, and toilet paper. Then, there are also the scents that are created when we cook, such as garlic or onions. Don’t forget the smell of fresh flowers that greet us as we take a walk or go past them in a grocery store. Even unscented products can contain chemicals.
Why Do We Get Sick?
Scientists think there could be a couple of different reasons for why some odors make people sick. They hypothesize that the scents cause a person’s blood vessels to swell and dilate. That, in turn, stimulates the nervous system, and creates a headache and other associated symptoms, such as runny noses and watery eyes.
Fragrance Sensitivities Are On The Rise
Some experts estimate as many as 30% of all people experience scent sensitivity. For this population, a simple whiff can create both allergy-like symptoms and a miserable headache.
What’s The Best Way To Handle Perfume Sensitivities?
- Try to identify specific trigger
- Don’t wear perfume/cologne and stay away from those who do
- Read all labels, even those that tout them to be fragrance-free
- Make sure there is proper ventilation if you do have to use products that include fragrance
- If you still suffer symptoms, try over-the-counter pain relievers. Try to remove the source of the scent.