Migraine patients suffer more from osmophobia

According to a study, people with migraines also feel more sensitive to smells.

Some people are hypersensitive to odors, they suffer from osmophobia. This fear is said to be more common among those who suffer from migraine. In Italy, researchers from Aldo Moro University in Bari wanted study the link between osmophobia and headache. These findings were published in The Journal of Headach and Pain.

This study was carried out in patients aged 18 to 65 with migraine with aura, without aura, chronic migraine, tension headache, etc. Patients were considered osmophobic if they reported this symptom in at least 20% of headache episodes. Other variables taken into account were: headache frequency, migraine disability rating (MIDAS), depression self-rating scale, self-rating scale for anxiety, intensity of pain, etc.

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Osphophobie et allodynie

37.9% of patients reported osmophobia (precisely 444 patients with and 726 without osmophobia). This hypersensitivity was prevalent in patients with the different migraine subtypes and was absent in patients with certain types of headache. Patients with osmophobic headaches presented with a longer headache duration, more severe anxiety, and greater depression.

These patients were also more likely to have allodynia, pain caused by a stimulus that usually does not cause pain. “These results of the present study in a cohort of patients with primary headaches confirm what has been described in previous studies: an association between osmophobia and the duration and intensity of headaches and allodynia, with a prevalence of osmophobia in migraine patients“, summarizes the study. After three months of treatment, 711 patients were visited. The researchers found that patients with and without osmophobia had similar changes in the main characteristics of migraine.

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