Increased sensitivity to strong odors is medically known as hyperosmia. Some people have a sharp sense of smell by birth and they perceive smells strongly, this is due to genetics. However, in some persons increased sensitivity to strong odors develops later on in life and can be associated with some medical conditions. Strong odors become highly intolerable in them and may result in nausea. In some, it may trigger a few complaints including runny nose, sneezing, headache, dizziness, vomiting, cough, skin rash, asthma attack and fainting as well. In some cases, it may also lead to irritability, concentration problems, anxiety issues and depression too. The sensitivity to strong smells can be persistent or occur sometimes varying from case to case. A person can have sensitivity to the smell of different products. Some examples of products that a person can have high sensitivity to include perfumes, chemicals, air fresheners, etc. Increased sensitivity to strong odors may occur during pregnancy mainly in the first trimester due to hormonal changes. Several medical conditions can be associated with increased sensitivity to strong odors. First among these is migraine (one-sided headache often attended with nausea and vomiting). A person might feel increased smell sensitivity before the onset of a bout of migraine headache and also during headache. It goes away after the headache is over. In some, sensitivity may even remain between two migraine episodes. The second cause behind sensitivity to strong odors is epilepsy (brain disorder with a tendency to have recurrent seizures). Before onset of a seizure attack, a person can have increased smell sensitivity in the aura stage. Increased sensitivity to strong odors may also be felt in cases of Lyme’s disease. It is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria borrelia. This infection spreads from a bite by a tick which carries this bacteria. In around 50 percent of the cases of Lyme’s disease, it is a major symptom noted besides the other symptoms. Persons who are suffering from Type 1 diabetes that is not controlled well can experience increased sensitivity to smells.
Another reason can be Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease is an illness in which adrenal glands are unable to produce some hormones like cortisol and aldosterone. In this disease increased sensitivity to smell might occur in addition to other symptoms like excessive tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, joint pain, muscle pain, dark skin areas, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea and depression.
Increased sensitivity to strong odors is also linked with some other disorders including Lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the healthy tissues and organs in the body get inflamed, damaged by the immune cells of the body. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include butterfly-shaped rash on the face, joint pains, fatigue, fever, headache and memory loss. Sensitivity to odors may attend these complaints. Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder in which brain cells die off resulting in memory loss and decline in thinking, behaviour and social skills. Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system that starts with hand tremors at rest. After this, other complaints arise like a stooped posture, stiffness of the muscles, impaired balance, diminished expressions on the face, changes in speech and reduced arm swing while walking. Tourette syndrome is a disorder characterised by uncontrollable repetitive movements and vocal sounds called tics. In some cases, increased sensitivity to strong odors may occur without any cause.
Homeopathy offers a highly effective treatment for complaint of sensitivity to strong odors. Homeopathic medicines gradually help in reducing the intensity and frequency of this complaint. Complaints like headache, sneezing and cough that arise from strong odors can also be well managed with these medicines. They help to overcome this issue in a very gentle and natural manner with zero side effects. As this complaint can arise from various causes, it is advised to consult a physician to rule out the cause behind it and take proper treatment. Always consider taking any of the homeopathic medicines under the supervision of a homeopathic doctor and never self-medicate.
Homeopathic Medicines For Increased Sensitivity To Strong Odors
1. Phosphorus – For Headache, Cough And Sneezing From Strong Odors
Phosphorus is a leading homeopathic medicine to manage various complaints resulting from sensitivity to strong odors. Firstly, this medicine is of great use for cases in which headache occurs from strong odors. In cases needing it, there is headache over one eye or on one side of the temple area. Strain in the eyes may attend headache. It is very effective in managing cough resulting from exposure to strong odors. A tickling sensation is felt in the throat that excites cough. Dryness and a burning sensation is felt in the throat in some cases. Cough is dry and can be accompanied with a headache. Head feels as if it would burst. Lastly, this medicine is highly beneficial for managing sneezing resulting from exposure to strong odors.
2. Colchicum – For Increased Sensitivity To Odor Of Cooking Food
This medicine is well indicated for cases where marked sensitivity to odor of cooking food is present. Next it is useful for cases when there is increased sensitivity to smell of eggs, fish and meat. Nausea occurs from smell of these food products. The person may even faint. There is aversion to eating food. Smell or even the sight of the food may be a source of irritation. Strong smells disturb their temper of mind.
3. Sabadilla – With Nasal Discharge And Sneezing
This medicine can be considered when there is sensitivity to strong odors along with sneezing and nasal discharge. The nasal discharge is excessive and watery. Itching and tickling is felt in the nose. Pain in the forehead can attend the above complaints. Sabadilla is also one of the top medicines where there is sensitivity to smell of garlic which becomes intolerable.
4. Sepia – For Headache From Strong Odors
Sepia is a helpful medicine for managing headache arising from strong odors. Along with headache, there is aversion to every kind of food and even the smell of food is unbearable. An empty feeling in the stomach attends headache. Nausea and vomiting can occur during headache.
5. Nux Vomica – When There Is Fainting From Strong Odors
Nux Vomica is well indicated for cases where there is sensitivity to strong odors that often leads to fainting. The smell of tobacco is the most intolerable. Persons needing it might also have increased sensitivity to light and noises in addition to that of smell.
6. Hepar Sulph – For Increased Sensitivity To Smell With Vertigo
This medicine is a useful medicine for increased sensitivity to smell attended with vertigo. Vertigo may be accompanied with nausea and a tendency to fall. In cases needing it itching in the nostrils with sneezing can also be present. Next, there can be heat or burning sensation in the nose.
7. Ignatia – For Sensitivity To Smell Of Tobacco
This medicine is suitable for cases of sensitivity to the smell of tobacco. Those needing it suffer headache from the smell of tobacco. Pain usually appears in the back of the head (occiput). There is relief in pain from warm application and also from eating.