Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2008 futwenty, Community Member, asks

Q: can you be allergic to a smell?

can you be allergic to a smell?

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Answers (25)
JB, Editor
10/ 1/08 2:42pm

Probably not. Dr. James Thompson on this site wrote a detailed post about fragrances and "allergic reactions."

 

In short, people aren't generally allergic to fragrances or odors. Instead those scents may irritate their nasal passage, which might cause sneezing, itching or runny nose.

 

There are ways to deal with it is there is a strong smell that often makes your nose run. Dr. Thompson has 9 tips for avoiding those smells at work and at home in his post that you can read here.

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EveMarie, Community Member
7/ 1/11 12:09am

I beg to differ. Allergic does not always mean rhinitis symptoms like sneezing and itching eyes. It is much worse than that when there is a reaction to smells. It will start in the mouth and in the head. There may be strange sensations like itching and swelling on the tongue. The head will start to feel "full" followed by a headache and dizzyness and nausea. This is where the allergy connects to the stomach. With the nausea, which may be severe, comes a hard piercing knot in the stomach, not so much as if you have been punched but more like there is a fist in your stomach with sharp piercing points all over it. Body symptoms may also occur from hives to unsettling feelings in the limbs. It really feels as if thowing up will help you feel better- but how can that be when you have ingested nothing? Particles are everywhere including in the things we smell. So yes we can be allergic to (the particles in) fragrances and smells.

 

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AMANDA BOYEA, Community Member
7/18/11 2:15pm

thank you so much, this is exactly what is going on with me for example whenever i smell cleaning supplies i start with a numbness in my head which leads to a headache behind my eyes, forehead, and nose causing alot of pain and then i feel dizzy and sick to my stomach thinking if i throw up i will feel better and my joints ache also i am the same way with purfumes, sprays, air fresheners ect. my headaches have been pretty regular for the past two weeks with numbness and upset stomach when i was checked i had elevated white blood cells and was put on an antibiotic for ten days i also had a ct scan which came out normal...question is should i get an mri done my doctor has thought all along that it is allergey related and put me on claratin and a nose spray but even the nose spray has a smell to it that i can not tollerate and claratin did not seem to help i have always had a problem with strong oders some times not as bad as others but the past few weeks have been very intense with the numbness, upset stomach and headaches i need to get to the bottom of this i can't function and i have went to the hospital twice in the past two weeks with such pain i wake up every morning wondering what my day is going to be like and just pray i can enjoy it with my children and lately there hasn't been to many good days do you have anymore advice for me i appreciate all your help...Amanda

 

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Tomster, Community Member
4/16/12 1:23am
I get a burning in my nose to the point that it becomes numb and the aroma of the perfume or cleaning supply seems to permeate my sinuses, then I get a knot in my stomach an my throat and chest burns. This all happens very quickly especially with the pine scented cleaners and people who use certain perfumes. I have always had bad reactions to perfumes but it all got much worse when I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. I now take Metformin and Glipizide for this. I do have to wonder that, since the Metformin works on the liver, that it might be adding to my problem. Reply
Sharon, Community Member
5/11/12 8:11am

There is a new person at work that is East Indian. I have only worked with her 3 times and instantly my skin starts burning on my nose and along my upper cheeks and than my lips and tongue. I am trying to find out what she is wearing or people at work are saying there is something in her mouth. It is so strong and so far it is only bothering me and one other girl ( it is affecting her eyes). My supervisors are not taking it seriously, but I have to work 10 hrs with this person and my face is burning. What is it? I asked her what perfume she had on and she said Armani-Diamond. I looked that up and it has cedar oil in it, which can cause allergic reactions. The people at work seem to think it is something East Indians put in their mouth.

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suresh, Community Member
7/21/12 9:38am

hi,

 

I have also same problems. I have consulted many docters everyone said it can't be treated. One of the docter gave me medicine (migranil and metapar) it gave me some relif from headache. Take migranil 1/2 tab and metapar 1 tab as headache starts. consult your doc before taking this medicine. Hope this helps u.

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RoadAngel, Community Member
5/24/13 2:09pm

Hi Amanda ... I read your response and have very similar symptoms as you. I also have the added severity of my lungs closing up causing difflculty in breathing and I become very sleepy and unable to focus, like I've been drugged. I am fortunate that I have found the root of the problem. I'm a taxi driver and these symptoms only occured at work .. both inside the taxi stand and also inside the vehicle I drive. This led me to narrow down the common elements ... "cleaning supplies"!! I am no longer able to go inside the taxi stand to watch tv with my fellow workers and I only use simple soap & water as a cleaning agent on the dash, doors, windows etc. A build of of toxins with daily use of this product has caused an extreme reaction in my body. A mere smell will cause these symptoms immediately. I'm worried that my body has a toxin overload and I dont know how to cleanse it out of me.

As some advice, if I were you ... I would remove ALL toxins in your life before your symptoms become more severe with additional toxic build-up: cleaning supplies, use only natural; nail polish solvents etc, glues or adhesives ... anything with a strong chemical additive. 

I wish you all the best ... Christine

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RoadAngel, Community Member
5/24/13 2:14pm

Hi Amanda ... I read your response and have very similar symptoms as you. I also have the added severity of my lungs closing up causing difflculty in breathing and I become very sleepy and unable to focus, like I've been drugged. I am fortunate that I have found the root of the problem. I'm a taxi driver and these symptoms only occured at work .. both inside the taxi stand and also inside the vehicle I drive. This led me to narrow down the common elements ... "cleaning supplies"!! I am no longer able to go inside the taxi stand to watch tv with my fellow workers and I only use simple soap & water as a cleaning agent on the dash, doors, windows etc inside my taxi. A build of of toxins with daily use of this product has caused an extreme reaction in my body. A mere smell will cause these symptoms immediately. I'm worried that my body has a toxin overload and I'm really worried because I dont know how to cleanse it out of me.

As some advice, if I were you ... I would remove ALL toxins in your life before your symptoms become more severe with additional toxic build-up: cleaning supplies, use only natural; nail polish solvents etc, glues or adhesives ... anything with a strong chemical additive. I also use Reactin every day due to common allergies, these have no effect on my chemical reactions, nor do I think antibiotics are the answer.If I find out how to cleanse toxins I will write back to you. 

I wish you all the best ... Christine

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Theresa, Community Member
12/16/11 7:18pm

You absolutley can die from " a smell" and for you to say its not possible is irresponsible...I am allergic so bad to perfumes that some can close my airways and kill me.

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flossiep, Community Member
8/30/12 10:18pm

I agree with you ...I can't stand the smell of things like varsol. It makes me feel dizzy , nausea sets in and I feel weak ..I don't have hives or anything like that but certainly feel sick and can't breath in the place where varsol is . Thank you for posting 

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Raymond, Community Member
2/12/12 12:50pm

I can only say that when my fellow workers bring up plates of food from the cafeteria, my work environment turns toxic for me as the air within 75 to 100 feet of my desk turns toxic. First, there is a strong urge to cough which overcomes me. Then my larynx stops functioning, meanwhile my breathing becomes irregular and I need to take more breaths per minute. Finally the coughing fit breaks out uncontrolled. In short, I am having a full blown asthma attack. Perfumes do the same trick-they trigger a full blown asthma attack. The key to understanding all of this is the space in which it functions-an area that encompasses 12 to 15 cubicles. In short I have to wall out of the working area entirely an move about 500 feet away.

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bwabbles, Community Member
11/ 4/13 1:58pm

I have a vocal chord dysfunction,certain smells can cause reactions such as sneezing,coughing fits,terrible headaches and choking.I'm not allergic but definitely avoid if I can.Recently on a shopping trip,I was choosing a fragrance candle for a friend,I had to leave because I felt sickly and had a severe headache!

 

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Donna, Community Member
10/ 3/08 8:18am

Absolutely,   allergies are triggered by a wide range of enemies.  Everyone is different to what they are allergic to but being allergic to a smell is more common than people realize and sometimes do not make the connection since we are programed to the common allergy triggers, ie polen, dust mites etc.  I have a couple friends that are allergic to certain smells that cause an allergic reaction like perfumes, smoke, certain foods cooking.  So if possible, stay clear of those aromas' if possible and I would recommend you see your Dr. to discuss this issue.

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katrinahewlett, Community Member
11/18/08 6:38am

From my personal experience and bad luck, i am allergic to certain airborne 'smells' particulary fragrances.  I am not able to wear any perfume myself as i become dizzy, disorientated and nauseseous.  It has caused no end of difficulites for me - my husband is unable to wear aftershave or spray deodorants.  My mum has to spray her hairspray outside the front door, i have to smell shampoos, cleaning products etc before i purchase them.  Incredulously even the smallest amount of fragrance can send me into a dizzy spin - i can only describe it as severe morning sickness.  I have difficulties at work, on the train - i am not too bad outdoors, and can manage ok - but small spaces like lifts, i have to hold my breath.  It is exceptionally debilitating.  Otherwise, i am35, perfectly healthy, mum to 2, a graduate and working - so please dont dismiss that this GENUINELY IS A VERY REAL PROBLEM FOR MANY PEOPLE.  MY only wish is that it would be researched properly as i would be more than happy to participate.  I turn pale, go quiet and literally find it hard to function - i am in desperation to move away from the smell.  If anyone wishes to find out more about my experiences, or drop me a line, id be glad to hear from you katsmithok@hotmail.co.uk

thanks for reading, regards, Katrina xxx

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lmpleasure, Community Member
11/ 9/09 11:12am

Hello Katrina my name is LaTasha. I also have the same problem as you. I find it very difficult to function with this problem. I walk around at work with a mask on, people think I am crazy. I makes me dizzy my eyes puff up with large bags around them in my head feels swollen as if no oxygen is getting to my brain. Also i immediately catch a headache. Any smell, perfume, alcohol, cologne, tooth paste any thing that has an order triggers the problem that I just listed. I am really starting to get depressed about this. What should I do? Do you have any suggestions because I am getting frustrated. Thanks LaTasha

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Kim, Community Member
11/11/09 1:49pm

My aunt has a similar problem...she can smell anything, even an odor or a perfume that someone can put on days ago. It irritates her so bad that she looses her voice. It also causes her throat to swell up. She has seen several doctors and no one has been able to treat it. If anyone knows of a treatment please respond!

 

Thanks Kim

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lmpleasure, Community Member
11/17/09 5:12pm

I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE A NEUROLOGIST 11/18/2009 I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW THAT GOES.

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Kim, Community Member
11/17/09 7:47pm

Thank you very much

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Jake Eli, Community Member
4/13/10 2:19am

You need to see a Toxocologist or an Environmental Doctor. What you have is called Environmental illness also known as EI. OR. Chemical sensitivity.

It is not uncommon these days and the only cure is to avoid what bothers you. It will be a whole lifestyle change. If you want any more information please feel free to write me. I have had EI for 15 years now.

Good luck,

 

Jake Eli  AKA Lizzy. dnvrliz@aol.com

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bethlynn, Community Member
4/26/10 12:16pm

Interesting comment from you.  I found I could not breathe in a room filled with chemicals used in a machine that made miicrofiche.  Cough wheezing, and total loss of speech followed.  This went on for a year.  Workmans Comp. said it was not the fault of the workplace.  Amazing since I did NOT have the problem before being moved to that room.  Now it is 16 years later and my speech is still not correct.  No, I did not have a stroke. 

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RichaSA1, Community Member
10/19/11 3:32pm

I have been having issues at work.  I have been to an allery DR.  tested for the normal or common issues.  I believe it to be a chemical vapor. How do I proof it is my question.

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laurie, Community Member
3/ 7/10 9:12pm

Hi my name is Laurie I to have the same problem drs have no anwsers. The only thing that helps me is to use oxygen right after i smell something I know things are bad when my nose gets numb and cant talk. I cant color myh hair or use any other chemicals.

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EveMarie, Community Member
7/ 1/11 12:35am

Hi LaTasha! Try benadryl honey. Feel that itchy feeling on your tongue and in your throat? Me too lol. It is an allergy and I think it is very serious. If you don't want to sleep try loratadine.

Eve

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Cheri, Community Member
5/ 5/12 12:50am

I too have the effects simular to these. If I smell anything from perfume to sccented deodorant I get nausea my face starts swelling and before you know it I have pressure in my head and my face. And it hurts like H*LL. Then I feel like Im gonna throw up . I have to go to the er for some shots in the butt every time this happens. I wish there was a treatment for this. I also have to use ricesocks to help with the pain and swelling in the face and head. put my head over a pot of boiling steaming water. and then use a saline rinse in my nose and it might help. The doctors are working to try to find the problem. I will let everyone know the out come. But i MUST TELL YOU ALL I HAVE A ANUREYSM ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BRAIN. 2MM. I HAVE ALSO HAD 4 FACIAL SURGERIES. BUT THE ANUREYSM DOC SAID IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY SMELL AND ALLERGIC REACTION. THE FACIAL DR. SAYS HE PULLED EVERYTHING OUT OF MY FACE AND ITS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACE.THEY THOUGHT I WAS ALLERGIC TO THE TITANIUM. NOW I AM GOING BACK TO ALLERGY DR. NEXT WEEK. I WILL LET YOU ALL KNOW. BUT THEN I WAS RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL AND LUNBAR FACET SYNDROME. YOU MUST READ UP ON THIS.IT WILL CAUSE PRESSURE AND SWELLING IN THE HEAD. ALSO CERVICAL COGENIC HEADACHES WILL CAUSE THIS SAME PRESSURE IN THE FACE AND HEAD. EMAIL CHERIDEVON@YAHOO.COM i WILL UPDATE ASAP ON THE NEW TEST.i HAVE HAD MANY ANGIO GRAMS,MRIS CAT SCANS, BLOODWORK,PATCH TEST,BONE TEST ,SURGERIES , AND HAVE TAKEN MORE ANTIBIOTICS ,STERIODS,AND PAIN MEDS AND SHOTS, MY ONLY HOPE IS JESUS CHRIST. I PRAY THAT HE WILL HELP US BY PUTTING THE KNOWLEDGE IN THE DOCTORS MINDS AND HANDS ON THIS SITUATION AND THEY WILL RESPOND AND FIND THE ANSWER AND SOLUTION TO CURE AND TREAT US ALL OF THIS HORRIBLE ALLERGIC SMELL REACTION. MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL CONTACT DR. DREW. MAYBE HE CAN HELP US ALL. THANKS EVERYONE CHERI

 

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robinmartinez, Community Member
10/27/10 10:21am

I am sorry to hear about your suffering!...on the other hand I am glad to hear I am NOT the only one that suffers when there is a smoker up the block or someone with perfume or cologne near me!  I also hold my breath or cross the street.  I don't just smell it I feel it in my chest!  There ia particular 'oil' some people put on themselves that is horrible!  I once went shopping and the handle on the shopping cart had that oil and I could not get rid of it!!...even after washing with soap!  I live in fear of having that on my body and not being able to get rid of it.  Good luck to you.  robin

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G Patirce S, Community Member
10/27/10 11:04am

In order to be acknowledged you would have to prove that it in some way disables you from daily life activities.  I have been to an allergist and my primary care doctor.  they have tried to blame it on my smoking. BUT I am not allergic to cigarettes. I have had asthma attacks from the smell of perfumes and colognes worn by insensitive people who claim they love to SMELL GOOD..How aobut patting that scent right under your nose on your upper lip where you can enjoy it and stop making us suffer.. I HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF HARRASSING PEOPLE because I have brought to their attention the odor or scent THEY ARE WEARING IS CAUSING ME TO HAVE BREATHING ISSUES.. It is just a horrible thing to suffer with...

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connie s, Community Member
12/16/12 9:06am

Cigarettes cause my allergies.  When I was a smoker, I always had a nasty cough and congestion. People would comment on it and I would reply, just allergic to something. haha..lo and behold, it WAS the cigarettes I was allergic to. Plus most things it seems these days. When I qauit smoking, the cough went away, the terrible congestion I had went away. Now, when I get around somebody that smokes, I feel like I am going to die. Right now, I am in misery because I was around a smoker the other day.Before she left, I though I was going to throw up.  Now, I am so congested, I feel like I am dying.  I never allowed people with perfum in my house, now, No more smokers allowed in my house! I have a right to breathe.

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sushmita ghosh, Community Member
6/ 9/11 9:29am

hey katrina m sushmita.i do have d similar kind of prob bt only wid d smell of moving buses or cars.my mom used to hv dis prob bt wid tym d intensity it has reduced.i was also taken up for homeopathic medication when i was 6 or 7.bt dat medication is prooving no worth now.i get vomitin tendency thats uncontrollable..i juz wish smbdy could research on d matter...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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leecrow, Community Member
11/20/08 3:17pm

I don't know if I am allergic or not, but if someone at my workplace brings in very spicy foods (i.e. curry) I have to close my door and light a smelly candle or I end up with a migraine and my eyes get all red and puffy. If I walk past an east indian restaurant the same thing happens. It also happens if I get stuck in a confined space (i.e. bus or elevator) next a person who has on very strong smelling perfume.

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Teacher, Community Member
3/13/09 12:46pm

I agree with the previous poster.  You can't be "allergic" to a smell.  That being said, people definitely react to smells.  Airborne particles can act as irritants, can trigger an asthma attack and can make you feel generally uncomfortable.  There is one other important factor to keep in mind though.  The brain can also play a role in a response.  For example, if a person knows they are allergic to peanuts and they smell peanuts it can cause the person to be very anxious.  These symptoms can be confused with an allergic response.  This does not mean that it is "all in the head", the person is experiencing real symptoms.  It is not however an "allergic" response.

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22michele, Community Member
5/ 8/09 2:06pm

Actually, you CAN be allergic to 'smells'.  Or more accurately, to any one of the CHEMICALS that make up the particular smell.  I have had 2 anapylactic reactions from the smell of my son's deodorant and mousse. 

 

My face feel puffy, flushed, my mouth taasted like a bowl of pennies, and my heart rate increases...thankfully both times I had Benadryl and was able to control the symptoms.  I did call 911 both times however. 

 

My allergist said a person can be allergic to anything that the body has become sensitized to-- including fragrances, or smells.  I know it's true because I've been there, and it sucks.

 

 

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momask, Community Member
11/16/09 6:54pm

Teacher, teacher. You have no clue.  You could only understand if it happened to you!!  It truely makes you ill from you head to your toes.

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mary, Community Member
2/ 8/10 4:44pm

Apparently you are one of the lucky ones that doesn't have allergies!! My allergist said that people who have allergies have a high sense of smell and that contributes to their allergy problems. I'm allergic to shellfish and I fixed a meal that had oyster extract in the sauce and had a reaction. When I asked why the specialist said"You was breathing rite and mixing the sauce in with the veg. you inhaled and that triggered your allergic reaction." That goes for many other SMELLS and it isn't in my head! Thank you so very much! 

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j, Community Member
10/ 2/12 5:29pm

Mary I have a friend that has a simillar response to fish/seafood what has helped you

 

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las730, Community Member
3/ 9/10 3:37pm

No way do I agree with you or the first posting referring to a doctor that states it's not possible.  An allergy is an irritation, regardless ... I right now and suffering my an itchy reaction on my neck, as well as my eyes and have a headache all because of perfume that was sprayed in the lady's room. 

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Izzy k, Community Member
3/ 5/12 6:45am
I'm not sure if what is being sia is basically that it can be psychosomatic but I just want to say that my sensitivity is such that sells will wake me from sleep so I think that it would disprove the conditioned response theory. If someone uses spray deodorant or perfume in another room, walks through the room I am in, a few minutes after they have left, I will awaken and realize a lingering strong smell as awoken me. Eve if their is no trespass in my room, the odor coming from under a door can awaken me, this is how sensitive I am to odors. Worse parent is is becoming worse, not less as years pass. Reply
22michele, Community Member
5/ 8/09 2:09pm

Actually, you CAN be allergic to 'smells'. Or more accurately, to any one of the CHEMICALS that make up the particular smell. I have had 2 anapylactic reactions from the smell of my son's deodorant and mousse.

 

My face feels puffy, flushed, my mouth tastes like a bowl of pennies, and my heart rate increases...thankfully both times I had Benadryl and was able to control the symptoms. I did call 911 both times however.

 

My allergist said a person can be allergic to anything that the body has become sensitized to-- including fragrances, or smells. I know it's true because I've been there, and it sucks.

 

 

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Cenit, Community Member
6/10/09 3:13pm

I AM SENSITIVE TO THE SMELL OF HEAT FROM A HOT AIR FURNACE, 50" tv, COMPUTERS, REFRIGERATORS WHEN THESE ARE TURNED ON OR OPERATNG. The emell of the heat is very irratating

Gene'

 

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bourne123, Community Member
6/16/09 2:06pm

What is smell?  It is a sensation caused by a reaction of your olfactory nerves interacting with particular molecules.  Some of the previous responses were very confusing since they openly admitted that smell was a sensation caused by airborn particles.  No particles, no smell.  I guess technically you are allergic to the particles that cause a smell.  And, yes, I guess you can hallucinate smells. 

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Debbie, Community Member
9/13/09 8:10pm

IT may not be the smells one is allergic to but the chemicals that a certain "smell" contains. Therefore a smell is just that.................. a restful odor. It beats the "stink" of what is in the air these days!

Happy sniffing,

Debbie

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Debbie, Community Member
9/13/09 8:10pm

IT may not be the smells one is allergic to but the chemicals that a certain "smell" contains. Therefore a smell is just that.................. a restful odor. It beats the "stink" of what is in the air these days!

Happy sniffing,

Debbie

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linsay923, Community Member
2/ 1/10 4:39am

I'm frustrated and embarrassed about the reaction I have when I smell vinegar.  I vomit as if I had been poisoned, it's must look or sound so dramatic to anyone around me.  And I can't explain it to people because even my doctor doesn't understand why the smell would make me so sick.  I have never (even as a child) been able to dye easter eggs because the dyes usually call to be mixed with vinegar.  Tabasco sauce is my worst enemy.  And many people use vinegar and water to clean their house.  Walking in someone's home, I know I may become violently (yes, violently) sick. And how do you explain that one to them?!

Strangly enough, I can handle the smell of pickles? 

 

Is it a mental thing or could the smell be an allergy?

 

 

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Nikki, Community Member
10/26/11 9:36pm

I was told by a friend that she was allergic to vinegar - It is the same as being allergic to mold (vinegar and mold are in the same family.)

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Jen, Community Member
4/14/10 9:22pm

what can i do for allergies to frangrances? Currently i become dizzy and very hot, then if smell continues it makes me want to throw up. I have been told to check for vertigo due to the dizziness. However this is effecting my job and i would like to know what to do please. thank you Jen

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Mel, Community Member
5/19/10 12:01am

yes, i am allergic to scents/fragrances

they're usually around the line of the whole sweet pea, flower, sweet smells that come from perfumes

not natural odors

but perfumes

i usually get redness and rashes around my eyes

this is becuase the skin around your eyes, such as your eyelids, are one of the thinnest skins in yourbody, so it was the first to react on my body

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tuck, Community Member
6/23/10 5:52am

If you lost your sense of smell the chemical that gives you the reaction would still be there. So you are allergic to the chemical not the smell. A lot of reactions from smells can be psychological or "a learned thing". The doctor was correct, this is something you learn in a basic human anatomy and physiology class.

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EveMarie, Community Member
7/ 1/11 12:47am

That is a very stupid answer, sorry but a lot of things that smell "Good" to me have an underlying neutral scent that definitely sends particles into my system in which I am allergic to. So :P

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Hike for Life, Community Member
3/31/12 6:36pm

For several years, I have been sensitive to smells, leading to nausea, ear swelling, face flushing, dizziness, and vertigo. I thought maybe it was all in my head. No one really could understand me; they seemed to think I was just overreacting. Recently, I hugged someone at church, then later felt weak, nauseous, generally not well the rest of the day.  The next day, when I picked up my sweater that I had on the previous day, I could get a light smell of perfume.  I had exposed myself without realizing it.  So, it was not "all in my head." These disabilities are essentially invisible to those who are not experiencing them, making it very difficult for people to take you seriously when you are going through something very physically serious. Be careful when you are quick to judge someone psychologically.

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CAO, Community Member
6/23/12 5:30pm

I suspect most of us do not have true allergies but are "sensitive" to the odors. It's not in our heads.  It cannot be "learned" or "unlearned."

 

Everything I smell from coffee brewing - fragrances - heat - anything - may cause me to cough.  Certain scents, like detergents & fabric softeners, give me an instant headache. The only time I had relieve was when I had a cold & the congestion caused a diminished sense of smell.  I realized I seldom coughed.

 

To some extent, having something in my mouth strong enough to keep me from smelling the scent works - like a cough drop. Sometimes my nose runs like  faucet and then I can breathe later without coughing.

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ispirited, Community Member
4/12/11 1:51pm

 

Yes

Years ago I went stayed at a beach house in California. The first time I went out to the ocean I had hives everywhere the water touched. I had trouble breathing the ocean air, so took allergy medicine every 4 hours the whole time I was there.  I did not get to surf, swim, or even splash around.

My allergies have gotten worse over the years. Now I can’t go in a grocery store without holding my breath as I run past the meat section.  Just going in store’s I have some facial swelling. If I get stuck behind someone and must take a breath, I can plan on having hives, and swelling in my face and throat, where I need to take a pill.

Last time I went to a book store. I was walking through a parking lot where the smell of shell fish was so severe I ended up on medicine for a week.

When the wind blows past the Great Salt Lake, I am stuck inside, or I swell up. Yes I keep a Epipen with me at all time.

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Barry S., Community Member
10/15/11 2:47pm

We just bought a used car that had been "deordorized" by the detailer. The first time my wife rode in it her throat started closing up and she had a burning sensation in her lungs which didn't completely go away for four days. The dealer then replaced the cabin air filter. Even this doesn't seem to help. I have put a partial box of baking soda in it hoping to absorb some odor. I now have it sitting in the bright sun in the driveway with all the windows, including the hatchback window open. 

 

I hope we don't have the "B.O. car" on our hands like the Seinfeld episode. Is there anything that can speed up the odor dissipation?

 

 

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NK, Community Member
1/23/12 2:09pm

Hi,

 

I am allergic to smell that irriate me such as kerosene, smoke, lack of ventilation... yucky smelling drains.My upper lip swells and at the same time i experience a sore throat, running nose and itchy eyes. I use hydrotropic cream to treat my swollen lips which normally goes back to normal after seven to eight hours.... 

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Vicki, Community Member
1/30/12 2:32pm

Absolutely!  You might have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which is recognized as a disability by many government agencies.  Doctors may pooh-pooh it as a

psychological problem, but that is ONLY because they don't know how to treat it.

I  suggest you google "multiple chemical sensitivity" or contact the Chemical

Injury Information Network in Montana,  or other organizations that understand the problem.  It is VERY real, and more and more people are becoming sensitive

to fragrances, cleaning chemicals, etc., as the chemicals become more prevalent wherever you go. 

 

I became very sensitive to odors when a hotel I stayed at in 1995 piped in some

type of air freshener through the a/c system.  Since that time, I have become

more sensitive to almost all odors.  It is NOT an allergy. It's not something that

a pill will take away!  I am totally disabled from it, and getting worse with every

exposure.

 

I wish you luck.  Nobody who doesn't have this understands it.  Not even the

medical profession. 

 

Reply
AJH, Community Member
2/28/12 8:35am

You might suffer from MCS.  (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.)  It's not that recognized and doctors usually tell people that there's nothing wrong with them.  It's a genuine disease.  You can definitely be allergic to smells!  You just need clean air!

Aolani Harrison
allerair.com electrocorp.net

Tel: 888.852.8247 ext. 233


 

Reply
frascamr, Community Member
7/13/12 8:39pm

If you sneeze every time you get a whiff of perfume or room deodorizer, you may be one of millions of people with a fragrance sensitivity.

As many as 30 percent of people surveyed report that they find scented products irritating, according to a study from the University of West Georgia. Those with asthma or chemical sensitivities may find strong scents particularly problematic due to the allergy-like symptoms they cause.

Unlike tree pollen or dander, for example, perfumes and scents aren't actually allergens, they're irritants — but that doesn't mean that they can't trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing.

So what's the difference between an allergen and an irritant? In fairly simple terms, a true allergen causes a person’s immune system to release chemicals to fight the invader. On the way to the battle, inflammation could result — eyes could water, nose could fill, and so on.

"An allergen is a protein that is known to cause an IgE-mediated reaction," explains Beth A. Miller, MD, director of the University of Kentucky’s Asthma, Allergy, and Sinus Clinics and chief of the school's division of allergy and immunology in Lexington. IgE, or immunoglobulin E, is an antibody produced by the body in response to exposure to an allergen.

An irritant, on the other hand, doesn’t provoke the immune system. But it has no problem making eyes water or noses run.

It's not understood how or why this happens. "An irritant is a chemical or product that causes symptoms without a known immunologic cause," says Miller, so it does not cause an IgE-mediated reaction.

"Sensitivity is really a non-specific term," notes Miller. Only an allergen can cause a true allergy, while "irritants cause sensitivities."

Bottom line: What people call a "perfume allergy" is either fragrance sensitivity or an allergy to some chemical in the perfume.

Symptoms of Fragrance Sensitivity

You can have two types of allergy symptoms due to fragrance sensitivity — respiratory, nose and eye symptoms, much like that of seasonal allergy symptoms — or skin allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of fragrance sensitivity can include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • A skin allergy like contact dermatitis — an itchy, red rash that appears on the skin

The Rise of Fragrance Sensitivities

People who have asthma may be more sensitive to fragrances and may experience allergy symptoms or worsening asthma symptoms from exposure to perfumes, fragrances, and other chemicals. Although, says Miller, there isn't really an established link between asthma and fragrance sensitivity.

People who already have allergies, like seasonal allergies or allergies to indoor allergens like molds and animal allergens, may be more likely to experience fragrance sensitivities.

“Often patients with allergies are more sensitive to these irritants due to their baseline allergic disease," says Miller. And with more than 50 million Americans dealing with allergies, that's a lot of people at an increased risk for fragrance sensitivity.

Combine that increased sensitivity with a constantly increasing level of irritating chemicals and fragrances that are ever-present in our environment and the things we use every day (over 5,000 types used today), and it's no surprise that fragrance sensitivities are more common than initially believed.

Preventing and Treating Fragrance Sensitivities

If you're dealing with allergy symptoms caused by fragrance sensitivity, there are some things that you can do for relief.

Nasal antihistamine and nasal corticosteroid medications can effectively control allergy symptoms caused by these sensitivities. But the best medicine is really an ounce of prevention — and that means keeping all fragrances off yourself and out of your environment.

There just aren't any "safe" fragrances or products that Miller can recommend for anyone who has experienced allergy symptoms due to fragrance sensitivities.

"Any product with a scent can be irritating to patients," notes Miller. "I suggest patients utilize scent-free products if at all possible." That means fragrance-free:

  • Lotions
  • Soaps
  • Skin care products
  • Laundry detergents
  • Fabric softeners

You should even be cautious with cleaning and deodorizing products that you use at home — look for products that don't contain fragrance, which could cause your allergy symptoms.

You may also need to ask your friends, spouse or partner, and co-workers to avoid wearing or using heavily-fragranced products around you to prevent your allergy symptoms.

Of course, there's no hard and fast rule about what you can and can't use — fragrance sensitivity is an individual issue.

"This type of sensitivity can vary among individuals," says Miller. "In some patients all scents are bothersome, and in others only strong smells [like chlorine] are irritating."

But rather than run the risk of having allergy symptoms from fragrance sensitivity, it's best to be conservative — and avoid all products containing fragrance for the best chance at avoiding your allergy symptoms

Reply
Marie, Community Member
10/19/12 5:46pm
I will like to kno if u can be allergy to strong smell Reply
Mary Jo K. Bumpus, Community Member
11/19/12 6:45pm

I fully disagree with this I am highly allergic to smells. such as body oder, cheap colonge, flowers, smoke and other bad smells.  I do not have any food allergies;  

Reply
Bunnys27, Community Member
12/12/12 9:09pm

you can be allergic to a smell!

to many its dust,cats,dogs,perfume ect. its whats in it or that the body cant take it because it might be to strong for the body.

i am allergic to many perfumes and a lot of people are too, what happens: your head can start hurting, you start coughing ect. like i said the body kinda freaks out to what ever it can take called side affects. (aka allergys) its telling you ''i cant take this''. its mostly asked ''why are people allergic to stuff?'' its what ever your body cat take.

 

i hope this helps your question Laughing

Reply
Jeff Kiser, Community Member
12/16/12 7:00am

Just this week I spent two days in the hodpital for the 2nd time with severe chest and radiating right arm pain. This is the 8th episode in 12 years that has left me unable to move for up to 90 minutes. Heart echos and a nucleaur stress test has proven there is an excellent heart inside. Now looking back at the attacks I remember 5 times having been in strong oders prior to the attacks. Once working constrution in a coca producing factory, another using gym seal doing hardwood floors, in a flower/garden shop at Christmas, last was a nurse in hospital wearing "Eternity" fagarance working on me. The heart monitor didn't even blink and 20 minutes later I started coming out of the debilitating pain. I can't even go down a box store fertilizer inspectide isle and must be careful how this stuff is stored in my

garage. I'm a type 2 diabetic, dealing with lyme disease, and west nile virus, age 59.   

Reply
Flakes, Community Member
9/ 2/13 11:00pm

I have a severe allergy to smells that no one else can smell

Reply
TrueBlue, Community Member
1/17/14 5:09pm
I think I might be either incredibly sensitive or allergic to the smell of coffee. I recently got a job in a cafe as a check out person and brewing coffee for students and patients at a university is one of my main side tasks. I typically will brew about 15+ "pots" of coffee a day and I've noticed that the more I am exposed to the smell the worse I feel, I get a runny nose, nausea and my head will start to hurt, but worse of all I get stomach pains and diarrhea. I've tried not eating anything before work or during and just drinking water thinking maybe the food upset my stomach but I will still get diarrhea and nausea regardless. I try to hold my breath when checking the coffee level, cleaning the coffee equipment, dumping the coffee, brewing it and when someone comes up to pay with an open cup of coffee. It at the point where I really don't want to but might have to quit just due to the smell. Reply
liqq24, Community Member
10/11/14 2:19am

well if you got the same symptom from drinking coffee then it will sure be an allergic reaction to cofffee

Reply
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Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By futwenty, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/11/14, First Published: 09/26/08