Migraines from scents like perfumes, cologne, etc.

Do you get scent-related migraines?
4
Would you support scent-free workplaces? - 100.0%
0
Would you support other scent-free locations? - 0.0%
0
Would you cease wearing scents if you knew it caused migraines in others? - 0.0%

 
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Kelly Avis
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/12/2006 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I get scent-related migraines and am having a terrible time getting my workplace to go scent-free. Co-workers treat me like a freak and worse. Help!

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 2/13/2006 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kelly, Welcome to Healing Well, I know how you feel about the scents. Everyone looks at me as though I'm daft and fussy when I say about this. My teenage son, who gets migraine himself, even has difficulty understanding that my nose is very sensitive and his deodorant will set my migraine off!! I wear a mask at home when I am doing dusty things, or when I am painting, even then it can get through.

When I am gardening I have to wear a mask at all times or I'll get a humdinger of a migraine. This is very hard to do in a hot summer!

Have you spoken to your boss about this? Maybe a discreet word explaining your problem, or if your Doctor is co-operative he/she might write a note for your boss to back you up. The trouble is anything we say sounds ridiculous to other people and they believe what we are going through is completely implausible! Sadly anyone who does not get Migraine will never understand!

It has taken me many years to accept this (I know it's not fair) and am not sure I fully accept it now, but I am totally with you on this and would love to find a way to convince people to be more thoughtful and considerate! Hang in there you are not alone. Take care Ann.

bkang22
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/13/2006 5:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Like you I get migraines from perfume and cologne and severe asthma attacks sometimes. Yes people treat you different, but just let them know "it affects the quality of my life", let them see you in pain and when you leave early make sure you tell them its because of the perfume. My boss was great when I told her, she moved me to a new location because the two girls that wore it (I asked them not to and explained why) kept wearing it. Finally they understood. Another guy kept wearing it, and I sent him an email and cc'd my boss and begged him not to wear it to work because it affected the quality of my life. He finally stopped. So I've been lucky, when customers come for training I just stay away from the area.  But many people believe it falls under the disability act because it does affect your life.

Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 2/13/2006 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
bkang22, how right you are about it affecting your quality of life! No-one wants their quality of life affected, I am very fortunate and work with a great bunch of people who are very considerate about this, and they have seen me so many times when I am ill.Ann.

Kelly Avis
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/13/2006 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately, my experience has been awful. I've been shunned, written hate mail, and just plain been treated terribly by people. I have doctors notes and have been given Family Medical Leave for my migraines, but my last workplace relly dug their heals in and refused to even consider it. This was the State of Alaska. I was in the Attorney General's office and moved to the Public Defenders Agency because I heard they were scent free, but there is one employee that flat out refuses to not wear perfume, and the agency head is backing her up. He tells me I have to leave the room if she comes into my work area, which she does frequently. I'm looking for a new job of course, because I simply won't be treated like that. And this from attorneys!!!!! They should know better. AGHHHHHH! I try really hard to explain to people in a respectful way the cause and effect, but there are always a few that just refuse to get it. I don't know what it is about perfume that people are so emotional about. And why they can't NOT wear it for 8 hours a day. So many people are so gracious about it, and immediately stop and are so understanding. The others simply don't care that my life is in shamples because of them. It has led to a deep depression on my part, so bad that at one point my doctor almost hospitilized me for it. But now, my attitude is that I will find a workplace that understands. I just have to keep perservering.

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 2/13/2006 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Well, although it causes me pain at times I could not ask others to refrain from their cologne or perfume...this is the United States of America and I personally couldn't see myself doing that.

I however can avoid individuals and places that I know are filled with scents like that, when I know I am "at risk"

I am extremely stubborn and would not have anyone telling me when and where I could wear my perfume.

 

Just my two cents,

Sara


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Annuk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1308
   Posted 2/14/2006 6:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Sara unfortunately as you say we cannot avoid the rest of the world, but it does mean a lot to me that my work mates are supportive. I have allergic rhinitis aswell and this on its own can set off a migraine! Just the slightest thing from cigarette smoke to car fumes or a cleaner sets off the allergic rhinitis and then the migraine.

The only thing I would say Kelly is hang in there I do understand where you are coming from. I have had to build avoidance procedures in my mind when the rest of the world looks at me sideways when I talk about this. There is a saying 'walk a mile in another man's shoes, and you will understand', this has helped me accept a bit better that sometimes it's impossible for others to accept me, just as there are many times I cannot relate to them. Take care Ann.

bkang22
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/16/2006 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   

Kelly don't give up, shame on your co-worker its not like you are affecting the quality of his/her life by asking them not to wear scent, but it is affecting the quality of your life when they do.

Well Sara I'm glad I don't have to work with you because you can't always avoid those people trust me I have tried, many like Kelly's experience will walk right in anyway and it only takes that 1 or 2 second exposure to cause the migraine/asthma attacks. I'm glad I work with considerate people and I hope you never experience having to ask someone something because it affects your life and get the response that you would have given to someone who asked you not to wear perfume.

If they can ban smoking because it affects other peoples life they should consider banning scents if it is affecting other peoples lives.

There are now 3 people in my office who suffer from scents like I do so it is on the rise and will continue to do so. Just consider there are 600+ ingredients in those products and many of them can be found in your gasoline tank. Read the MSDS sheets on many of those ingredients in your perfume/cologne and you will see "AVOID SKIN CONTACT" "AVOID BREATHING VAPORS" and on and on.

Sorry rambling
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