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Everybody enjoys and loves the beautiful burning candles and their warm flicker soothing scent. However, it is a fact that some of the people are allergic to this candle burning scent and aroma. Moreover, this allergic behavior can trigger headache in people who does not love the scent of the candles. Along with headache, the scent of candles can also result in nausea, fatigue, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing in allergic people.

The VOC contents related to scent of candles are some commonly emitted particles that include ester, formaldehyde, alcohol, limonene, and petroleum distillates. However, these chemicals can trigger many health issues that may range from dizziness, headaches, asthma attacks, somewhat cancer and respiratory tract infections.

People to whom the candle scents trigger headache, they avoid getting into places where they can get expose to the candles. It is kind of obvious for them to have headache if they step into a candle or gift shop. Moreover, some people also share the experience about eye-itching as well as the pain in the forehead; also the sneezing is followed by.

It is possible that the allergic person can bear any other scent they come across but they can get triggered even with their favorite one in a ‘candle shop’. 

Also, it is more likely that the person infected with the with candle scent allergy, they may also do not like any of the following scents that include:

  • Scented Detergents
  • Fabric Softeners
  • Deodorants
  • Flowers (Roses, Lilies etc)

They can also make the person discomfort able that is allergic to candle scent and he/she would bear headache. 

As you know, headache patients are allergic to different types of perfumes. The appearance of headache in such patients can also lead to the appearance of an attack.

The Headache Dilemma

The headache was already known to the ancient Aztecs and they considered it a punishment from God, in some tribes the Chamam was used for its cure and it still persists in tribes of Kenya and Polynesia. 

Its cause remains an enigma. Fortunately, not all headaches are the same, headaches are divided into: primary, they are 90%, of which 78% are tension headaches that have nothing to do with blood pressure and the other 12% are represented by migraines called migraines. It is derived from the Arabic “Saquica” (half head). 10% of secondary headaches are due to pathologies (tumors, meningitis).

12% of the population suffers from migraine, by the way more frequent in women (75% women and 25% of men) and with a trend that occurs between 25 and 54 years and represent a total of 3 million Migraineurs in United States.

How To Recognize Your Headache? 

Tension headaches are the most common, lasting from 30 minutes to 7 days and usually hurting the whole head. There is never nausea, no vomiting, no blurred vision or flashing lights, and it is usually a pain that allows everyday work. 

In cases of migraines, the duration of pain is never less than 4 hours; the pain affects half the skull (hemicranial), pulsating pain (pulsatile) of moderate or severe intensity. They do not usually allow work, it improves with rest with the light off and they also tend to have nausea or vomiting or see flashes of light. The attacks can recur several times a month.

Headache sufferers have good treatment with common medications such as anti-inflammatory and, in cases of migraine, with a family of medications (triptans), which ensure 60% disappearance of their pain in 1 or 2 hours. 

Unfortunately there are 40% of people who do not respond to it. It should be borne in mind that there is a chronic headache due to drug abuse, reaching a headache almost every day. It can be suffered by those who abuse drugs such as Paracetamol of 1 gram more than 2 days a week or analgesics more than 3 tablets a day more than 2 days a week.

From these lines we encourage those who suffer from headaches to consult their doctor and not to self-medicate.

Headache: The Direct Effect Of Chemicals

First of all, it is possible that there could be a direct effect of the chemicals on your biological systems, such as if the chemical is an irritant, it’s going to cause your nose to burn, your eyes to water. 

It may cause you to have some respiratory irritation. But even if it’s not at that concentration, you might have a reaction to it because it was paired with something in your past that made you feel sick and so now every time you smell that fragrance again, it’s going to bring back that experience. 

I had something with coconut flavoring, and it made my stomach sort of upset and every time I smelled coconut flavoring after that I just wanted nothing to do with coconut. So really, the bad feeling is generated by the memory of what happened before your previous experience that got associated with it. 

Headaches From Fragrances

The scents and fragrances are delightful but they can also make your membranes and vessels swell. This may result in triggering the nerve mechanism and cause the pain in the head.

And there’s probably some evolutionary response to that in some way, maybe us wanting to avoid things that have done us harm in the past? Absolutely, we learn things associated with odors that are negative very quickly. So what about these people that says they get headaches from fragrances? 

There are probably a lot of different people that have different reactions. We know for example that smelling fragrances, particularly ones that are strong and ones that you don’t know can be a stressor. Just the way loud noises or bright lights can be a stressor, right? And that stress can actually trigger a lot of physical symptoms such as headache or just feeling unwell and feeling fatigued. 

Many people think that this only occurs when it comes to synthetic fragrances. Yes, But in fact there often is no difference between synthetic and natural fragrances in people’s response. And so the fact is, many natural fragrances may have things in them that we can’t actually measure because they’re coming from the natural source and they’re not purified. 

So, there are so many different molecules in there that it becomes a lot harder to identify what we might be having a response to? That’s right, what could be the trigger. Got it? But in fact, when most people say that they have a bad response to synthetic fragrances, they already know that the fragrance is a synthetic. 

So when you do blind testing with people with naturals and synthetics that smell identical, people really can’t tell them apart and generally don’t have different reactions to them. There was a study done some years ago, and this wasn’t a positive odor, but it was around people who lived near a hazardous waste site. 

And they measure how often they smelt odors that they attributed to that site, how worried they were about what the odors meant, and how often they had headaches. 

And there was a perfect correlation between the more they smelled an odor, the more they were worried about it, the more frequently they experienced headaches. So, this psychological reaction can have true physical consequences. And it’s also the case that there’s a novel area of research going on about certain kinds of receptors in the airway, that may actually be responding or over responding to certain odor cues among people for whom migraines are a problem. 

So, we know that for example, strong odors can be a trigger for a migraine attack, and it may be that these individuals are just hypersensitive because of this other sensory system in their airways that when they breathe in an odor, it’s triggering a change that produces a headache.  

When Should You Know About Your Headache?

Most headaches are minor and are not a sign of more severe illness. However, you should contact your doctor immediately if:

  • Your headache is the result of a head injury
  • You experience problems with your vision like blurring
  • Headache symptoms become severe
  • The headache is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, vomiting weakness, wheezing or confusion in the throat. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you are concerned.
  • There are many ways to help relieve headache pain.

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