Can You Be Allergic To Smells?

scent-allergiesYou’ve probably had the experience of getting sick when your noses pick up a scent, for example the smell of peanuts, weed, onions, cinnamons, and so on. So, it should be no surprise that you believe that there is a link between allergies and smells. But the fact is that you aren’t generally allergic to strong odors and perfumes. Instead, in this case your symptoms like sneezing, itching and runny nose are the result of the irritation of your nasal passage.

Among all human senses, smell is the most sensitive one. At the same time, it is most closely connected with memories and emotions. Scientifically, human nose can remember ten thousand kinds of tastes and, more importantly, smell has twice higher accuracy than vision. In fact, every day you are experiencing the significant impact of smell on emotions, memory, and behavior. For example, it helps you enjoy life, alerts you to dangers, and so on. If you find yourself allergic to a smell, the allergen is not certain airborne ‘smells’ themselves but a specific irritant or a few of them. And the typical example is fragrances. Of course, usually the irritants are hard to be pinpointed.

When it comes to allergy symptoms from fragrances, the most common one is contact dermatitis, which is caused by skin pores absorbing the allergens contained in scented products. Besides of contact dermatitis, exposure to fragrance may still lead to allergic urticaria and allergic purpura. The common symptoms like hives, sneezing and itching can be controlled once you are far away from the offending smells. Apparently, this is the most effective way to copy with contact dermatitis here. The reason for this is that it requires great effort and time to find out precisely what are the allergens. Apparently, it makes no sense here.

Similarly, allergies can be triggered by respiratory tract irritation. Because of individual differences, the sense of smell varies from person to person. Some may be particularly sensitive to some specific odors that usually cause no harm to others. The typical symptoms are wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, and the like. Sometimes it is asthma but other times it is not. It is worth mentioning that such breathing problems may come from the inhaling of one or a few of chemicals. As you know, perfumes are the mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients. Once such breathing problems occur, the doctors usually give oral steroids, anticholinergic medicines, and even corticosteroids to provide immediate relief and prevent relapse.

In short, the smelling a fragrance, fume or odor itself won’t cause an allergic reaction although sometimes their symptoms are quite similar. The culprit is inhaling or absorbing the irritative substances instead. As mentioned above, the best way to protect you against this kind of irritation is staying from them. If vomiting is the only symptom and you have a negative allergy test, this may be psychological thing. You are simply amplifying the smells you dislike. Since this is not an allergy, common allergy medications won’t do anything for you. In this case, what you need to do is to desensitize yourself from it by psychological adjustment. And if necessary a psychologist may help you out of this too.

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