New research published in the Journal of Headache and Pain concluded that osmophobia, an olfactory-based fear of odors, may be more prevalent among people suffering from migraine headaches than previously known.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Italian Aldo Moro University.
The findings were reached by including more than 1,000 participants, most of which had no history of osmophobia. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 65.
“We selected patients aged 18–65 years, diagnosed as migraine without aura (MO), migraine with aura (MA) or Chronic Migraine (CM), Tension-Type Headache (TTH); and Cluster Headache (CH),” according to researchers.
“We also selected a sub-cohort of migraine patients who were prescribed preventive treatment, according to Italian Guidelines, visited after 3 months follow up.”
In the study’s results, osmophobia was evident among varying migraine subtypes. For example, the study determined that patients with migraines who had osmophobia tend to experience longer headache duration. Tension type headache patients with osmophobia, however, had frequent headaches and anxiety.
“While the present study confirmed prevalence of osmophobia in migraine patients, it also indicated its presence among chronic tension type headache cases, marking those with chronic headache and anxiety,” researchers concluded.