Headaches, nausea, and burning eyes- if you suffer migraines, then these symptoms plague you every time you step into a room that’s been “freshened” with artificial scents. Air fresheners are not just migraine triggers, they are actually toxic!
Air fresheners stink
Why is it that a migraineur is usually the first person to notice when a room has been sprayed with artificial air fresheners?
It’s probably because in many ways, migraine patients are the metaphorical “coal miner’s canary,” whose basic purpose in life was to protect everybody else from noxious fumes by passing out cold at the first whiff of methane or carbon monoxide gases in the air.
Sound familiar? It should, because air fresheners actually spread many toxic chemicals that are dangerous to breathe, poisons like formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and p-dichlorobenzene.
Yet while most people experience only mild reactions to perfumes in air fresheners, laundry detergents, and body sprays, many migraine patients suffer immediate symptoms of toxin exposure:
- Intense headache
- Eye pain
- Sore throat
- Burning nose
- Difficulty breathing
Carpet powders, room vaporizers, and perfumed toilet gel inserts can make it difficult to be productive at work.
If you suffer headaches from exposure to chemical air fresheners at work, then you have the right to request a perfume-free environment.
Freshen up, naturally
Below are tips on how to freshen the air naturally, by combatting nasty odors and infusing your living space with pleasant aromas that don’t trigger migraine headaches.
1- Spice it up!
Choose a natural herb, seasoning, or dried flower that you enjoy, something with a scent that doesn’t produce a migraine reaction.
Use a combination of spices to make a potpourri basket or sachet. Simmer cinnamon on the stove for a while, or make a clove-studded pomander out of an orange by warming it in the oven on low for an hour.
2- Use vinegar!
Vinegar is a gentle disinfectant that removes food odors naturally. To freshen the air without causing a migraine, spray counter tops and windows with diluted vinegar and wipe it off with a rag.
3- Grind the rind!
Here’s a great tip- for an instant burst of natural deodorizer, collect citrus peels (orange, lemon) and send them down the garbage disposal.
Baking soda naturally absorbs stinky smells without scenting the air. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your garbage can, and leave an open container in your refrigerator.
5- Dab essential oils!
Like vanilla or lavender oil? Using a cotton ball, drip a few drops of essential oil directly onto a light bulb, such as the one in your bedside lamp. When you turn on the light, the heat from the lamp will gently scent your room.
6- Fresh air!
This one’s a no-brainer. Especially during the cold and flu season, we tend to keep all the windows and doors locked round the clock, trapping the air in the house and causing unpleasant odors. Choose a time to open all the windows and let the fresh air in!
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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Image courtesy or dannymol/flickr