Smell and Epilepsy

When people think of epilepsy, they think of strobe lights as the primary triggers. I’ve talked many times (mainly in my Random Movie Reviews) about how flashing lights do not affect me quite as much as other people. In fact, sound is my biggest issue, after sleep.

I do, however, have other triggers, and one of those is smell. Obviously not every smell sends me into convulsions, but some smells can call up the tell-tale tension between my shoulders. These are usually the thicker smells, and often floral, such as the oh-so-popular violet. Or pine. Pine is awful. That odd smell in rental cars when you first get them, generally some combination of cleaner and those pine things give me such a feeling of claustrophobia. I do much better with sharper, citrus scents that are less likely to cling to me.

Scent is not something many people seem to connect with epilepsy, but in my experience pretty much any sense can become a trigger. I avoid perfumes, strong smelling soaps and deodorants, etc. One of the few exceptions I can think of in the strong-thick smell grouping is vanilla. I absolutely love the smell of vanilla. It is extremely calming.

I wonder if this is an issue many people have.


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