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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Feb;274(2):817-821. doi: 10.1007/s00405-016-4283-z. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Osmophobia and olfactory functions in patients with migraine.

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Alle Clinic, Istanbul, Turkey.
İstanbul Surgical Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey.


Olfactory dysfunction and migraine has been associated for a long time. In this study, we planned to compare olfactory functions in patients with migraine and osmophobia with patients having migraine but no osmophobia, in addition with a normal control group using "Sniffin' Sticks" test. The main distinction of this study is that all qualitative and quantitative properties of olfactory functions; threshold, discrimination and identification, are evaluated separately and jointly. Thirty healthy person aged between 16 and 56 (18 women, 12 men) and 60 migraine patients aged between 15 and 54 (39 women, 21 man) were included in the study. All patients have been inquired about osmophobia and have been assessed with Hedonic tone assessment. Osmophobia has been tested for perfume, cigarette smoke, leather, stale food, soy sauce, fish, spices and coffee smells. Olfactory functions has been assessed with "Sniffin' Sticks" smell test. Thresholds, discrimination and identification have been determined for each patient. In migraine patients with osmophobia, threshold was 7.75 ± 2.3, in migraine patients without osmophobia threshold was 8.25 ± 1.5 and threshold was 10.75 ± 1.3 for the control group. Discrimination score was 6 ± 1.2 in migraine patients with osmophobia, 9 ± 0.8 in patients without osmophobia and was 12 ± 1.4 in the control group. In migraine patient with or without osmophobia Threshold/Discrimination/Identification (TDI) scores were lower than the control group. The most important parameter in our study is that discrimination scores were especially lower in patients with osmophobia. We believe that this decrease in discrimination in migraine patients with osmophobia; who claim that they smell everything and they are sensitive to all smells, is significant. Further studies about smell discrimination will help better understand some conditions; especially anosmia and hyposmia after upper respiratory tract infections and parosmia.


Hyposmia; Migraine; Osmophobia; Smell tests; Sniffin’ Sticks

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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