Saturday, March 31, 2007

Strange sense of smell

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the fact that I've discontinued all alcohol intake for some time but a few days ago I had a strange sense that I'm smelling something. It's not any kind of definable odor or aroma nor is it unpleasant. It just seems that I'm getting something.

Now, this could be all in my mind or it could be what is known as "phantosmia". If I'm not mistaken, some people who suffer from anosmia also have this condition where they seem to smell scents that aren't actually there. Although unless I'm mistaken, those "smells" are usually very unpleasant if not repugnant. Again, it's hard to say what's going on here and in fact it only lasted a few days but it was interesting to note.

I've run out of my prescription of Nasonex and haven't used it for about a week so I imagine it would be an opportune time for me to call my ENT and get my prescription refilled. Maybe it will help!


ellenhjk said...

I was born without the sense of smell. I found your blog while I am doing an experiment on aromas for a research course. I have the sense of taste but can not tast any spices such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc. I love onions and strong flavors like Wasabi. Textures are very important to me. I put nuts or raisins in many foods. I was tested when I was young and only could detect a menthol smell at great strenghth. I was told there is a smell disorder in Washington D.C. that could do a very painful surgery that had a 50% chance of success. They also had me take high doses of Zinc but it always made me throw up. This was propabaly 30 years ago so I hope things have changed. I always got the stinky jobs like cleaning kennels and changing the amonia in blueprint machines (then I'd have a headache all day.) I've had marriage proposals based on the fact of my lack of sense of smell:) Well, I just thought I'd share.

Ipek said...

This is the first blog I came across on smell disorders other than my own;

My bad smells (parosmia) started about 2.5 weeks after my head injury. I've been smelling fume/burnt flesh like smells non-stop for 3 weeks now. I am still trying to find some answers. When did your symptoms start? Good luck on the less traveled road to recovery!

amlai said...

Just came across your blog. I'm not quite anosmic, more hyposmic. It's never actually been diagnosed, but I've had a terrible sense of smell for as long as I can remember. (Might be due to a bump in the noggin when I was 2.) I once had a gas stove on full for about 20 min, forgetting to light it. There are a few common things I can smell rather well, such as bananas (which I hate), apples, and meat on a grill. However, around 5 years ago I had to bring someone with me to go shopping for cologne. All I noticed were the fumes. I can usually tell there is a smell there, but frequently can't distinguish between them. There was once a time where I spent an hour hyperventilating trying to figure out what a rose smelled like. I also had no idea that the New York subway had a bad smell sometimes.

However, in the last few years my sense of smell has suddenly and inexplicably gotten much better (though it varies day by day). I believe I can smell a rose now, but I don't recall thinking it smelt good. I can now smell natural gas. I can occasionally smell the bad stenches of the NYC subway if it is really bad or if someone points it out to me. I recently went cologne shopping again and this time I could tell there being a difference in the smells. So there is hope that your sense of smell will suddenly start to get better.

On the subject of your post, I definitely get something that might be described as phantosmia. Occasionally I think I smell something, but it is usually just for a brief moment and is usually very faint / nondescript.

Anonymous said...

I had that four times. Soy sauce, cedar, skunk and hog barns. Supposedly.

Karen said...

Does nasonex really work? because I have anosmia and i was prescirbed with nasonex and so far it has done nothing :( any ideas

zebing said...

I can't smell either. I was born that way. The first comment on this post really caught my attention, because I've slowly realized over the last few years that I can't (and never could) taste any herb-spices. I think all of their flavor stems from smell. In fact, I had other friends experiment with plugging their nose and eating cilantro, and nobody could taste it with their noses plugged.