9.28.2011

Smoking or Non-Smoking Section?

That is the Rev's daily question for the last week, ever since I developed the most bizarre medical thing I have ever heard of. For the past 11 days, I have been smelling cigarette smoke where there is none. I'm not just talking about a whiff here, I mean a strong, constant smoke smell, like you would smell if someone were holding a lit cigarette under your nose, 24/7. My eyes water like I am stuck in a smoke filled room and my throat is all scratchy.

Of course, Dr. Rev googled it and said get to the Dr. since the causes can range from a sinus infection to Alzheimer's to schizophrenia (he was leaning toward the latter and I am starting to feel a little crazy, at this point!). Nice. The Dr. did give me an antibiotic, just in case I had any sort of sinus infection, with instructions to come back if the smell persisted after I finished the meds. Unfortunately, the meds are finished and the smell is there, still as strong as ever. I know a Z pack keeps working for 5 days after you finish taking it, so I am holding out hope that maybe by then, the smell will have gone away.

The condition as far as I can tell from everything that I have read is called phantosmia, or olfactory hallucinations. Basically, some type of brain injury, even one that you may be unaware of, like a stroke or seizure, tricks the brain into thinking that it smells something that is not there. Some people are able to use nasal sprays to trick their system, while others have to have their sniffer snipped, basically unable to smell anything!

Anybody out there ever heard of this or know anybody who has dealt with it?


5 comments:

Amanda said...

How very odd! Can't imagine it's very nice to smell smoke all the time, hope its just an infection which will go and leave you able to smell properly.

Amber said...

How weird?? And what an annoying thing to suffer from!

Hopefully it's just an infection and it'll be gone before you know it. Keep us posted!

Sarita said...

Nope that is crazy! Not you but the phantom smell!

Impulsive Addict said...

Yes! My friend smells smoke all the time too. It started after she had surgery to fix a deviated septum. I just laugh at her because I thought she was crazy. Now I'm laughing at you! No, no I'm not. I would HATE that to happen to me. Maybe you should have surgery to FIX a deviated septum?

Jill said...

Eeek! What a horrible thing to have happen to you! Hope it goes away soon!!