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?