Thursday, October 02, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Daniel, Community Member, asks

Q: For about a week, I've been "smelling" smoke when nobody else does-at work, home, non-smoking places

I recently had a very severe sinus infection. Took a z-pack, when I still had symptoms, took another antibiotic. I feel better now, but I'm experiencing this constant sensation of "smelling smoke" when there is none.

I don't smoke. Nobody in my family or my workplace smokes. I've never had a smoker in my car, yet I "smell" smoke in all of these places. It's actually the burning sensation of smelling smoke in my nose, my eyes, back of throat, that is identical to smelling cigarette smoke, but I'm the only one in the room who experiences it. This is almost constant, and it is driving me crazy.

Any thoughts on what this might be?

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Answers (222)
JB, Editor
5/23/08 10:43am

Hi Daniel,

 

That's a weird one! But I think I know what you mean. I've experienced similar sensations before, but not a severe as yours (and they didn't last very long).

 

I looked around online and found out about something called olfactory hallucinations or "phantosmia." Yeah, sounds crazy. And it might be. According to the MayoClinic.com, phantosmia could be an indication of brain damage, schizophrenia or Alzheimer's Disease. Read more about it by clicking this link.

 

By the way, do you have migraines? Sometimes people who have migraines experience strange sensory events -- like smells or bright flashes of light or spots -- before the migraine hits. Those sensory events are called the migraine's aura.

 

The MayoClinic.com site also says that phantosmia could also mean that there's been damage to your smell receptors. Either way, because it could be a sign of a serious illness, you need to see your doctor right away to get help finding out what the problem is. Hopefully, it's nothing serious.

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Colleen, Community Member
10/18/10 4:38pm

Thank the Good Lord, I thought I was nuts smelling smoke at times!!! Thankyou all for the information, I will talk to my Dr. abou this.

Again A million Hugs and Thanks,

Colleen

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Linda Millett, Community Member
11/ 8/11 8:12am

Dear Coleen,

 Although I am 67 I am fit and healthy but for a few weeks now I have been smelling stale cigarette smoke! nobody else can smell it though so I keep quiet about it. Then yesterday I had pins and needles on one side of my head and face it lasted a few seconds so I forgot about it. Then five hours later it happened again but this time I tried to speak but could not. I took an aspirin and phoned the National Health Help Line within the hour I was in hospital having tests, it appeared I had had two mini strokes. I was surprised to be alive the following morning when I went back to the hospital for next artery scans and MRI scan. All normal so the specialist said that she believes I am suffering from migraine although I have never had that before. I still have a left sided headache..... I never mentioned the smell to her as I never thought it would be related till I asked "the computer"

best wishes

 

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lulu, Community Member
10/21/10 8:35am

finally after alomst a year of "smelling smoke" off and on,  I get woken up by it at 4:30am! A light goes on..."google it stupid" I have been cleaning out my fireplace, shampooing my carpets, going nuts to get rid of the smell.....lol oh my, i could almost cry right now. I HATE THE SMELL! I am so so glad I am not the only one. Guess Ill be calling the doc...when they open...

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marvin bourque, Community Member
1/29/11 4:31pm

Did you ever get a answere to your problem? I spent over 11 hundred dollars trying to find out where the smell was comming from that no one else could smell.PLUMBERS,SEPTIC, AIR DUCTS.WATER HEATER REPLACED. I went and seen a ENT. he acted as if I was crazy.He did order a CT. I'm waiting on results still.Suppose to find something out next week. write back,thanks. Marvin.

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S. K., Community Member
2/ 6/11 5:10pm

I have had this problem of what I guess are smelling odors that probably aren't there off and on for months ever since I lost much of my sense of smell after a respiratory virus.  I have read that loss of the sense of smell and smell hallucinations can result from damage to the smell receptors in the nose from an infection.  This sometimes drives me nuts, because it seems so real.  My son mentioned to me that someone told him about a relative who had had loss of the sense of smell from chemotherapy, and that they regained it after taking zinc supplements for a while.  So, if it worked in that case I am trying it.  I only just started, so I'll see.  (There have been reports of loss of the sense of smell from using those zinc nasal sprays, but of course taking it by mouth is a completely different thing, since not getting enough zinc causes loss of the sense of smell.)

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JCB, Community Member
2/17/11 2:09am

Marvin,

I would be really interested to hear what the ENT found on the CT, if anything. I have had the same problem--smoke smell--since August 2010. Went to ENT for CT a couple weeks ago. The only thing he found was a slightly enlarged pituitary gland (which he said probably means nothing) and a little congestion in the sac right in front of the pituitary.

 

My sinuses were clear otherwise, although I have a terribly deviated septum. But I've always had that apparently.

 

I'm Iron deficient, Vit.D deficient, but those have been around for longer than the smell.

 

The only other thing that's new since August is that I started a workout plan and dropped 20 pounds. Anyone else out there lost weight simultaneously with this problem?

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TMac, Community Member
4/ 5/11 4:12pm

I have... I dropped 31 pounds since January 2011... Over the course of three months.... I wondered if that had anything to do with it.  I just saw my ENT today, who found nothing, but is scheduling an MRI for me in the near future.....

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The Doc, Community Member
11/17/13 8:41pm

Phantom smells can cause weight loss espesically if the smells interfere with your ability to taste. And or smell the food your eating.

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AcidGirl, Community Member
5/11/11 10:46am

Just dropped 17 pounds and started smelling what I would characterize as more of a dryer lint or dusty smell. Through research, I am fairly convinced that this is caused by Acid Reflux. I have had problems with it on and off for years and since I've been dieting and exercising the reflux has been pretty intense. I believe the smoky strange smell is due to gases that are released from our stomachs due to the reflux. Have you noticed that the smell is more present when you are sitting? This is because of your stomach being compressed and exacerbating the reflux. And even if you havent noticed the common symptoms of reflux, such as burning sensation, etc, you can still have it - its known as A-symptomatic Acid Reflux, I believe.

 

For those saying things about brain tumors and such, I really wish you would stop. Yes, sometimes serious medical problems are present and if you are concerned you should always see your doctor, but seeing how many people have/are experiencing this weird symptom, what do you think is more likely - that we all have brain tumors or a much more common issue like acid reflux. When you consider a typical modern diet and stress levels we endure, it just makes sense.

 

I just started taking Prevacid 5/11/11, which I was on a few years back and really helped with the reflux - so far the smell has been reduced, and I expect that as the medicine does its thing and the reflux disappates, so will the odd smell/taste.

 

 

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JCB, Community Member
5/11/11 4:01pm

I think you're on to something as is the person who mentioned coffee and milk. The things we eat and the acid reflux make a lot of sense. I have noticed the problem is worse when I am sitting and/or laying down. It is also worse when I am digesting after eating or drinking foods high in tannins (coffee, black tea) because these inhibit digestion. Reducing the coffee has really helped (boohoo!).

 

The problem is better when I eat salad at dinner and (this may seem counterintuitive) use vinegar as dressing. The vinegar really cuts down on acid reflux.

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fert, Community Member
7/22/11 4:52pm

vinegar is a weak acid and acts as a buffer...

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captainlaser1, Community Member
4/21/12 4:56pm

I have had this off and on for more than a year and it appears to be worse when I'm sitting and working on a laptop and, yes, I have CFL lightbulbs.Smile  All these are "causes" for many people.  

 

But your explanation is the one I'm leaning to most.  I can reduce the smell by cutting out coffee with cream.  And I notice that it is worst when I'm smelling my morning coffee.  Particularly bad is Starbucks Dark Roast.  I think it has to do with too strongly roasted coffee for me and, unfortunately, my morning buzz is all that keeps me going.

 

I guess if I really can't stand the smell, I'll cut out the coffee, but I'm currently working on the theory that it is in my sinuses from coffee fumes that are not being flushed out.  Perhaps it is creating an infection or are just being "digested" in my sinuses instead of in my stomach.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

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captainlaser1, Community Member
4/21/12 4:56pm

I have had this off and on for more than a year and it appears to be worse when I'm sitting and working on a laptop and, yes, I have CFL lightbulbs.Smile  All these are "causes" for many people.  

 

But your explanation is the one I'm leaning to most.  I can reduce the smell by cutting out coffee with cream.  And I notice that it is worst when I'm smelling my morning coffee.  Particularly bad is Starbucks Dark Roast.  I think it has to do with too strongly roasted coffee for me and, unfortunately, my morning buzz is all that keeps me going.

 

I guess if I really can't stand the smell, I'll cut out the coffee, but I'm currently working on the theory that it is in my sinuses from coffee fumes that are not being flushed out.  Perhaps it is creating an infection or are just being "digested" in my sinuses instead of in my stomach.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Where's the fire, Community Member
7/22/11 4:42am

Way to say it Acid girl.  I totally agree about dropping the whole brain tumor thing.  The thought of having a brain tumor only stikes fear into those of us suffering with this chronic "smoke smell".  Of course the fear leads to worry and of-course stress from worrying increases the acid reflux.  Absolutely brilliant!  Looking back after reading your comments - I now realize that I should have taken up stock in "TUMS" I go through about a bottle a week.  Unfortunately I have yet to experience the weight-loss problem.  Perhaps if I can put up with the "smoke" a few months longer I can finally lose those unwanted pounds.

I have read other articals that also suggest that the smell could be caused by an undiagnoised chronic fungus infection.  This could be sinus and or upper respiratory.  Symtoms include the smoke smell as well as dry, itchy, watery eyes from time to time.  I do tend to have sinus issues especially during this time of year. Thanks to your information and those articles I now feel well armed to go ahead and contact my physician and not have to worry about being sent to the "Looney Bin".

 

Either of these two diagnosis - sound much better than a brain tumor!

 

Signed: Waiting for the smoke to clear

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traceys67, Community Member
8/12/11 12:50am
OMG!! I just started smelling this annoying smoke smell over the last three days. I'm lying down now and it's stronger than ever. I feel like I'm at a bar, but no one smokes in our home!! I am so shocked to hear how common this is. I just got over a serious sinus infection that came complete with vertigo episodes. I also lost my smell completely!! (at this poiny, I'd prefer to go back to the nonsmelling problem). I just finished a predasone pack and another super strong antibiotic and have been feeling wonderful until this smoke smell began. I just don't know what to do. The whole brain Tumor thing is freaking me out. I just finished shelling out 1100 bucks for all of that previous care (no health insurance) and I just don't want to put that kind of money out there again. Grrrrrrrrr If anybody is interested in chatting about this, I could really use a friend who doesn't think I'm nuts because I claim to smell smoke. My husband thinks I'm exaggerating. He doesn't understand how I can smell smoke and he can't. I need a friend. My email is traceys67 at gmail dot com. (I typef it out in case they discourage that in the forum.) Regards, Tracey Reply
Amy, Community Member
8/24/11 9:37pm

Hi Tracey, my name is Amy and I have been experiencing this for a number of years. I don't even really tell anyone anymore because they all think I am crazy. I used to smell it over 7 years ago when I lived in a really old house with my dad. Thought it might be the lights or something. Well I have recently begun smelling it again. It has popped up here and there over the years but it is really bugging me now. Sometimes I think it is the coffee maker, but then it is not even on. It is so weird. I don't even know what to do or think!

 

Amy

 

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Diana, Community Member
8/29/11 10:32am

Hi Tracey, my name is Diana and like Amy I've been experiencing this for a number of years (about ten). For me the smell has changed over the years - it started like dust, changed to smoke and is now just an unpleasant conbination of the two. Sometimes it's so strong it makes me feel sick and my eyes burn - I just have to go to bed and sleep to escape from it. It appears to be exacerbated at times of stress but other than this I have not been unable to link it to any food, drink or illness. I had a sinus scan about a year ago but this showed nothing. My ENT consultant is baffled. It does seem strange that so many people are suffering the same and yet no one has an accurate diagnosis. Diana

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EJ, Community Member
9/ 1/11 11:35pm
Hi Diana, I've had this problem for a long time too! I've asked for years, do you smell that cigarett smoke, recently it's changed to just a smoke smell and the smell of dust. I've not had any medical testing done or questioned my doc about it. I do have migraines, but I had them a long time before I started smelling smoke. I see my dr tomorrow and will mention it, but I don't expect anything out of it! EJ Reply
jackid, Community Member
10/18/11 9:10pm

I too am happy to see so many others with this dust and wood smoky smell.  Last March I had a full furnace check and all of my air ducts sanitized; also had new smoke alarms hard wired in, just 'cause, and compulsive changing of my furnace filters.  Anyway, the smoky smell ended.  This month the problem has reocurred

so, furnace service again and repeated filter changes. The smell seems to be worse mostly through the time I should be sleeping,but is also apparent in the day time-somtimes even outside.  My eyes get irritated and breathing this smoke in feels heavy in my lungs.  Psycosymatic or not, it's very unsettling.  Next time I see my doctor I'm going to mention it, although it sounds like there's no corrective cure.

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Troubled, Community Member
10/20/11 4:30am

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this.  I have bought air cleaners and gotten angry with neighbors thinking they are smoking and the smoke was wafting into my house.  I realized it was coming from me while I was at work, and there is no smoking anywhere near my office.  The intensity of the smell just won't go away.  I open windows, I spray air deodorizer just to get some relief. 

 

There was a comment made earlier about losing weight.  I just lost a ton of weight within the last five months, and the problem seems to have exacerbated.  I am talking to my doctor about it, but I suspect there isn't much that can be done.  I just need a reprieve.  I HATE the smell of cigarette smoke. 

 

Thank you everyone for sharing and helping me to not feel like such a loony. 

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Angela, Community Member
3/19/12 9:08am

Hi, my name is Angela and I was looking for an answer, also, to this smoky, musty smell. No one in my house smells it. I may call my Doctor, thought it may be a sinus infection. I normally don't have a very good sense of smell compared to most.  Like others I have lost weight recently and have acid reflux but take Prilosec and don't think it's a problem.

   BUT, have any of you taken diet pills to loose the weight?? I have been on them and wondered if that is the problem? I quit them starting today and will see if it helps. This is so anoying and puzzling!!

  Before this, I also had a strong smoky smell for days after a barbrque a few times. My brothers are big barbeque smokers at competitions, etc. other than that I usually have very little sense of smell.

 

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Gina, Community Member
3/29/12 7:29am

I just started experiencing the same over the past few days. It is stronger when I am at home, but I noticed it first while at work a few days ago. We have patients that smoke, my neighbors below me smoke, and I was out at a couple of bars earlier this week where people were smoking (something I do rarely, because I HATE smelling like cigarettes).

 

At first, I thought I was smelling the smoke on myself because I was out at a bar. I smelled my clothes, hair and skin. All to no avail. Usually I could spot a patient who is a smoker from several feet away, but now I can't. Now, as I am sitting down, it smells stronger, and I can almost taste the smell when I breathe through my mouth.

 

A little more back history: I have been recently sick, within the past two months, with an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis. I have seasonal allergies, and am stuffy constantly. Unfortunately, due to a hypersensitivity to even over the counter medications, I cannot get much relief from allergy or sinus medications because they all make me either drowsy, dizzy or nauseaus.

 

Aside from this being an annoying symptom, I also fear for a safety reason. My sense of smell has always been much more keen than most of the people I know. My teenage son, who has similar sinus issues, has very limited olfactory senses. The smell would have to be very strong or pungent for him to notice it. Therefore, the safety issues would arise if there was a true fire emergency, because no one would smell it!

 

I am thankful to read these posts and find out that I am not delusional; however, I am not happy that others, as well as myself, are suffering from this olfactory hallucination.

 

More useful advice would be helpful. Less rhetoric about terminal illnesses would be appreciated. I will look in to getting Tums, or something else, for the possibility of reflux. I have gained several pounds over the last year, and have been suffering from the reflux for about three months, but am doubtful that this is the cause. The sinus issues seem more plausible, but I have been a sinus sufferer my entire life. I seems odd that now, at 41, I would be just starting to smelling the smoke / dust smell.

 

Thank you for any and all input on this. It is much appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i

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Den, Community Member
12/ 3/12 11:58am

I also lost a ton a weight on a stringent diet and exercise program.  Then I was sick for over a month with severe bronchitis and now I'm constantly tasting and smelling smoke and dust.  Seems like there is definitely some connection here!

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Den, Community Member
12/ 3/12 11:59am

I also lost a ton a weight on a stringent diet and exercise program.  Then I was sick for over a month with severe bronchitis and now I'm constantly tasting and smelling smoke and dust.  Seems like there is definitely some connection here!

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vicinaz, Community Member
1/16/12 9:22pm

It is amazing to read ab0out so many with the same sympoms I'm having...smelling a smouldering campfire all the time.  It started about a week ago and at first I was mad at the neighbors burning something all night.  But everyone in my house says they can't smell it.  Then I noticed the smell every where I go so I just realized its all in my head!  I have mygrain caused by hydroceflus (misspelled I'm sure) also known as psuedo tumor.  But have recently started accupunture for the headaches and this problem started as soon as the headaches stopped. Go figure!?!  vic

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Lauramommyof2, Community Member
10/ 2/11 1:32am

Hi Tracey, I have been doing this for about a year now too...I have a terrible post nasal drip cough which is caused by really bad allergies which I have recently started taking shots for hopefully they will start helping soon.  I started feeling like this when I was working at a grocery store and in the entry way it always smelled like cigarette smoke because people would put their cigarettes out before going into the store but I haven't worked there in over 8 months and I still smell it occasionally and no one in my house smokes either.  It's the strangest thing and I don't even mention it to anyone anymore because they would think I am crazy.  I am really glad I am not crazy and that other people have this same issue.  It must have something to do with allergies or maybe acid reflux, maybe the chronic cough I have is caused by acid reflux but the only thing is I don't usually have heartburn or anything just a cough that almost feels like asthma but it's not because I have been tested they said it's post nasal drip.  Right now I am smelling the smoke and have been feeling that way all day, it comes and goes but is very annoying like I am in a bar and need to go get some fresh air but can't get it.  Write me back when you can.  Good luck.  Laura

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Lori, Community Member
10/23/12 12:27pm

I started smelling cigarette smoke in February of this year. I'm 55 and healthy (although about 30 pound overweight). I went to my doctor thinking it was related to sinus issues I had been having off and on over the winter. I did have sinusitis but he sent me to an ENT because of the smoke smell. I had an MRI and they unexpectedly found an aneurysm in my head that was quite large (1-1/2 CM). They weren't sure if the smell was related to the aneuysm but left open the possibility that the restricted blood flow may have interfered with my olfactory nerves. I had the aneurysm repair surgery in May and had not had any incidences of smelling cigarette smoke smell until this past Saturday when it unexpectedly returned. Coincidentally, I have been having sinus problems again for the past couple of weeks and have been sneezing, blowing my nose and coughing a lot. I'm also experiencing a lot of acid reflux for some strange reason. I called my surgeon's office and they don't think its necessary for me to come in because they don't believe it's being caused by the aneurysm or the surgery. They said if it continued or got worse, which it has, I should call my regular doctor, which I did today. I'll let you know what happens, but there seems to be a definite pattern with all the posts I'm reading about sinus issues, acid reflux and allergies.

 

Thanks.

Lori

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miles, Community Member
10/23/11 11:53pm

Thank God for confirming that I'm not crazy. Mine started about a two weeks ago. All of a sudden I smell this cigarette smoke inside my office. The funny thing is nobody in the office smokes. I smoke for a decade and been clean for seven years now. But I still remember the smell of the cigarette. The worst part is, it's the smell of a second hand smoke. I told my wife that someone is trying to "voodoo" me or something for I am the only one smelling the smoke. It's just good to know that I am not the only one experiencing this weird thing. I'll try to set up an appointment with my doctor soon and hope she will solve my problem. To those who post their experiences in here. You guys are awesome. Kind Regards, Miles

 

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Misty, Community Member
2/20/12 4:48pm

I have always thought it was my deceased "chain smoking" father's spirit coming to visit me.  I don't believe in such, but this always happens when I am struggling about something.  In the back of my mind I can hear daddy telling me "don't do it", or "you know better".  It has really been creeping me out.  It feels good to know that others are experiencing this.  I hate the smell, but the thought of daddy being near by makes it tolerable when this happens. 

 

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Lourdes Martinez, Community Member
2/ 7/12 9:48pm
Tracey, I was suffering from same problem and recently realized it was the CFL bulbs in my lamps. Try replacing them with incandescent bulbs and see if there is any change. They can emit mercury vapors and are dangerous. It's worth trying if u have those bulbs. Thankfully I don't smell smoke anymore since replacing them. Good luck Reply
Martin Friedman, Community Member
5/14/12 1:41pm

SurprisedHello.  My name is Martin.  I live in North Carolina and I have been driving my wife crazy a long time because I too constantly smell smoke when none is around.  Yes, all doctors think we are nuts and right away they have us dying from a tumor.  I have been to ENTs all my life, took every test and nothing shows up.  My wife sometimes thinks I too am exaggerating this.  My wife thinks it is perhaps a factor as to where we live that affects some, not all of us.  We live right by a major airport and naturally, the planes emit gases and fumes that may affect us.  I have always been an allergy sufferer and occasionally have sinusitis.  Nothing I do alleviates this.  I drink water all day.  Doesn't it seem to you that the odor is very like when you pass a house that burned down the previous day - the horrific burning odor?  It stays with you all day and even wakes you up at night?  It comes and goes and I never know when it will occur.  And, absolutely no flames or fire are around when I suffer.  As I am writing this, it is Monday, May 14 and I have it again as I am sitting here while I e-mail you.  Sooo many of us are suffering and no one cares.  As you say, how many times can you pay a doctor who invariably tells you nothing prudent!  You may e-mail me anytime at Friedmanmartin@rocketmail.com.  Thank you for yuur input.

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kevadb1, Community Member
6/20/12 12:08am

Oh thank goodness.  I noticed the smell of smoke a few months back and it took me a while to realize I was the only one smelling it.  I smell it both at work and at home.  I do suffer from migraines and acid reflux, but I haven't had a headache in quite some time, so I'm not sure the smell is related to that.  This is such an annoying problem and I am terrified I have a brain tumor or something.  It is so refreshing to know that others share this odd phenomenon and it may not be a s serious as I thought.  I'm also having problems with my ears being stopped up.  This has been going on for nine months.  I have a doctor's appt in the next month and will probably also see an ENT specialist at UNC Hospitals to try and figure all this out.  I will keep you posted as I hope you will if you find out anything.

 

 

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kevadb1, Community Member
6/20/12 12:10am

Oh thank goodness.  I noticed the smell of smoke a few months back and it took me a while to realize I was the only one smelling it.  I smell it both at work and at home.  I do suffer from migraines and acid reflux, but I haven't had a headache in quite some time, so I'm not sure the smell is related to that.  This is such an annoying problem and I am terrified I have a brain tumor or something.  It is so refreshing to know that others share this odd phenomenon and it may not be a s serious as I thought.  I'm also having problems with my ears being stopped up.  This has been going on for nine months.  I have a doctor's appt in the next month and will probably also see an ENT specialist at UNC Hospitals to try and figure all this out.  I will keep you posted as I hope you will if you find out anything.

 

 

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Martin Friedman, Community Member
5/14/12 1:42pm

SurprisedHello.  My name is Martin.  I live in North Carolina and I have been driving my wife crazy a long time because I too constantly smell smoke when none is around.  Yes, all doctors think we are nuts and right away they have us dying from a tumor.  I have been to ENTs all my life, took every test and nothing shows up.  My wife sometimes thinks I too am exaggerating this.  My wife thinks it is perhaps a factor as to where we live that affects some, not all of us.  We live right by a major airport and naturally, the planes emit gases and fumes that may affect us.  I have always been an allergy sufferer and occasionally have sinusitis.  Nothing I do alleviates this.  I drink water all day.  Doesn't it seem to you that the odor is very like when you pass a house that burned down the previous day - the horrific burning odor?  It stays with you all day and even wakes you up at night?  It comes and goes and I never know when it will occur.  And, absolutely no flames or fire are around when I suffer.  As I am writing this, it is Monday, May 14 and I have it again as I am sitting here while I e-mail you.  Sooo many of us are suffering and no one cares.  As you say, how many times can you pay a doctor who invariably tells you nothing prudent!  You may e-mail me anytime at Friedmanmartin@rocketmail.com.  Thank you for yuur input.

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Marty, Community Member
6/ 4/12 9:54pm

Hi Martin. I too have the same symptons. Started about 6 months ago. It only happens when I'm indoors and so far have only noticed it at my house and my mother's house. I have had reflux issues, but not lately. And I do drink coffee every morning. So not sure if gases in the stomach is a part of it as other here have suggested. I do have allergy issues and take over the counter meds for that. 

 

So similar problems as others here. Good to see I'm not the only one. As long as it is not a sympton of a serious problem, I can live with it. Don't want to change my life style or run a lot of expensive test. But if anyone gets an answer for our problem, I hope they will post it here.

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Nikki C, Community Member
7/28/12 7:33am

Hello Tracey,

My name is Niccole and I have been having this same problem for a few days now and it seems worst when im sitting or laying down. My cousin always says "Google is great you can find anything"...so here I am 4:00 am reading to my surprise that others have the same problem.  I have a very senstive sense of smell that my husband always teases me about. I am semi-allergic to cigarette smoke and I avoid it at all cost.  The funny thing is I live in Las Vegas so that is very hard to do but I DO!!!! This smell of smoke is starting to make my throat irrated and my eyes watery.  Which is exactly how I feel when I am anywhere that people smoke for any  period of time.  You are not crazy and as you can see many are going through the same thing!!!!  I checked my neighbors next door because they smoke and I thought it might be coming in my windows...went outside to see if they were in their backyard but they weren't so I went in a checked all my windows anyway...NOTHING!! So, I am totally stumped on this one. I recently was diagnose with kidney cancer and I have went through surgery and now everything is fine and I dont have to have chemo or radiation.  So, I understand not wanting to go through a whole lot more test or money as you mentioned.  I have been reading different responses for about 20 minutes now and they have went from the bizzare tumor to acid reflux...so I really dont know.  To be honest, its better to be safe than sorry so I think we should both talk to our doctors and get a medical opinion and not get all freaked out over other people's self-diagnosing the problem.  I am a true worry wort...I worry about everything.  But in this case I say clam down, don''t panic , and seek medical advice...and yes, unfortunately it's gonna cost us but WE ARE NOT CRAZY and something is happening to us... I hope I've made you feel some better and at ease but if you need to discuss this futher at another time my email is niccole100@msn.com.

 

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kittyone33, Community Member
8/16/12 12:37am

It's been a year since almost exactly to the date and even the time but I too have been smelling the smoke smell for a few weeks and it is soooooooooo irritating.  I haven't had any type of sinus infection, don't have migranes and haven't had any signs of acid reflux either.  I initially noticed this the day after being on a very smoky and rough water casino cruise and have been smelling it ever since. I don't and new have smoked, there is no smoking at my job but I smell it all the time. have you gotten any relief?? paulette

 

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Alicia, Community Member
7/ 1/11 6:13pm

I have been smelling a smokey smell too!  And guess what?  I started walking to lose weight almost three months ago and have since lost 27 pounds.  And now I have this strange smell I can't seem to get away from.  I can tell it's only in my nose and not from external factors.  In fact, last night I had trouble sleeping just from the strong oder making me feel sick to my stomach.  I'm going to try to find out more about this....let me know if you have found anything out since writing this!  Thanks!

 

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Robert W, Community Member
7/ 5/11 6:41pm

Just by chance my wife tolf to Google it, and I can't believe all of the people who have the same symptoms.  For about three months now all I can smwll is cigarette smoke.  I quit in 1981 and my wife quit in 1978.  We live in a condo and none of our neighbors smoke either.  And yes, it's driving me nuts too.  On July 18th. I'm going in for an endoscopy & colonoscopy, I hope that this may show the reason for this wierd symptom. No body else who comes into our home smells it, but I smell it all the time, even while outside or in a restaraunt.

 

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lotl, Community Member
7/20/11 11:03pm

Yes, I recently lost 20 pounds from eating less food and the smoke smell has started since losing the weight. I just had a CT scan and it came back normal. I see my Dr. next week. I read something on another forum that it could be related to acide reflux. I do not have any symptoms of acid reflux but the poster said you can have it without having symptoms. i am thinking of trying some Prevacid or other OTC med and see if the smells go away.

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sothrnblze, Community Member
8/29/11 11:51pm

Hi, I'm experiencing the same problem and I can't get rid of the smell of smoke. I know I have mold in my home. I want to know taking the medicine for acid reflux helped you?

 

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sothrnblze, Community Member
8/29/11 11:52pm

Hi, I'm experiencing the same problem and I can't get rid of the smell of smoke. I know I have mold in my home. I want to know taking the medicine for acid reflux helped you?

 

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j, Community Member
1/13/12 12:55pm

If anyone has started taking Phentermine, to lose weight like myself, I would like to know because I started a month ago and started smelling cigarette smoke.  Glad I'm not in this alone.

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kashay, Community Member
1/25/12 5:40am

I have been taking Phentermine on and off for almost 2 years. I haven't taken it in about two months. I thought I was going crazy a few months ago when I could smell cigarette smoke!! My husband and child couldn't smell it and no one smokes in our home. It went away and it's been back for a week or so now. It's driving me crazy because I HATE that smell! I have been on to my friends, parents, and grandparents all of my life about quitting smoking because it stinks and the side effects and now this!!! This is the first time I've googled it and when people were saying they had lost so much weight I wondered if they had taken Phentermine to do it. I also have had sinus issues lately along with miagranes and acid reflux. I'm going to make a doctors appointment and hopefully figure this out.

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ziegan, Community Member
3/14/12 4:16am

Tonight I can't sleep because the smell of smoke throughout my home is soooo bad--and guess what--I'm on Phentermine, losing weight, and a non-smoker.  No acid reflux, though.

 

I've barely been able to eat today because everything tasted so incredibly bad. I even tried to cheat on my diet to see if I was just sick of my meal plan.  When I ate other foods, they tasted horrible.  Everything tastes horrible.  It's like I can taste every single synthetic chemical used to make up whatever I'm eating.  Very, very weird.

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Trudy, Community Member
4/18/12 3:44am

 

I got on line looking for a possible explanation to why I'm smelling cigarette smoke all the time. My eyes and throat sting like I'm in the presence of smoke. But I've never smoked; I work on a smoke free campus, and live in a smoke free home. About 3 months ago I went to the Doc. thinking I was about to have heart failure. It was acid reflux. It was the first time I had experienced acid reflux. Later my Doc. was concerned about my weight gain and suggested Phentermine. I took 1 daily for about 2 weeks. The constipation became so extreme that I cut back to 1 every 3 days; I lost 20lbs. I did have a sinus infection recently too.

 

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emm, Community Member
4/26/12 2:36pm

I've also been smelling cigarette smoke all the time.  It started about 3 weeks ago while I was in the middle of a really bad sinus infection.  Based on many of the posts here I would definitely blame it on the sinus infection.  Hopefully it goes away soon!

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Moe, Community Member
6/21/12 10:04am

 

I have been on Phentermine (a weight loss medicine) and have lost >20 KG. Thinking back now, the smoke smell and phentermine started almost at the same time... I also take Mecardis (hypertension) medication, it immediately caused a nasty dry smelling and breathing issues. Reading the above posts revealed a plausible relationship between weight loss and this nasty smell. I did smoke for 25 years and gave up 5 years ago. 

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vi, Community Member
8/23/11 12:35am

I started having this experience in August of 2010 too.  I live in the Grand Prairie area, could it be environmental or allergy medication related?

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Mara, Community Member
10/30/11 1:54am

Hey Marvin, I have been on a work outplan and have been smelling smoke for about a month now.  I'm thinking it might be the combo of the shakes and the ingredients in them and another supplement i tried about a month ago.  I was thinking the combo was creating it so I stop the other suppements and I still smell it almost taste it :(

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Dede, Community Member
2/28/11 1:23am

I have been smelling cig smoke where there is none as well. I saw a neurologist and he thinks I am having simple partial seizures.  I do not lose consciousness, but only smell the smoke.

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JCB, Community Member
2/28/11 8:07pm

"I saw a neurologist and he thinks I am having simple partial seizures."


Why does he think you are having seizures? This seems to be one of the reoccurring themes in our discussion--seizures and/or seizrure medication. Is there a test that he gave you that indicates that you are having seizures?

 

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Julia, Community Member
3/ 3/11 12:32am

I just found this website and I can't believe that there are other people who actually smell smoke when there is NO SMOKE, too!!  Not that I'm glad anyone else is suffering with this, I just thought it was me : (  No one in my family smells the smoke besides me.  I have been suffering with this for over 2-years now and no physician has figured it out.  Went to my family MD and ENT who ordered a CT, nothing to answer why I am smelling smoke.  Surely there is a specialist somewhere who has dealt with this before.  Does anyone have any suggestions at all??  I can't stand this anymore, it makes me so nauseated...

Julia 

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missdaisy, Community Member
3/ 8/11 7:15pm

I too have had this problem for a couple of years. I noticed it after a very severe sinus infection and bronchitis. After I was "well" it started. But I didn't realize that, or connect the dots until about a year later. this May it will be three years. It is subsiding a little. Only comes and goes. but up until now it was constant. Shifting from cig smoke to gasoline...even to the point where my eyes watered and I would sneeze. I guess if I had a brain tumor I'd be dead already. So I just live with it.

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TXJoy, Community Member
6/28/11 4:30pm

Not necessarly. It is still prudent to get a work up by a Neurologist to rule out tumors (yes they can be slow growing), seziures, pituitary problems, sinus issues including cancers. If all is clear, then just live with it. 

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Wendy, Community Member
3/28/11 4:28pm

I just found this website too. I am actually amazed that anyone else has this problem. But it is driving me crazy. I thought maybe I was getting smoke from the apartment next door but noone else  smells this but me and I don't even know if they smoke. It is driving me crazy. I can't stand it. It comes and goes. I read where some doctors talk about seizures. Could this actually be acurate. I am going to put a scent out and see if that helps cover this smell. I am actually getting sick from the cigarette smell. Sorry anyone else has to suffer with this but glad to see I'm not alone....Wendy

 

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Doug, Community Member
4/11/11 3:00am

I'm so glad I found all of the other people who are experiencing this besides me (I'm not glad that you are experiencing it, but that I'm not alone, or worse yet, crazy!). I too, thought I was getting cigarette smoke from the apartment next door, but that was proven to me not to be the case. It was driving me nuts, I could SWEAR I smelled the smoke. But when a long time friend did not smell what I could plainly smell and looked at me quizzically, I knew something was up.

In October 2009 I had alcohol-related seizures that landed me in the ICU for 7 days. Luckily I had not experienced any long-term effects that I could tell. This smoke smelling has only been present for about the last 4 months or so, that I can recall. Could it be related? What triggered it? I don't know.

I'm unemployed and have no insurance so I guess I'll just have to try to live with it and ignore it.

Doug

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nose trouble, Community Member
8/ 5/11 2:04pm

Hey Doug, I feel for you, mine isn't exactly a smoke smell so much as a burning smell but I think it may be computer related. I just started using computers last April 2010 and have had trouble with smells ever sense, could be acid reflux or bile reflux or something to that effect because we are bent in half most of the day but also our nasal passages get dried out a lot faster than if we were outside breathing the fresh air, I tried moisterizers but i just dry up to fast so I am going to give a go at no comp for 30 days and see if things return to normal. My Drs can find no problems Ct scans, antibiotics, acid reducers no luck SOOOOOO. No computer whats to lose?  

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nose trouble, Community Member
8/ 5/11 2:05pm

Hey Doug, I feel for you, mine isn't exactly a smoke smell so much as a burning smell but I think it may be computer related. I just started using computers last April 2010 and have had trouble with smells ever sense, could be acid reflux or bile reflux or something to that effect because we are bent in half most of the day but also our nasal passages get dried out a lot faster than if we were outside breathing the fresh air, I tried moisterizers but i just dry up to fast so I am going to give a go at no comp for 30 days and see if things return to normal. My Drs can find no problems Ct scans, antibiotics, acid reducers no luck SOOOOOO. No computer whats to lose?  

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Phyllis, Community Member
4/21/11 4:49pm

Over the past few days I have been smelling cigarette smoke where there is none. I had a friend last year who went through the same thing and was told there may be a brain tumor, had a CT and they found nothing.  They symptoms went away for him.  As mine continues yet again today, I wondered what could be the cause.  I just started putting antibiotics in my ear for an possible infection and thought it might be that.  Now that you mention possible partial seizures, it makes me wonder if its connected to these mini-seizures I began having when hitting my head hard.  I went through a huge battery of tests for epilepsy including MRI and CT and they found nothing.  I do have a displaced c7 verterbrae pressing into my spinal cord that may have contributed to the mini-seizures and perhaps this smell of cigarette smoke is connected to this as well.  It is so weird!!

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CR, Community Member
6/ 3/11 5:29pm

What was your CT scan said?

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JCMaturan, Community Member
12/30/11 2:49pm

I use to smoke but kicked the habbit back in 1999.  I have the same problem but it only lasts for a few days.  I thought it was my body trying to get rid of the old tar that was in my lungs long ago

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marvin bourque, Community Member
1/29/11 4:31pm

Did you ever get a answere to your problem? I spent over 11 hundred dollars trying to find out where the smell was comming from that no one else could smell.PLUMBERS,SEPTIC, AIR DUCTS.WATER HEATER REPLACED. I went and seen a ENT. he acted as if I was crazy.He did order a CT. I'm waiting on results still.Suppose to find something out next week. write back,thanks. Marvin.

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marvin bourque, Community Member
1/29/11 4:31pm

Did you ever get a answere to your problem? I spent over 11 hundred dollars trying to find out where the smell was comming from that no one else could smell.PLUMBERS,SEPTIC, AIR DUCTS.WATER HEATER REPLACED. I went and seen a ENT. he acted as if I was crazy.He did order a CT. I'm waiting on results still.Suppose to find something out next week. write back,thanks. Marvin.

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Daren, Community Member
10/22/10 1:34am

Thanks goodness I am not alone! This is soooooo weird. Mine started just recently, the past few weeks. It is not constant, but periodically through the day no matter where I am at. And it does smell like the smoke from damp wood burning. It has had be thinking and a bit worried so I even told my colleagues at work about it and showed them all where the fire extinquishers are just in case I spontaneouly combust.. just put me out if that happens!

 

Daren

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Reta, Community Member
5/21/11 10:27am

You are not alone.  My doctor ordered extensive tests including an MRI of my head and found nothing.  Ruling out all possible physical causes, she diagnosed it as a migraine aura.  Migraines do not always result in pounding headache.  Mine don't.  I will get a mild headache if the smell is long lasting or intense causing me to sneeze or eyes burn.  Stress will also bring on the smell which is often associated with migraine.  I have just learned to live with it and as time goes on, I notice it, but it doesn't drive me insane as it did when it first started.

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LucyKitty8, Community Member
7/24/11 9:10am

I'm ecstatic to find out I am not alone with this problem.  I have had it for over a year now.  I have had migraines in the past and am wondering if this is connected.  I was hesitant to mention this to my doctor since I have so many other ailments I know he'll think I'm nuts.  But I have to ask now.....it has been driving me crazy...even the eyes burning.  Thank you for your post.

 

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Kimberly, Community Member
1/22/11 10:15pm

I have been experiencing this for two weeks. It is driving me mad! Someone please help! This is making me crazy. :(

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Broodie, Community Member
4/19/11 2:27pm

Can you tell me how I can inform someone of this who is in complete denial...

 

My roomate has had these symptoms for 2 months now and hes proceeding to try and ruin my life because he thinks that I smoke in his room when hes gone and blow smoke towards his room when he sleeps but he wont listen to me at all, I'm getting really stressed out.

 

I've tried talking to him but he yells over me, wakes me up at nights/morning banging on my door and screaming profanities.

 

Recently hes been trying hard to deter my landlords from giving me my damage deposit, because I'm definitely moving out. He's also talked trash behind my back to my family and friends...

 

Anyways, How can I guaranteed convince an unreasonable/unrational person of this?!

I'm warm hearted in nature and while he's really really getting on my nerves I dont wanna see him go insane.

 

FYI: We are both smokers, after a month of him complaining I decided to stop smoking for 1.5 weeks without telling him just to see if it really was me. On the seventh day that I stopped he came shouting at my door really aggressively, so I woke up and got dressed (I had been asleep for around 6 hours) and went to the hallway. His eyes were glossed over and he said he could see my cigarette smoke in the air, but I didnt see anything. Then he said his room was filled with the smell so I asked him if I could go in his room and smell, I did and I smelled 0% smoke at all.

 

Please give me a hand if you can I'm super stressed out and hope this information helps :(

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Nikki C, Community Member
7/28/12 8:11am

Hi Broodie,

This is my first time on this site and I seen your post...I am hoping and assuming that you have moved out and all your stress and problems are gone!!!  But just in case you are still dealing with this "special" individual why don't you let him read the post of othe rpeople who have smoke smelling symptoms..in a calm and rational way and then maybe your roommate will see that there is other serious issues here!! He may have a medical problem not a bad roommateWink

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Nikki C, Community Member
7/28/12 8:11am

Hi Broodie,

This is my first time on this site and I seen your post...I am hoping and assuming that you have moved out and all your stress and problems are gone!!!  But just in case you are still dealing with this "special" individual why don't you let him read the post of othe rpeople who have smoke smelling symptoms..in a calm and rational way and then maybe your roommate will see that there is other serious issues here!! He may have a medical problem not a bad roommateWink

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gotsparkles, Community Member
4/27/11 2:21am

I almost cried when I found this!!  It is such a relief to know that I am (hopefully) not going crazy! 

 

I have never had a very good sense of smell, that is until I got pregnant.  We live in a single family home and during my pregnancy I could actually smell our neighbors smoking inside their home. 

 

Well our son is now 19 months old and, even though I cannot smell other scents as acutely as I did when pregnant, I still smell cigarette smoke like it's right next to me.  The problem is, it apparently isn't there... Not in my home, or my car, or my place of work.  No one else can smell it.  It's not constant, but occurs several times (maybe a dozen or more) throughout the day.  It's awful - my eyes and throat burn, I can't breathe in through my nose. I can take a full breath with my mouth, so I know it's not a lung capacity issue...  I really wish I could get rid of it!!

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Ann, Community Member
5/26/11 8:33am

It was only out of desperation I googled it.  I would never have thought this happens to others. I am neither a smoker nor anyone in my family.  Months ago I started smelling cigarette smoke in my office to the point where I could not breathe. Hovever, no one else smelt it.  The smell was so intense that I left the office in search of the person smoking near by. I started to worry when I would smell cigarette smoke in my car, at home etc.  The episodes occurred for some months and then it stopped as suddenly as it appeared. Nearly forgot about it when it all started again two days ago.  I am home by myself at this moment and the cigarette smoke is taking my breath away. What amuses me is "why cigarette smoke" and not roses??? :-) The sad think is I have never thought to mention it to my doctor.

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lovetambra, Community Member
11/27/11 11:02pm

This is crazy, I've been smelling smoke for the past three years, but I always thought it was  psychosomatic because my Dad died almost 3 years ago and it always happens when I'm in my home office. I just thought maybe he was visiting me or tormenting me somehow. He was always a jokester and he knew how much I hated smoking. I'm sitting here working right now and I smell it clear as day. I was wondering if it could be some type of tumor or some brain thing, but I don't know, maybe it is just Dad checking up on me and not letting me forget him.... oh by the way, I have 2 monitors on my desk, hmm maybe it is computer related?

 

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Misty, Community Member
2/20/12 7:55pm

Lovetambra,

I completely agree that it is your father checking in on  you.  My daddy was a chain smoker, and this always happens when I am stressed about something major in my life.  Daddy was also a jokester.  He also hated that when he got very sick, that I would not go and buy his cigarrettes.  I do not have any other health problems and I can say that I can sort of feel his presence when this happens.  It took me a while to  figure it out when it first happened about 5 years ago.  My eyes water, and my throat feels as if I am in a smoke filled bar.  I have convinced myself that it is my daddy, and I just deal with it with the comfort of knowing thaat he is watching over me.   I hope this helps to comfort you, even if just a little bit.

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lovetambra, Community Member
11/27/11 11:03pm

This is crazy, I've been smelling smoke for the past three years, but I always thought it was  psychosomatic because my Dad died almost 3 years ago and it always happens when I'm in my home office. I just thought maybe he was visiting me or tormenting me somehow. He was always a jokester and he knew how much I hated smoking. I'm sitting here working right now and I smell it clear as day. I was wondering if it could be some type of tumor or some brain thing, but I don't know, maybe it is just Dad checking up on me and not letting me forget him.... oh by the way, I have 2 monitors on my desk, hmm maybe it is computer related?

 

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gotsparkles, Community Member
4/27/11 2:21am

I almost cried when I found this!!  It is such a relief to know that I am (hopefully) not going crazy! 

 

I have never had a very good sense of smell, that is until I got pregnant.  We live in a single family home and during my pregnancy I could actually smell our neighbors smoking inside their home. 

 

Well our son is now 19 months old and, even though I cannot smell other scents as acutely as I did when pregnant, I still smell cigarette smoke like it's right next to me.  The problem is, it apparently isn't there... Not in my home, or my car, or my place of work.  No one else can smell it.  It's not constant, but occurs several times (maybe a dozen or more) throughout the day.  It's awful - my eyes and throat burn, I can't breathe in through my nose. I can take a full breath with my mouth, so I know it's not a lung capacity issue...  I really wish I could get rid of it!!

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Lovescoffee123, Community Member
10/24/11 7:27pm

HI the first time I experienced this was when I was pregnant too. I thought it was  something to do with hormones. It would come and go, but even now not pregnant it happens. I feel like someone is right next to me smoking, and no one in my home smokes. Very freaky, strange. I would love to know what is causing this? I was very surprised to see so many people have the same problem!

 

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Lily, Community Member
6/18/11 3:32pm

Oh man, I tore my place up looking for the smell and it's not to be found. I too have a) Acif Reflux b) have recently lost 20 pounds (dieting makes reflux worse - the lighter my meal the worse I feel which is wierd) and c) I had severe bronchitis in December around the time this all started.

 

Wow.  I recently (about 5 years ago had a Brain MRI to check for MS and all was fine) so unless it's something new I don't think it's that. I think it's something related to a, b, c above. I've started doing sinus irrigation with salt water just to see if it helps anything

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Cathy, Community Member
6/24/11 12:22pm

I fell down my steps about 6 months ago and landed on my face on a concrete floor.  I had a severe concussion, and I still suffer from daily headaches (concussion headaches are very different from normal headaches or migraines).  I was smelling smoke for days, and I finally googled it and found this site.  I was so relieved to know that there are other people experiencing the same thing.  My "concussion" doctor said it is completely normal.  Today, I am smelling skunk, and there is none in my office.  I hope it all goes away soon - the smells make me nauseated!  My doctor tells me that I should be thankful for being 6 feet above the ground instead of 6 feet below the ground.  I agree.  Good luck to everyone! 

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g808, Community Member
7/24/11 9:13am

Oh my. I was so baffled as to why my boyfriend could not smell this noxiuos burning smell that plagues my days and nights. To me it smells like plastic burning. But I only experience it in our bedroom. I was convinced that the wires were burning in the walls! But NO ONE ELSE smells this. It is so strong that it makes my eyes burn and water all the time. And I swear I can feel like a coating of soot from this smoke smell in my nose and down the back of my throat. It even feels like it is permeating down to my stomach making me nauseaus. It also seemed to make my bones ache and seems to affect my memory as well as makes me lethargic, so I was certain is was some kind of poisonous fumes. The odd thing is that my little dog that stays in the same room as I smell it in has started hacking/choking/coughing. I too get a flem build up from what I thought was a layer of soot from the burning substance. I have always had an excellent sense of smell and a very sensitive pallate. There was an occassion where I smelled a gas leak when no one else could. This is baffling. So many people with this symptom. If it is a brain tumor it is probalbly from using cell phones. Is there anyone experiencing this that hasn't used a cellphone? It is hard for me to accept this. We are going to rent an air sensor that detects gases and fumes. I will definitely post the results. If they do come back negative I will definitely be making a Dr.s appt. P.S. I am a long time smoker, I have been experiencing this off and on for the past 2-3 years (mostly on) and only while I sit on our leather couch in our room, which is most of the day and night...So what is it that we all have in common that is causing this symptom? Could it be our cell phones? The Swiss did find that it caused brain tumors in rats. After pondering I have a few other possibilities: Silver fillings and/or root canals. As an assistant I have observed Dr.s heating a metal instrument in order to seal the gutta percha in the canals to finalize the root canal. Smoke would appear when the hot metal seared the gutta percha and that could now be seaping into out nasal passages and down our throats and stomaches and up into our orbital cavities. Maybe. Plausable. We need to take a poll of everyone experiencing this to find out what is causing it. Truly bothersome. Any suggestions anyone?Undecided

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g808, Community Member
7/27/11 8:51am

So we used a tester and it didn't detect anything. Bummer. Hope it is not a brain tumor. But unlike everyone else, I only smell it in our one room. No where else. Weird. Oh well, 2012!Cool

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g808, Community Member
7/27/11 8:51am

So we used a tester and it didn't detect anything. Bummer. Hope it is not a brain tumor. But unlike everyone else, I only smell it in our one room. No where else. Weird. Oh well, 2012!Cool

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walnutmiss, Community Member
10/11/11 12:57am

A number of times over the last few years, I have been awakened by the smell of smoke (wood-burning smoke, not cigarette smoke).  You wondered if there was anyone who experiences a faux odor who doesn't use a cell-phone.  I do not.  I don't have acid reflux; however, recently, I have lost about 15 pounds.  It is past midnight and I got awake thinking our house was on fire.  Doesn't appear to be. I decided to see if I could find an answer on-line and found this sight.  Very strange that so many people have similar weird experiences.

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Treasurechick, Community Member
8/ 5/11 7:34pm

I have had this issue on and off for about a year now. I do not normally have sinus issues. I have however owned a cleaning business for 15 years in the past and now worry that the chemicals I used has somehow caused me to be ultra sensitive to smell or to smell things that are not there. I dread doctors. I really don't want to go even though I have insurance. I'm glad I'm not alone (although sorry you all suffer with this too). I will probably have it checked out soon though. It even makes my chest ache like I need to cough from the smell. I don't have any congestion at all. Its just like someone is nearby smoking or was in the room before me smoking and I'm not working or living with any smokers. 

 

 

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Dreampusher, Community Member
8/ 7/11 10:37pm

I am so relieved to read that I'm not alone.  This 'smoke' thing has been bothering me off and on for a couple of months.  I had a head trauma about six years ago which left some deficits.   At one point, some of my physicians were concerned about Alzheimer’s. I also developed throat allergies to 'summer' two years ago and it has been a long, hot, humid one here in OH so my allergiy has gone from throat to ears and nose with allergy medicine not helping.  BTW, I have since been evaluated as not having dementia of any kind (a fact my brothers still refuse to believe) just still have the aforementioned head injury deficits.  So I can take my pick of causes, and I am not rushing back to the doctor (for a while, I felt like the guy from Verizon with the 'network' outside - only mine was a network of specialists).  BUT, it is a relief to know it isn't so abnormal.  Thank heavens it is only cigarette smoke I am fantasizing - it could be worse (maybe I’ll add a gorgeous George Clooney type hunk to the smoke in my head – that might make smelling the ‘smoke’ worth it).  Thanks for the chance to share.

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Dreampusher, Community Member
8/ 7/11 10:37pm

I am so relieved to read that I'm not alone.  This 'smoke' thing has been bothering me off and on for a couple of months.  I had a head trauma about six years ago which left some deficits.   At one point, some of my physicians were concerned about Alzheimer’s. I also developed throat allergies to 'summer' two years ago and it has been a long, hot, humid one here in OH so my allergiy has gone from throat to ears and nose with allergy medicine not helping.  BTW, I have since been evaluated as not having dementia of any kind (a fact my brothers still refuse to believe) just still have the aforementioned head injury deficits.  So I can take my pick of causes, and I am not rushing back to the doctor (for a while, I felt like the guy from Verizon with the 'network' outside - only mine was a network of specialists).  BUT, it is a relief to know it isn't so abnormal.  Thank heavens it is only cigarette smoke I am fantasizing - it could be worse (maybe I’ll add a gorgeous George Clooney type hunk to the smoke in my head – that might make smelling the ‘smoke’ worth it).  Thanks for the chance to share.

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Dreampusher, Community Member
8/ 7/11 10:37pm

I am so relieved to read that I'm not alone.  This 'smoke' thing has been bothering me off and on for a couple of months.  I had a head trauma about six years ago which left some deficits.   At one point, some of my physicians were concerned about Alzheimer’s. I also developed throat allergies to 'summer' two years ago and it has been a long, hot, humid one here in OH so my allergiy has gone from throat to ears and nose with allergy medicine not helping.  BTW, I have since been evaluated as not having dementia of any kind (a fact my brothers still refuse to believe) just still have the aforementioned head injury deficits.  So I can take my pick of causes, and I am not rushing back to the doctor (for a while, I felt like the guy from Verizon with the 'network' outside - only mine was a network of specialists).  BUT, it is a relief to know it isn't so abnormal.  Thank heavens it is only cigarette smoke I am fantasizing - it could be worse (maybe I’ll add a gorgeous George Clooney type hunk to the smoke in my head – that might make smelling the ‘smoke’ worth it).  Thanks for the chance to share.

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pisces_child, Community Member
8/24/11 2:12pm

I came across this site while seeking a similar answer, only mine is even more baffling!  Not only am I smelling the smoke, I came home from work the other day & kissed my husband, and he became defensive, and said my mouth tasted like cigarettes.  He wanted to know when I started smoking, which I denied, so then he accused of kissing someone who had been smoking (which I had not done).  I don't smoke, drink, use illlegal drugs, or cheat.  So I am baffled.  It has been going on for about a month now & I'm worried.  Any ideas?

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Amy, Community Member
9/ 6/11 12:07pm

I also  have been experiencing the cigarette smell for the past month - and it is literally making me sick.  In reading all of the comments, I think weight loss has something to do with it.  I lost about 50 pounds rather quickly about a year ago (stress) and then another 15 pounds over 2 months.  Part of the losing the last 15 pounds is due to the constant cigarette smell that I smell.  It seems so odd, but the constant nasty smell and now a constant dull aching headache (probably due to lack of food) that makes it hard for me to keep food down or even want to eat.  I was also told that I have some nerve damage in my foot.  Going to a neurologist next week and will discuss the smoke smell as I didn't originally talk about it to my primary doc.  Do you think it could be from a vitamin deficiency or something?  I know I am not at my healthiest and am wonder if others are in the same place.  Lost alot of weight-maybe too much and may not be eating healthy now which could cause a vitamin deficiency and maybe even nerve damage.  It is making me crazy. 

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Karrie, Community Member
10/ 7/11 9:39pm

I have been complaining about the smoke smell for about 2 weeks now.  I smell it at home and at work though both places are smoke free.  I recently started losing weight (15 lbs) and I take Rx for acid reflux.  I have suffered from migraines since third grade and I will turn 50 this year.  I also have a history of sinus problems.  I work at a highly stressful job.  It is wild that so many people experience this "smoke" sensation and we all have the same health issues.  

 

I have no issues with brain tumors, brain damage, schizophrenia or Alzheimer's Disease.  I am pretty much ruling these out.   

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RD Murray C.A.D.C., Community Member
11/23/11 2:41pm

          Being in the field of addiction, I can report that it's NOT always an indicator of a larger problem! I would first ask if this individual has recently stopped smoking cigarettes , or marijuana? It's common that one starts to smell the substance about twenty to thirty days after discontinuing the substance that he or she had been using,(smoking) or ingesting. This process occurs when the chemical begins to exit from the fatty tissue in our body. The substance still has to travel through the blood stream, which means "through the brain", which is where the sensors are (olfactory) that allows one to smell! This only occurs for a couple of seconds once the substance enters the brain but long enough to trigger the smell which the normal reaction is to look around to see where it's coming from? Even though it's a very short process I have had clients report dealing with this problem up to a year. I say problem because of how many of them end up relapsing not knowing or understanding what their body is going through, I always let my clients know that if they do experience this process that it is progress, and evidence that they are clearing up enough which basically means that they are recognizing the (internal body signals) which they were not able to do before, "you can't feel what you can't see". 

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RD Murray C.A.D.C., Community Member
11/23/11 2:41pm

          Being in the field of addiction, I can report that it's NOT always an indicator of a larger problem! I would first ask if this individual has recently stopped smoking cigarettes , or marijuana? It's common that one starts to smell the substance about twenty to thirty days after discontinuing the substance that he or she had been using,(smoking) or ingesting. This process occurs when the chemical begins to exit from the fatty tissue in our body. The substance still has to travel through the blood stream, which means "through the brain", which is where the sensors are (olfactory) that allows one to smell! This only occurs for a couple of seconds once the substance enters the brain but long enough to trigger the smell which the normal reaction is to look around to see where it's coming from? Even though it's a very short process I have had clients report dealing with this problem up to a year. I say problem because of how many of them end up relapsing not knowing or understanding what their body is going through, I always let my clients know that if they do experience this process that it is progress, and evidence that they are clearing up enough which basically means that they are recognizing the (internal body signals) which they were not able to do before, "you can't feel what you can't see". 

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Weeny, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:16pm

It could be the early signs of a lung infection. I suffer from COPD (14 years now after 1st diagnosis :) and whenever I start "smelling" smoke when there's no fire burning, it generally means that an infection is brewing. Usually it's the first sign. Even before the yellow phlegm. As I exhale normally, I 'taste' a slight smoky 'flavor'. What it really is I think is rotting bacteria and old phlegm that the new bacteria is breeding in. And the odor is wafting up as I exhale and then passing up slightly through my sinuses. Thereby giving me the sensation of a bar-bee-queue going on down there. Bummer :(. I'd say look out for that and get with your doctor about finding out for sure. Lung infections can smolder a long time before they get REAL serious and cause you to get pneumonia or kill you or whatever. But the thing is, they do loads of damage to your healthy lung tissue in the interim (which leads to scar tissue and that leads to more infections. Or even COPD like me). Get on an antibiotic asap. I know that's the first thing that I do.

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Wetzle, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:19pm

It could be the early signs of a lung infection. I suffer from COPD (14 years now after 1st diagnosis :) and whenever I start "smelling" smoke when there's no fire burning, it generally means that an infection is brewing. Usually it's the first sign. Even before the yellow phlegm. As I exhale normally, I 'taste' a slight smoky 'flavor'. What it really is I think is rotting bacteria and old phlegm that the new bacteria is breeding in. And the odor is wafting up as I exhale and then passing up slightly through my sinuses. Thereby giving me the sensation of a bar-bee-queue going on down there. Bummer :(. I'd say look out for that and get with your doctor about finding out for sure. Lung infections can smolder a long time before they get REAL serious and cause you to get pneumonia or kill you or whatever. But the thing is, they do loads of damage to your healthy lung tissue in the interim (which leads to scar tissue and that leads to more infections. Or even COPD like me). Get on an antibiotic asap. I know that's the first thing that I do.

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Robbi, Community Member
5/27/08 10:58pm

Hi Daniel,

That is crazy... I have been smelling the same thing for about a week now and I think it is going to bring on a migrane. I am online now trying to find answers when I saw this!!!  I am so glad I am not alone.  I guess I will have to call my doctor to find out what is going on.

 

Thanks,

Robbi

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Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 12:39pm

Hi guys! I have had this same thing going on for over two years... I have told doctors, when I was in for other medical reasons ( I have MS) and they have never heard of such a thing. I looked online in the past and never found anything until now. It's nice to know that I am not going crazy! I am sitting here smelling it right now, for 3 days straight and every time I breath in it not only smells like smoke, it burns just like the cig. was right under my nose... I am going to check all this info. out. Thank you for posting...

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thenoseknows, Community Member
2/13/10 2:51pm

Hello!  You are definitely not alone.  I have been smelling smoke (with no source of smoke in house or other places).  I have been taking an antibiotic, but smelled the smoke long before taking it.  I also take other medications for allergies and asthma Allegra XR (just started on generic form), Advair (years), Albuterol, any of which could possibly cause this as a side effect but have been taking them for years and this smell is somewhat recent (about 1/2-1 year).  If anyone who is experiencing this symptom would please indicate meds taken or illnesses, this would help narrow down some areas to investigate.

Thanks for the postings!Sealed

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Am I crazy?, Community Member
4/ 4/10 11:41am

I have the same problem. It was only happening in one room of my home but lately I've been smelling "smoke" everywhere. I am not on any medications. I have used Albuterol in the past but only on occasion. This has been going on for almost a year now.

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ann, Community Member
4/17/10 10:48pm

I saw the topic of smelling smoke a few years ago on one of those informative news shows they were about to tell the viewers that it was a symptom of something but needless to say, a commercial came on I left the room and sure enough when i walked back in it had gone off and moved on to the next topic. So much for bathroom breaks.  I have had the problem for several years maybe 7 or more it smells more like smoke that comes from burnt wood for me. It causes me to suffer from nausea the smell is so strong.  I have had problems with my sinus but I smell smoke even when there are no sinus problems it happens only a few times a year but it's a very terrible experience. I wondered for years if there were any other people that shared the same problem and today here they are I only wish we knew for a fact what the real problem was and not all the guessing maybe a doctor will read our stories and look for a connection other than sinuses. Millions of people suffer for sinus infections so there should be more than a handfull of people smelling smoke where there is none.

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according2jo, Community Member
5/29/10 8:00pm

Hello again,

 

Here is one of the links that describes the reasons for the smoke smell we are all experiencing.

I will find the other one that provides additional details and post asap.

 

http://www.airqualitytips.com/109/the-1-myth-about-smoke-allergies/

 

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

Joanne

 

 

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rick, Community Member
10/11/10 12:34pm

I do recommend this link to every one that is smelling smoke of anykind , even if you are not around smoke. I too smell smoke ( but it is not always the same smoke). I use combivent, and am allergic to cat dander,and I believe this is worth looking at.

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according2jo, Community Member
5/29/10 8:02pm

Hello to everyone who smells smoke and can't figure out why.

 

I also have this condition and it drives me crazy. I do, however, know where the smoke comes from. It is second hand smoke that you are smelling. (at least this is the case for me.)

I have had this problem on and off for many many years.

It always happens after I quit smoking. I get highly sensitive to anything that is cigarette related including; second hand smoke (whether it is in front of me or outside and far away from the building I am actually in.

I have proved this to myself by checking outside when the smell comes and sure enough it is my neighbour across the street who is having a cigarette on his deck.

Whenever the smell comes, I immediately get nauseated, my breathing changes, my head feels like it is being squeezed and my mood becomes irritated and angry.

I also despise the smell of smoke on other people's clothing, cars, houses, buildings, ashtrays, and while walking outdoors! What pisses me off the most is when I smell a poor innocent child who reeks of second hand smoke!!!!!

Because I am an ex-smoker, my body immediately wants to prevent the smoke from entering by causing the physical symptoms I get.

Furthermore, my special needs grandson coughs everytime the smell comes as well. He is not even 2 years old yet and this affects his asthma greatly. It bothers me that his already comprimized health gets affected by someone else's smoking! It boils my blood!

I have done extensive research on this topic and there is a lot of information on this specific topic...."sensitivity to second hand smoke." If I had the link right now, I would post it but I will have to look for the best one and post it here. I will write my message in red again so everyone can easily see it.

It talks about the reasons for these reactions and explains what chemicals are responsible for it.

ps.....has anyone else had this reaction after quitting smoking?

I have quit many many times and the problem with the smell was always there until I would fall off the wagon and start smoking again.

I have now quit for almost 3 years and still the smell makes me sick.

psss..... I forgot to mention, the tightness in the head is caused by blood vessels constricting when the smoke enters the nose.

I hope this helps some of you.

Joanne

 

 

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MRHAZ, Community Member
8/12/10 6:44pm

COULD BE but in most cases not.

DO not listen to untrained people or a doctor that lies to you or blows it off, downplaying it, IT COULD BE SERIOUS!!!

http://bodyodd.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2009/11/10/4380036-phantom-smells-may-be-a-sign-of-trouble

"Medical tests such as MRIs, CT scans and EEGs can find common physiological triggers such as tumor, sinus infection and epilepsy, but some patients never understand why they're suddenly inundated by the smell of garbage or rotting fish or burned coffee or cheese. While pinpointing the cause of phantosmia can sometimes be difficult, treatment is available, including nasal saline drops, anti-depressants, sedatives and anti-epileptic drugs.

Most patients respond to medication, however, a surgical procedure involving the olfactory bulb has also been shown to provide relief. Although normal aging brings a gradual loss of smell, phantosmia sometimes occurs with a reduced ability to smell real scents, another matter that can have serious ramifications, Hirsch says.

"AIDS can initially present with smell loss," he says. "Or it could be anything from vitamin deficiency to Alzheimer's to hypothyroidism to head trauma to stroke to diabetes to medication to leprosy."

One quick way to test whether your sense of smell is diminished is to dish up a bowl of ice cream.

"Take some vanilla ice cream and some chocolate ice cream and see if you can taste the difference," says Hirsch, who says ninety percent of taste is smell. "If you can't smell, they both taste the same."

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Savannah, Community Member
10/ 5/10 10:35pm

This is insane.   I thought it was in my mind, when a coworker came into my office and back off because of cigarette smoke.  Another coworker told me she could smell smoke off me.  I don't smoke.    I was fine before I went on vacation, then I came back to this.    They blocked off the vents in the ceiling in my office.  It still smells.  Now i'm sitting in the hallway till they have the air tested.  I also have developed a smokers cough!!!

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Phyllis, Community Member
4/21/11 5:01pm

Joanne,  I wonder if what you are experiencing has nothing to do with actual smoke.  Many of the respondants to this posting are having this experience with absolutely no proximity to someone smoking anywhere.  It seems that this condition is coming from something inside our bodies,not outside.  I am beginning to piece together some commonalities and one is sinus conditions and antibiotics. It would be great to solve this mystery.

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Monica, Community Member
4/25/11 3:44pm

Thank you Joanne! Finally someone gets it. I am convinced that if you smell smoke that is what it is! It's coming from somewhere! It's not your imagination or any health issue. It's there. I have a very sinsitive olfactory sense and I trust it. I have been smelling smoke in my bedroom and other rooms in the house for over two years and figured out it's our neighbor who smokes outside his house (front or back) about 300 yards away! I can tell he's out there when his light is on in the middle of the night. Frequently the smell wakes me up and I can't fall back asleep. We are going to install new windows and I pray that solves it. Worse however is the fact that now I smell it at work. I am in an open office environment and it seems that the air supply above my desk is pumping out second-hand smoke. Only two other people have smelled it faintly. Of course the HVAC guy who came to check did not. I know it's there. Someone is smoking in the stairwells or outside and it's coming into the building and makes its way through the air system. I do not have any medical issues. Not taking any medication. I am healthy. And I smell smoke. I can't breathe when it's around. It has a source. I am going to find it.

Monica

 

 

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MissisM, Community Member
2/11/12 5:46pm

Thank you so much! After reading this and thinking I was mad/had a brain tumour/was seriously ill, (I now realise that I must simply have a sensitive nose. We live in a three bed semi, have full double glazing and no-one in our family smokes. Unfortunately our attached neighbours DO smoke, usually outside. Since it's very cold at the moment, it could be they are smoking indoors, although we are at a loss as to how the smoke could actually be getting into our property as all doors and windows are closed tight and there aren't any vents or anything. If anyone can suggest how we can stop this without offending our otherwise pleasant neighbours, we would be very grateful (my husband and sons can't smell it, but they do believe me, nevertheless). Help and suggestions appreciated, as when this happens, I begin to feel quite ill. My chest constricts and my throat feels sore. I think it could be a reaction brought on from childhood as both my parents smoked in the house (it was the done thing when I was young) and I hate the smell now. Thanks.

 

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Mardi, Community Member
7/26/10 11:33am

Me too and it is the "burnt wood" like forest fire/wood burning stove smell.  It started about 2-3 weeks ago.  At first I thought it might be coming in through the A/C and it might be from some sort of small fire in the area (I live in Daytona Beach area and we are prone to forest fires during the dry season).  However, when I go outside - nothing.  Really sorry you took a bathroom break - Ha! Ha!  Right now sitting in front of this computer I am experiencing the burning wood smell and, you are right, it is almost nauseating.  I have read through all of the other replies but do not seem to find anything definitive.  The "PHANTOSMIA" may be a possibility but I have not suffered a head injury and I do not have upper respiratory infection, nor have (to my knowlege) suffered a temperal lobe stoke, seizure, sinusitis, brain tumor, Parkinson's disease.  Possibly first signs of Alzheimers.....  I suppose I could go to a doctor but I am one of those millions of persons who do not have health insurance and who would trust the diagnosis of a walk-in-clinic doctor as opposed to a Mayo clinic doctor??

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Jason H, Community Member
9/15/10 7:03pm

me too, me too, me too... exactly as you described.  Especially when I sit in the office and even at home when nobody around I got the "burnt wood" smell.  Sometime it was strong enough that triggered me to take a walk to see if everything is ok, or at least be causious and ready to exit the house in emergency. It 's an unpleasant feeling and lately i found out that it's fake but  what can i do.  I have health insurance and planing to go to doctor but sounds like this symptom is new and not sure if doctors can be able to help.  I will update more info here if i have a good news for you guys.  If you want to contact me, don't hesitate to write email to claren2020@yaoo.com.

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linda, Community Member
5/13/11 7:36pm

I am so happy I finally thought to google this!!!! I too have been smelling smoke for about 2 months or so. I too had a sinus infection, staph infection that was treated. I smell smoke almost all the time....it's disqusting...I even smell it when I am out...so I know its not my enviroment..

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shell, Community Member
6/28/11 2:39am

same thing here! staph infection in my left sinus, had to have surgery and LOTS of antibiotics. been smelling cigarette smoke off and on for about 3 years now. sometimes so bad i feel like i cant breathe...and it gives me a headache:o(

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Chris, Community Member
10/ 6/10 3:54am

I and a colleague had the same problem. I investigated the air-conditioning system and found it was the root cause. The air filters should have been changed every 6 to 8 weeks, but due to cost cutting exercises the filters had not been changed for 16 weeks. The filters clog up creating a larger pressure drop than the system can cope with, this over heats the filters. The filters contain oils which help in the particle filtration process, these oils when heated evaporate and enter the work space. The oils irritate the olefactory cells in the nasal passage which gives the sense of a dry smokey smell. The thing is not everyone is sensitive to the oils, so do not get the effect. Once the filters were changed the smell disapperaed. This also goes for filters for air cons in cars etc that should be cleaned or changed as recommended by the manufacturer. This is a well known problem in the air con industry.

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Johnson26636262, Community Member
12/19/10 8:19am

This is exactly the same case as mine when I bought two new air conditioners in July this year, then I started to have this experience to smell something burnt. But, sometime the smell seems come from my PC. Anyway, the smell come suddenly within about 2-3 minutes then disappeared. I was a smoker before but quit it more than a year. So, I think this may be the reason.

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What NOW, Community Member
12/18/10 8:46pm

Well,I recall in a staff meeting many years ago, when I was on a clinical rotation in a psych facility, a doctor becoming alarmed upon hearing a patient was experiencing odors without a discernable source. He immediately called for a brain scan. I have this concern, since I have been experiencing the smell of cigarette smoke for some time, now. I don't smoke and spend no time around smokers. I have a sinus problem. But, these post have pressed me to call the doctor first thing on Monday. My denial has been active and I had been attributing this to, believe it or not, ghosts / spirits, lingering in my house.

 

There have been numerous unexplained things in this house and I've been too apt to explain everything with that. People would have laughed to see me yelling at spirits to leave the house.

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Phyllis, Community Member
4/26/11 3:10am

On this same stream of possibility...I have been smelling cigarette smoke where there is none for a week now. I have been reading each of these entries with fascination. This weekend at a gathering for Easter, I met a woman who told me she was a psychic and I asked her to reflect on this condition. She said that it was coming from inside me and that it was because I had been a smoker (I was but have not smoked for over 20 years).  She suggested that I may be in a process of healing (I have been drinking Nopolea cactus juice for about 9 weeks - its an anti-inflammatory that works on parts of the body that has inflammation).  She said that the chances were that this juice is getting into the layers of my respiratory system that still has the residual smoke from the days when I was a smoker.  I don't know whether to believe it or not, but I did say, why not put a positive spin on this strange phenomenon.

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Carmela, Community Member
5/11/10 10:21am

I have only smelt it in my sleep a couple of times. The smell is so strong it wakes me up. I do not smoke and there is no smoking in my house. I know this sounds crazy but I started to think it might be a ghost of some kind. I wanted to look it up and see what I coud find. I do not take any medications and I have never used Albuterol, I do have migraines but I do not feel one coming on and I do have sinuses but I feel fine. I am not sure why I smell this only at night, in my sleep and when it wakes me up I still smell it.

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Yvette, Community Member
10/21/10 12:09am

WOW, this happens to me also only when I'm sleeping. It smells like burnt coffee or like burnt wood. The smell is so strong it wakes me out of my sleep. I also still smell it after I awake. I'm not taking any medicines. I do get tension headaches sometimes that are concentrated on the right side, but I have not noticed any connection. This only happens for me at night.

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Tracie, Community Member
10/ 3/10 7:18am

Oh my gosh, I have experienced this on and off for about a year now also. It is driving me crazy not to mention no-one else can smell it. I have also used asthma meds but not frequently but also use albuterol in my nebulizer but not real often although about a week or so ago I did and now I am smelling this smoke constantly! I wonder if it has something to do with it? I am going to call my pulmanary doctor and ask. I will let you know what he says! Good Luck to all..And myself lol..

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zanadana, Community Member
5/ 8/11 11:59am

I began smelling smoke about 3 weeks ago.  I teach school so at first I thought maybe it was the high school students, but then I would smell smoke sitting on my couch...and I live alone and do not smoke. Then I thought maybe it was new make-up I bought after my eyelids had some kind of allergic reaction.  Anyway, after reading all the comments, I'm starting to think it had something to do with the multiple and severe congestion/bronchitis episodes I had this winter and the medications I took:  Theo-24, ?Tussin, generic Atrovent (Ipratropium Bromide), Norel, 2 Z-packs, and 2 boxes of Mucinex tablets.   THIS NEEDS TO BE LOOKED INTO with so many of us going crazy with this phantom smell!

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leticia, Community Member
3/ 3/10 4:00pm

WOW!!!! I HAVE (MS) TOO AND EXPERIENCING THE SAME THING AND IS BEEN GOING ON ABOUT A WEEK PEOPLE LOOK AT ME LIKE IF I'M CRAZY,I'M GLAD THAT I'M NOT ALONE BUT I WISH I KNEW WHY THIS IS HAPPENING?IF YOU GET ANY ANSWERS PLEASE LET ME KNOWYell

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Melanie, Community Member
3/29/10 5:45pm

I've had this smoke smell since 11/09, coincidently it started when there was a death in the family.  It's been a constant on and off, I've gotten used to it.  I first thought it was triggered from the stress and grief from the loss of a loved one, it seems to happen when I feel particularly stressed at work and home, mostly at work, and I am not a smoker nor anyone in my family.  I don't take any medications accept benadryl at night for allergies, although allergy symptoms are worse now.

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Deb, Community Member
3/30/10 4:53pm

Yes, please let me know if anyone gets a medical diagnosis for this.  Mine is not always smoke, it smells more like exhaust type fumes or gasoline fumes.  I even went to the mechanic and had him check my exhaust system, gasline for a leak.  He mentioned that if I don't run the air conditioner in the vehicle and just use the fan that exhaust from other cars can build up in the filter. Essentially every time I turn on the fan I am blowing all the build up back into the car.  This however does not explain why I smell this so strongly in my office or in my home.  When I smell my clothing they don't have the odor.

 

I feel burning in my sinuses, soreness in my throat and at times even tightness in my chest.

 

As others have mentioned I have taken alergy meds, Claritin, Z-pacs etc and not sure if these are truly related. I am borderline diabetic and love sugar as others have mentioned as well.

 

Thanks

Debra

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lorelei, Community Member
4/28/10 7:31pm

Me too. Exhaust smoke, and I am smelling it now, though I know it is not really here. I'm glad I'm not alone and yes, I also suffer from sinusitis and allergies and take meds. 

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lorelei, Community Member
4/28/10 7:31pm

Me too. Exhaust smoke, and I am smelling it now, though I know it is not really here. I'm glad I'm not alone and yes, I also suffer from sinusitis and allergies and take meds. 

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Morgan, Community Member
5/ 4/10 9:39am

Gang Stalking must be considered by anyone constantly smelling odors.  It's part of Gaslighting, a way to try and drive a person crazy.  Please do yourself a favor

and Google the words "Gang Stalking" ,  "Gaslighting", and Gang Harrassment".    

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according2jo, Community Member
5/30/10 2:09am

Hello,

 

I've just posted some information that you may be interested in. I also included a link that explains some reasons for experiencing these smells.

I am under the name according2jo.  I left 2 messages so far and will leave another as soon as I find the link I am looking for.

I hope the info helps you.

Joanne

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SweetDee, Community Member
7/20/10 10:50am

OH my gosh. Try smelling fingernail polish remover like the bottle was under your nose all the time for days at a time.  It makes me cough and my eyes water and everyone thinks I am nuts when I ask if they smell it.  My GP actually is actually blowing me off.  I am looking for a Neuro Dr. right now in my area.

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Trace Green, Community Member
4/ 5/11 7:21pm

I too have MS....and to be honest the more i read on here about everyone, im convinced its to do with that. Im going to the Drs tomorrow, and see what she thinks. I cant believe others have this too.... ithought it was a ghost..lol

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Lori, Community Member
10/ 8/11 8:24pm

Just a thought.. I started smelling cigarette smoke about 4 years ago, with nobody smoking in the house, etc.. 2 1/2 years ago I was diganosed with MS. I was diagnosed also with partial complex seizures and simple complex seizures this past August.  My first seizure was a blackout type in June.  I had an abnormal EEG and a 48hr video EEG to confirm all the abnormal brain activity and facial movements in my sleep.  Within the past week I now have aquired another weird smell nobody else smells---bleach.  It's good I am not completely crazy.  All this time I walk around sniffing to find the source... but apparently in my case its coming from my brain activity!  MS is just a gift that keeps giving.. ALL of which I DON'T want!!  On the bright side.. it could always be worse.. I wake up every day and find something enjoyable :)  GOOD LUCK to everyone!!!!

 

Lori

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bgw, Community Member
3/12/11 2:54pm

I too smell smoke and no one smokes around me at. I have asthma so I avoid it. Then last night at 3 I woke up to the smell of "sweat socks or a sweaty person". My husband says he doesn't smell anything. I walked all over the house but found nothing. I might add that I keep a very clean house, so who knows what that means??? I have smelled it a little off and on today.

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simon, Community Member
3/21/11 5:30pm

Hello. I thought I would share my experiences in the hope it may help. To begin, these are my symptoms to date:

 

The first incident took place at the beginning of March 2010, after a night at the car auction. The auction was a very smelly place, car fumes, cigarettes, exhaust smoke, oil, and petrol.  That night the smell of cigarette smoke started. It lasted 2 weeks, fading out.

 

Second incident was June 2010, very strong on the first few breaths then fading out through the afternoon, gone the next day.

 

 

Third incident was the beginning of September very strong to start then fading out over the second week. A few days before I had an odd taste in my mouth for 3 days, the sense that I may be contracting a cold & some sneezing. I also noted smell would disappear when eating

 

Possible 4th incident, brief 2 - 3 breaths became unsure as I am now hyper-vigilant.

 

 

 

Other points:

 

 

  • During an episode throat can feel soar as if actually inhaling smoke

 

  • I often expect my eyes to water with the strength of smell

 

  • I now remember smelling cheese on occasions a long time before the smoke episode. Maybe the last 2 years or more. This smell is of short duration lasting an afternoon or less.

 

  • I am a 40 year old male of sound health

 

The first doctor I saw had never heard of my symptoms but I wasn't surprised as she was newly qualified and perhaps a bit "green". She told me to return if the symptoms did not pass. I went back and saw another doctor who although he said he wasn't overly concerned, he would discuss my case with the neurologist & I should come back in 3 weeks for an update. When I returned the Doctor quizzed me again about my symptoms which turned out to be in order to rule out seizure. As my symptoms continued he sent me to the Neurologist.

 

The neurologist asked some questions about my symptoms, tested my reflexes & and hand/eye co-ordination etc. He then gave me a course of smell tests where I had to identify the smells.

 

He concluded that there appeared to be nothing wrong. The "olfactory hallucinations" where probably due to a cold/infection or just "one of those things" However, to be sure he sent me for a MRI of the temporal lobe.

 

I received a letter from the hospital in February 2011 to say the test found nothing unusual.

 

It's now a year that I have had these symptoms on and off. They are with me now and I note that I have just got over a bad cold. I still find the smell distressing. I found going to the doctors distressing and the MRI had me so, so scared. Provided the symptoms don't get worse or others develop, I will have to come to terms with the smell and hope as the years go by the smell becomes less.

 

I believe in my case these smells are a result of infection via a cold/soar throat/sinus. I suspect, as can happen with infection, permanent damage has taken place that may make me susceptible to reoccurrence of symptoms.

 

If you have not visited your Doctor please go without delay. It may be nothing significant so don't live with the worry. Should it be more serious the quicker you act the better the outcome.

 

Simon - England.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantosmia

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/phantosmia/AN01684

 

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Linda, Community Member
5/31/08 11:49pm

I am also having that same thing!  Started really faint, occasionally last week and today I realized it is constant.  Driving me crazy, hate cigarette smoke.  I used salt water and it cleared out my sinuses, but smell is still there.  Had a really bad cold, or allergies the first of May and has lingered.  So we have the sinus thing in common!  Has your gone away, or have you found out anything.  I can not go to the Dr. unless gets really bad, have a huge deductible.  Let me know if you have found anything about yours.  Haven't taken any antibiotics.

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Cathy, Community Member
6/18/08 1:38pm

Hi Daniel-

I have also experienced this on & off for about 2 years. I had it all day & night yesterday & it has promted me to try to find the answer since it really bothers me. It actually feels like my sinuses are burning at times. I also had migraines and allergies in the past, but because of lifestyle changes and supplements have not had problems with that in about 4 years. Very confused and would like anyone that has figured anything out to let me know.

 

Thanks

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Linda, Community Member
7/10/08 3:20am

Well, my smoke smell went away about 2 weeks ago.  Did not do anything to get rid of it, just went away.  Guess what?  It is back. Came back with a vengence yesterday.  I'm so bummed!  I hate it.  If anyone knows ANYTHING, please share.  HELP!

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Stewart, Community Member
7/10/08 5:14pm

Well i have had the same sensation for the past week or so. I have also read the same articles pertaining to this. It is linked to sinus problems, and at the moment i am waiting  to go in for an operation to remove nasal polyps, from which i have been suffering from for several years. These only came to my attention once they had started swelling into the nasal passages when i suffered a cold. Now my nose is blocked most of the time, which was shown to me after a CT scan. Hopefully the smell of smoke will go after i have had the op.....Hope this is helpful.

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angel34, Community Member
1/26/10 5:48pm

I am extremely sensitive t cigarette smoke.. I get sick if I am around it, if you know the ppl are smoking at home, and any non-smoking place tell them these places are non-smoking.Tongue out

 

Lisa

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phyl, Community Member
9/15/11 3:09pm

hoped the surgery helped you.  I had a bunch of nasal polyps surgically removed several YEARS ago for a persistent sinus infection.  And the burning smoke smell didn't start until a few MONTHS ago.

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Bob D., Community Member
8/19/08 2:24am

I wish I had an answer to share with you, but unfortunately I am in the same boat as all of you. I started having this issue in just the past week - and I cannot stand cigarette smoke at all, my wife & kids think I am nuts cause I keep bringing it up, and they cannot smell it either. At home, work, in bed - it still follows me for some reason.

It is affecting my sleep, and is irritating my eyes as well.

I only take medication for blood pressure, and will take tylenol pm to sleep - no others - I have not been sick in months, but did have a concussion - but that was over 9 months ago now, and had no complications since that time.

I hope that someone recognizes what may be causing this and posts something soon - I will be seeing my doctor by the end of the week, and if he says anything, I will pass it on.

To the others with the same problem , I am in the northeast/mid-atlantic area - south central Pennsylvania, if we have anything in common with that let me know too.

Good luck to you all as well.  Bob D,Hanover,Pa.

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Christabelle, Community Member
10/12/09 11:21pm

Hello fellow smoke smellers, thank goodness I am not alone, this happened to me a few years ago and I just thought it was me, it is happeneing again now and I am starting to see a connection. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid a couple of years ago when I smelt smoke but through medication got over it, it has started to muck up again and I am again smelling smoke when there is none around. Just maybe it is thyroid related or at least hormone related a simple blood test will answer this. If thyroid problems do show up PLEASE let me know on this link. Its worth a try.

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thenoseknows, Community Member
2/13/10 3:00pm

I have a slightly underactive thyroid and also have what are referred to as 'cold nodules' and I have had this smoke smell everywhere I go, sometimes a burning sensation while breathing in and have allergies & asthma which I take Advair, Allegra XR, Albuterol.

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JCB, Community Member
2/17/11 3:02am

Advair, like any inhaled steroid, can seriously mess up your sense of smell. I used to use it, so I know. It can actually eventually destroy your sense of smell altogether, although, more than likely, your sense of smell will return to normal when you stop using it unless you use it for years on end.

 

It's a risk you have to weigh against the benefits, but this may be the cause of your particular problem. It took me a couple months to totally recover from Advair.

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Beverly, Community Member
4/16/10 11:47pm

I have been smelling smoke for at least a month now.  At first I thought someone in my building at work was secretly smoking (it is a non-smoking building) and it was coming in through my vents.  No one else could smell it.  But lately I notice that I smell it at home, in my car and even outside.  Your mention of hyerthyroid caught my attention.  I just started medicating my cat for hyperthyroid with a swab applied to the inside of her ear.  I try to wash my hands right after applying it, but I'm wondering if there is any link to the medication.  I take no medications other than an occasional Benedryl for alergy to the same cat.  I really see no other change in my life or routine that could be causing this.

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Dmill, Community Member
8/11/10 1:27pm

can't tell you how relieved I am to see I'm not the only one experiencing this.  I'm not and never have been a smoker and no one in my family smokes.  but this overwhelming smoke smells shows up at home, work, in my car, at the store, everywhere.  i even complained to my work several times bc i thought the ventilation system was blowing in the smokers fumes from outside.  they keep changing the filters and the smell remains.  i too have sinus issues, but i found out last year i have thyroid problems and thats about the time the smoke smell started.  i will talk to my dr. about this.  thank u for sharing--i don't feel so alone in my smokey misery:)

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Phyllis, Community Member
4/21/11 5:13pm

Dear Bob,

 

I live on Maui in the middle of the Pacific and have been having this sensation of smelling cigarette smoke where there is none for a week now. I am not sure it is linked to location. It is amazing how many people have this symptom happening though.  Has anyone thought about chemtrails? There are companies who seed the clouds to prevent global warming. Could we all be smelling this?  The medical conclusions in these postings seem to be all over the place.

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rinky, Community Member
8/19/08 7:04pm

About three weeks ago I had some dental work done and the dentist thinks he touched a nerve with the needle.  I've had severe pain in the lower two branches of my trigeminal nerve.  Basically the bottom right quadrant of my face hurts from midlip to ear and down to chin, inside and out.  I was put on a steroid pack for six days that ended about a week ago. 

 

When I was on the steroids, I noticed an occasional metalic taste in the right side of my mouth.  Since the nerve injury, I've been oversensitive to hot and cold there, so I thought maybe my taste buds on that side were also effected.  There is no metal in my new dental work, and I wasn't bleeding as far as I know.

 

Sometime around ending the steroids and beginning taking ibuprofen at 600mg 24/7, I developed a phantom smoke smell.  I hate the smell of smoke of any kind.

 

I am smelling phantom smoke right now, my eyes, nose, and throat burn as if it were real.  At first I thought it was just oversensitivity to a library book I was reading, but everyone else in my family says that the book does not smell like smoke at all.  No one in my house smokes, but I grew up with a dad who smoked until I was 16.  Before looking into this, I told my husband it's almost as if I can taste cigarette smoke.

 

I read online that it could be a nerve problem caused by head injury, seizure, or brain damage, or some problem with the olfactory receptors themselves.  It could also be a mental health issue, but I don't believe in the phantom smell--I know it's not real, so it's not like I'm delusional.  But this may just drive me crazy!

 

I've got the number for a local neurologist, so I am going to call when the office opens tomorrow.

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RickAtKnowWare, Community Member
10/14/10 11:49pm

I think you may be onto something with the ibuprofen. I have been having this symptom too, on and off for a couple of years. I very rarely take ibuprofen, but when I do, I seem to sometimes get that smoke smell in my nose during the days afterward. Anyone else see a correlation between ibuprofen (Advil) and a false smoke smell in the nose? Possibly it's just a little known side effect.

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RickAtKnowWare, Community Member
10/14/10 11:49pm

I think you may be onto something with the ibuprofen. I have been having this symptom too, on and off for a couple of years. I very rarely take ibuprofen, but when I do, I seem to sometimes get that smoke smell in my nose during the days afterward. Anyone else see a correlation between ibuprofen (Advil) and a false smoke smell in the nose? Possibly it's just a little known side effect.

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hezbb, Community Member
11/27/10 2:35am

Right, well, I've been taking ibuprofen for migraines for about 6 years, synthroid for 16 years, and had allergies for 40 years. The cigarette smell started 2 weeks ago.

These numbers don't support that cause and affect theory, I think.

However, it is a great relief to see that others have the same thing!

Doctor on Monday.

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rinky, Community Member
8/19/08 7:14pm

I forgot to mention my family physician told me I have the second worst sinuses he's ever seen.  I've also had a dentist comment that I had small sinuses.

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Erin, Community Member
8/27/08 10:16pm

I too am constantly smelling smoke of some kind. It is very annoying!!!  I really don't know what it might be from.   It has been going on for about a year or so off and on.

If you find out anything please let me know. 

      

                                           Going crazy and getting nasause.

 

                                                 Erin in Wa.

                                        honeycoffee@live.com

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kim, Community Member
8/28/08 7:57pm

I live in kentucky where there are lots of allergens, and on a farm to beat all!  I've had really bad problems with my allergies since last year.  Always in and out of the Dr.'s office.  I just found out about  a month ago that my white cell count was up, so they've been doing tests and bloodwork trying to find the cause. So far, it's not leukemia, but it's possible it could just be stress, or maybe a chronic sinus infection. I've been on the Z-pack,  (which is like popping candy!), and they put me on flonase. since then, I have had the cigarete smell ALL the time!  It's like someone is standing right beside me blowing smoke in my face, and it's burning my eyes, and throat like crazy !!  I'm wondering if there's not a connection.... I think I'm gonna go back to the dr. and see what they say.

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Laurie51, Community Member
1/26/12 8:09pm

I googled this tonight because I wanted to know why I've been having this sensation of smelling smoke in my nose and almost tasting it.  My nose and mouth have a burning sensation too.  After reading all the responses I realize I have a few things in common with most of the people who have posted.  In Nov.& Dec. 11 I had a severe sinus infection with bronchtis and wheezing in my lungs.  I have never had an infection that bad.  I went on 3 rounds of antibiotics in the last 2 months.  I am still struggling with sinus issues like post nasal drip and stuffiness in my nose and ears, sinus pain in behind my eyes and some headaches.  As a side note to relate to relate to other posts, I also have taken Nexium for at least 2 years for Acid Reflux.  I am convinced that this smoke smell issue is a result of the sinus and respiratory infections and the treatment with antibiotics.   I haven't taken antibiotics in several years so that is the only thing I can pin point this wierd taste/smell sensation to.

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Stewart, Community Member
9/ 2/08 5:41am

It's been two weeks since i had the operation to remove sinus polyps, the smoke smell has now gone, (thank goodness), and i can smell and taste everything, in fact i am sleeping better, my asthma seems to have improved, and my whole well being in general has never been as good for several years.

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Deb, Community Member
10/17/08 5:30pm

I am willing to bet that this will be another unexplainable condition in the story of my life.  I too have been smelling smoke for about 4 months.  I thought it was my hair care products, perfumes, cosmetics, lighting in my house and then I realized it was happening towards the end of day and not only in my house.  No one else smells it!  The only thing that I can possibly attribute it to is that a few months ago a half of gallon of milk was spilled in my car and although we cleaned it thoroughly I thought that maybe the remnants are still in the  ventilation system and it may have molded.  Any thoughts out there?  

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a2ashraf, Community Member
10/18/08 11:07pm

It can be a few things:

 

1) your nose sensory receptors have been damaged (all things heal and with time)

2) you are having sympoms of  seizure / stroke (but dont get alarmed, you should be seeing other symptoms too right? - blurred vision, or really messed up vision, behaviour not normal, cant lift left (or one side of body, left or right) arm above shoulders etc.

3) Alergies

 

now best thing to do is see someone.

Are you noticing other symptoms? Do you currently smoke?

 

First thing to do: if you are on any drugs, medication or otherwise, speak to your physician to see if those drugs are causing a side effect.

second thing: try to recall in the last while if you smelled something really strong that could have screwed with your sense of smell.  Example: i smoke, so i sprayed a crap load of perfume in the car so no one would smell it. Then on the way out of the car i took a normal inhale, and i smelled a very concentrated area and it just threw me back.  That could have done it. 

 

I saw a doctor about it: they suggestion 2 things

1) take a nasal spray (my nose is always congested), and this opens up the nasal area's for smoother air flow

2) see a ear throat nose (ent) specialists

 

Seizure was not discussed/ stroke / heart attack was not discussed.  We always assume the worst!

 

 

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Tamra, Community Member
10/22/08 1:47pm

I started smelling smoking faintly about 2 weeks ago and really didn't pay much attention to it because it was mainly during the day.  I noticed that this past weekend that I am smelling smoke all of the time.  I keep asking my husband if he smells anything and he doesnt. My symptoms do not include the eye burning, just smoke smell.

 

I looked on-line today for a cause and as stated on this website it comes back to nasal conditions or worse.  I do not suffer from allergies, I have not been hit in the head nor do I suffer from headaches. It is somewhat of a relief that others also are experiencing the same condition and that I am not alone.

 

I do live in Arizona so our climate doesn't change that much here.

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musicwiz, Community Member
10/28/08 3:39pm

Hi

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musicwiz, Community Member
10/28/08 3:47pm

Hi, I have been feeling a burn smell in my nose and all a way to my lungs. I asked my wife if she smells the same and she said that she doesn't smell anything. I don't have this sensation if I am outdoors, unless there are some fires far away.  I always had very sensitive sense of smell, but now I am anxious  about it, especially reading about the neurological problems all over the internet.   I never had any allergies, or headaches. What is this possibly could be? I can't find any answers. My doctor said its distorted sense of smell. Its annoying and Distracting. Well, one way to find out is to do the MRI test.

 

 I wish I could find the cure or the answer.

 

Thanks,

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according2jo, Community Member
5/31/10 11:21pm

Hello,

 

I am wondering if you ever went for the MRI you were going to do in regards to the problem with smelling smoke?

 

If yes, did you find out anything that might provide answers for this condition we suffer from?

 

Sincerely

Joanne

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g808, Community Member
7/27/11 9:07am

I've been mulling this over in my head (because I don't want to chalk it up as a brain tumor) and think maybe we are all smelling the fallout from all the radiation from Japan. It still has not been contained and if you check the wind directions it is bound to reach us if it hasn't already. Plausable, perhaps. Or, I would love to know if anyone experiencing this has not/never used a cell phone?

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g808, Community Member
7/27/11 9:07am

I've been mulling this over in my head (because I don't want to chalk it up as a brain tumor) and think maybe we are all smelling the fallout from all the radiation from Japan. It still has not been contained and if you check the wind directions it is bound to reach us if it hasn't already. Plausable, perhaps. Or, I would love to know if anyone experiencing this has not/never used a cell phone?

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Ken, Community Member
10/29/08 3:42pm

I've had this problem myself for the last 6 months.   I noticed I wasn't experiencing it when I was traveling away from home, but experienced it a lot when home, or in my office, or sometimes in the street.   My doctor thought it might be an allergy (not having symptoms of anything more serious), so he told me to take claritin for at least 10 days.   And after 10 days, the problem almost completely went away.   I continued taking it, and everything was fine.  Then last night, I forgot to take it, and today the problem is as bad as ever.  So it does look like the Claritin helped.

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musicwiz, Community Member
10/30/08 3:08pm

I am glad that Claritin helped. But do you want to take the medicine all your life? I hate pills. I rather smell fire... :0) I wonder what is those thing around my house and other offices that bring this kind of allergy symptoms?  If I never had any allergies what caused to get one, like this one burning smell.   At start I felt a burning coffee, maybe it is burning coffee, settled on the surface of our furniture. I know for a fact that the coffee acids can stay around the house for a long time.

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musicwiz, Community Member
10/31/08 7:27pm

I have an interesting thought, that the smoke smell is a result of a brush fires, which penetrated into a house either through windows or air-conditioning system.

I smell in some areas of the house more and some less and there are some places that I don't smell at all. I don't smell outdoors either.

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Mark, Community Member
11/ 4/08 1:35am

I had a bad case of high temperatures a few weeks back. Flu like symptoms without the blocked nose, coughing etc. But did have the headaches, aching body, temperatures and sore throat. Since then my taste buds have issues with certain foods. KFC for one, can barely taste it, was going to complain until I realised it was me. But yes the same SMOKE smell, all day long. Thought it was my clothes or environment, but its everywhere all the time.

I do think the eyes being bad is all related to the mind over matter thing of THINKING you are smelling smoke so your eyes start to get sore.

The wife came down with a similar high temp a week later, and occassionally SHE smells smoke too! WTF!!

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Crystal in Ohio, Community Member
3/ 2/10 12:11am

Well, I have a new spin to add here. And it may sound flaky, but I assure you that I was the biggest sceptic of all...but especially around full moon, I have episodes of the burnt-smoke smell...it will last sometimes for days.  No one else can smell it, but it is so strong, it burns my eyes. So I wondered...and I bought an EMF detector and voice-activated EVP digital recorder. I have some strange feelings that this may be spirit-related. I have smelled many things that were not "there", such as a strong smell of roses right after the death of my grandmother. I am not suggesting that this in any way explains anyone's phantom smoke smelss/phantom smells in general, but am seriously looking at this angle. It just comes and goes...and since no one burnt anything and no one smokes in this house, it's got to have some explanation.

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Linda, Community Member
3/ 7/10 5:40pm

This smoke thing has been with me for the last 12 years or so. Every few months  and at first it would last only for awhile, now its at least a week. When I first got it, I thought it was a Spirit around me, but I can't understand why its still here after all these years. And as you know its very frustrating, I have been to see if it was seizures, MRI for brain tumor, ear,nose and throat doctor, and each of those havent come up with an answer, but one thing by the time I get to these appointments I am not smelling smoke. This time was the first time I had the blurred vision for a few minutes. The thing that is bothering me lately is its hard to concentrate, or feel good when its constantly there.

Why can't someone find a cure for this? 

I am thankful it has been going away for months at a time.

But so far I havent come up with any similarities. Its different circumstances each time.

Linda

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shadrick, Community Member
5/26/10 5:49pm

Hi Linda,

I live in Hawaii and have just started smelling cigarette smoke now for 1 week and it is already driving me crazy as I've always hated cigarette smoke!  I too had a short bout of blurred vision last week while watching TV. How is your cholesterol, mine is 228.  I wonder if we are having mini-strokes as someone else has suggested in other blogs?  My breathing is clear, but my taste buds are weak.  I find myself eating more to try to taste the food.  Also, I have been under a lot of stress at work for 4 months straight, sleepless nights, etc.  The stressful time has passed but now I have this problem! 

Has anyone found a way to get back to normal????

Stephanie

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Linda, Community Member
3/ 7/10 5:47pm

This smoke thing has been with me for the last 12 years or so. Every few months  and at first it would last only for awhile, now its at least a week. When I first got it, I thought it was a Spirit around me, but I can't understand why its still here after all these years. And as you know its very frustrating, I have been to see if it was seizures, MRI for brain tumor, ear,nose and throat doctor, and each of those havent come up with an answer, but one thing by the time I get to these appointments I am not smelling smoke. This time was the first time I had the blurred vision for a few minutes. The thing that is bothering me lately is its hard to concentrate, or feel good when its constantly there.

Why can't someone find a cure for this? 

I am thankful it has been going away for months at a time.

But so far I havent come up with any similarities. Its different circumstances each time.

Linda

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Linda, Community Member
3/ 7/10 5:48pm

This smoke thing has been with me for the last 12 years or so. Every few months  and at first it would last only for awhile, now its at least a week. When I first got it, I thought it was a Spirit around me, but I can't understand why its still here after all these years. And as you know its very frustrating, I have been to see if it was seizures, MRI for brain tumor, ear,nose and throat doctor, and each of those havent come up with an answer, but one thing by the time I get to these appointments I am not smelling smoke. This time was the first time I had the blurred vision for a few minutes. The thing that is bothering me lately is its hard to concentrate, or feel good when its constantly there.

Why can't someone find a cure for this? 

I am thankful it has been going away for months at a time.

But so far I havent come up with any similarities. Its different circumstances each time.

Linda

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Linda, Community Member
3/ 7/10 5:48pm

This smoke thing has been with me for the last 12 years or so. Every few months  and at first it would last only for awhile, now its at least a week. When I first got it, I thought it was a Spirit around me, but I can't understand why its still here after all these years. And as you know its very frustrating, I have been to see if it was seizures, MRI for brain tumor, ear,nose and throat doctor, and each of those havent come up with an answer, but one thing by the time I get to these appointments I am not smelling smoke. This time was the first time I had the blurred vision for a few minutes. The thing that is bothering me lately is its hard to concentrate, or feel good when its constantly there.

Why can't someone find a cure for this? 

I am thankful it has been going away for months at a time.

But so far I havent come up with any similarities. Its different circumstances each time.

Linda

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ittt, Community Member
11/23/08 11:13am

It looks like I may be a little late for this discussion, but if anyone returns to this spot, I hope that I can shed some light. I am 60 and have suffered from these smoke hallucinations for about 10 years. They usually last from 2 to 5 days and include burning eyes, sinuses, face and and a sinus-type headache. Although I have been very careful in my eating habits, choosing whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and produce, as well as fish and meats that have not been produced using hormones, antibiotics and pesticide-ridden feed, I still deal with this periodically. I have found, however, that when I eat a preponderance of sweet foods, in other words breads, cereals (even whole grains), desserts (even when just sweetened with dates or honey), potatoes, corn and even fruit, any time I get into BBQ or any other smoke, I will definitely have a phatom smoke episode. It seems that according to the research that I have done, our immune systems have a hard time holding up if we consume too many sugars, and if our immune systems are not working well, then we become subject to respiratory and allergice trouble. I have also found that too much salt in the diet dries out the sinuses making them vulnerable to allergens and bacteria. When I am able to keep to a diet free of too many sugars, only have fruit occasionally and nix salt; and when I make sure I am getting plenty of protein in the form of fish, poultry, legumes and grains, I seem to fair well. I hope that this has been of some help.

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Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 1:00pm

Thank you for your post. I have been suffering with the smoke smell for over 2 yrs. now. I love sugar, any sweet foods, have to have something with every meal... Can't believe I am not over weight... I also have dry sinuses all the time. I get sores in my nose because of the dryness. Your explination would make sence in my case due to these facts. On the other hand I have MS. Was diagnosed in Aug. 99 and migraines at least once a month. I have about 5 lesions on my brain from the MS so I am not sure which one of these are causing this problem.. This helps me though.. Thanks..

 

blnix@bellsouth.net

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molly guenther, Community Member
3/26/10 8:22pm

Thank you for your input. Since experiencing this smoke smell and it effecting my sleep adversely, I was looking for a remedy that did not include taking  medications or even going to my physician. I had wondered if the food I had eaten had been the cause of this phantom smell and since I feel quite strongly that diet is vital to health was curious as to which foods could be a catalyst.    You say you stay away from fruits because of the sugar, can you eat vegetables freely? I am trying to go vegetarian and this could increase the selectiveness and options in my diet but I am willing to if need be. Have you noticed a change since changing your diet?

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wd9dan, Community Member
12/ 6/08 3:25pm

It sounds to me like there are two groups here.  Those that have had this for a few days or weeks, and those that have had it for years.

 

I too had a bad sinus infection and a fever, etc..  Three different antibiotics over a period of 5 weeks did nothing to cure me.  I got better gradually on my own, but I STILL smell the cigarettes a lot.  My wife had the same bug that I did (seems to us) and she smells it too.  No matter where we are, and we do NOT smoke, nor is there any in our home, cars, etc..  We even smell it when we are out and about.  We KNOW it's false, but we smell it.

 

Lately, it's worse when I chew food, than it is when I am simply sitting around.  I can TASTE the cigarette when I eat, and I cannot taste my food very well.  The wife and I both assume that it is related to the very hard to kill bacterial infection that we had.  By the way, several doctors looked in my ears and sinuses and said, "Yup, that's bacterial all right!  Look at all the brightly colored congestion!"  and yet, no help from the antibiotics.

 

Just wanted to share our experience here in case it helps.  We are assuming it will go away in a few more weeks.  We are on week 8 since the whole thing began, and no symptoms left except for the smell/Taste of the cigarette.

 

I would think that those of you who have had this sensation for years, have a different cause.

 

My 2 cents.

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wd9dan, Community Member
12/ 6/08 3:29pm

Oh, one more thing that I forgot in my reply above, I have NEVER had any ALLERGY problems in my entire life.  I am  an old (56) country boy, and I can still bale hay, etc.  with no problems breathing anything indoors or out.

 

Again, just FYI.

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Yvonne, Dallas, TX, Community Member
1/ 9/09 2:41pm

I've been having the same problem with smelling smoke for about 1+ years.  The smell gets so bad that it causes me nausea and makes it hard for me to breath.  In my house we don't smoke and the few people in my family that do smoke don't come around.  There are eight people in my household and the only people who have experienced this problem are my husband, my daughter and myself.  The only thing I can tell you about this will come from a spiritual point a view.  First, I want to give you some background  about my daughter.  She smelled smoke in the pass few months while she receiving  Chemotherapy for her cancer.  We didn't think much about this smell of smoke because we had other issues going on and we prayed often about them.  About a week ago I took my daughter to get an Ionic Foot Bath and to my surprise the bath showed that there was nicotine in her system.  The doctor asked if she or anybody in the house smoked and our answer was "No".  How is nicotine showing in her system when we don't smoke?  We are confused about what could be causing this to appear.  Could this be from the smoke smell we've been smelling?  Is it something spiritual?  The more we thought about it the more we believed there may be something spiritual to it.  Secondly, the smell caused me so much major discomfort that it feels as though I am being harassed by some type of spirit (a smoky type spirit). Every time that smoke smell comes my husband and I rebuke that spirit in the name of Jesus.  Every now and then it tries to return, but we continue to stand our ground, because we are in battle.  Go to your pastor at your church and ask him about the constant smell of smoke to see what he thinks.  Also, ask God to reveal to you what is going on.

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Crystal in Ohio, Community Member
3/ 2/10 12:19am

Yvonne, I think you are spot-on with this one. I have had this issue, too, since my mom died, and lots of weird things happening in our home. Doors slamming that are closed and LOCKED, things flying across the room, wallets and phones coming up missing, things being moved by no one in this family--all sorts of things. I am the one who smells this smell. It is more like a heavy exhaust smell, like burning petroleum of some sort. It lasts for days when it happens. I very much wonder if it's spirit-related.

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megan82, Community Member
4/17/11 6:09pm

Hi, I found the cause of my smelling smoke is dicalcium phosphate.  It's in a lot of vitamins, supplements, and, I'm assuming, medicines.  I've been smelling smoke off and on for about a year, and followed a suggestions I found on another site.

It was to stop taking any new or different vitamins (keep reading though, these are not the only places you'll find dicalcium phosphate).  Since, at the time, I had started taking a vitamin b complex, I stopped.  The smoke smell went away.  Just to see, I started taking them again, and the smoke smell came back.  So I wrote down the ingredients in the vitamin.

 

Months later, the smoke smell came back, so I looked at ingredient lists of food and drink I'd been consuming, and compared them to the vitamin ingredient list.  Dicalcium phosphate was the common ingredient.

 

Since then, I've periodically smelled smoke, and sure enough, whenever I check for it, dicalcium phosphate is there.  I've found it in other supplements, soy milk, whole wheat tortillas, and cereal. 

 

Here are some other names for dicalcium phosphate...

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

 

And some related compounds...

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

 

Hope this works for you and your family!

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Marci, Community Member
1/18/09 9:11pm

I'm with Yvonne in Dallas.  I have this problem sometimes, too, along with distorted taste. I will sometimes think something tastes awful while everyone else thinks the food we're eating is fine.  I do all the cooking in my house and am careful because of allergies and because we want to eat healthy.

 

I do pray about this, rebuke any spirits of confusion or destruction or whatever I discern may be going on.  We are spiritual as well as physical beings.  :)

 

Also, regardless of from where the problem stems, try EFT-emotional freedom technique.  You can look it up online.  It is like accupuncture without needles; tapping on meridians of the body to induce wellness.  You may find the problem never returns once you try it.

 

Blessings, Marci

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Linda, Community Member
2/11/09 3:48pm

Well, I'm back!  All this crazy smoke smell started in July, I left a post!  It went away, then came back.  Changed to a weird smell, can't describe.  I could also taste it.  I started on natural/organic foods in November.  Also, doing proper food combining for ultimate digestion.  Eating mostly alkaline food.  Feel like a million bucks, but still have smell.  Also, Dr. gave me three rounds of Cipro in November for infection. Got better, but still had funny smell.  Im still doing same food.  Have lost 22 pounds.  I highly recommend food combining (using www.greattastenopain.com) method.  Anyway smell and taste JUST went away.

 

I am drinking lots of water.  I only drink green tea, almond milk, soy milk and water.  The food combining helps detox your system, helps with arthritis, allergies, digestion and reflux.  Also, I am not taking any more meds.  Discovered Tylenol was messing with my liver, and liver problems can cause weird smells and taste.  Also, figured out that anytime I used any of the spray ODOR ELIMINATORS, the smell seemed to get worst and get a different odor to it for a couple of days.  So I have quit using those.  I am getting there finally, I will lick this, even it kills me!!! Haha....

 

Just wanted to share, may help some figure out something....this is just crazy. 

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Ariel, Community Member
2/15/09 12:54am

Hey, all,

 

I'm so relieved to know that I'm far from the only one experiencing this. I first got this phantom nicotine odor following general anesthesia last April or May; it disappeared, but then I had another surgery last December, same anesthesia. This time it took about two months to begin, and emotional upset seems to set it off, but it is more frequent, and now almost omnipresent. The toughest part is trying to figure out when there is NO cigarette smoke as opposed to when there actually is. I told the surgeon and the internist I saw about it last spring; neither was concerned. I also have some sharp twinges on occasion in about the same region of my head. George Gershwin died of a brain tumor, and it was reported he smelled burning rubber. I don't know if that's pertinent to my situation, but it sounds like a lot of people of all ages are smelling this cigarette smoke whether it exists in actuality or not, and that's a strange coincidence. Maybe it's something the tobacco companies, or enemy nations have concocted against us? Think conspiracy theory. Not that far-fetched, when I reflect on the rumors about the CIA using the NYC subway system to test odorless gas as a weapon.

 

I should get it checked out, as I hate the smell of cigarette smoke (as an ex-smoker, especially). If it's nothing, then I have to go with the conspiracy theory. I wonder if a blood-gas analysis or count would expose anything for any of us... If we smell it (but can't see it) and there are molecules of cigarette smoke elements in our blood, then the conspiracy theory is true! Evil-doers, trying to hook us on nicotine, or nations on a vengeance path for the US tobacco-marketing efforts against these countries... Camel unfiltered, anyone?  :-)

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Carolyn, Community Member
4/17/10 10:54pm

I'm so glad I found this.  This has been going on for 2-3 years and it's not constant. Sometimes I won't smell it for weeks or months and then it will come back.  The only places I smell it is at home either in the living room or my bedroom.  No one in the house smokes.  I do tend to have problems with my sinus.  I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. 

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Lori, Community Member
3/11/09 3:58pm

I feel you guys!!! I really thought it was my late Grandmother, who died of enphasema, blowing smoke in my face to get my attention. I thought I was not getting what she wanted me to know so I googled my symptoms and low and behold I found all this info. I have a pulminologist appt to clear up an upper respiratory infection that is just not going away, so I pray this is a side effect to it...so maybe she was blowing smoke in my face to go see a doctor. I do not smoke and am allergic to it...it makes it very difficult to get through the day when our breathing usually goes by unnoticeable but with each breath I take I smell cigarette smoke and it continues to bother my already troubled lungs. I have also had some weird vision stuff the last 4-5 mts that has gone unexplained so if this is not related to respiratory stuff then I will have to go into brain inquiry. I will hold all of you in prayer since this is absolutely miserable to live with and really affects our quality of life!!! ~ lori

 

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ME, Community Member
3/12/09 6:30pm

From what I read, I know that several of us have the same symptoms.   I could continue to talk about my symptoms but it is not my intent.  What I would like to know is if there is a remedy for it.  Can someone out there talk about how they got rid of the symptoms.

 

ME from Palo Alto, CA

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megan82, Community Member
4/17/11 6:23pm

I found my cause to be dicalcium phosphate.  After keeping track for about a year, I'm positive this is what's causing it for me.

I've found it in a vitamin I was taking when it first started for me.  Since then, I've found it in other supplements, soy milk, whole wheat tortillas, and cereal. (not all brands)

Here are some other names for dicalcium phosphate...

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

 

And some related compounds...

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

 

Hope this is it for you too!

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Almost There, Community Member
3/14/09 3:46am

I may have a solution for some of you. I have had an inner ear problem with clogged eustachian tubes (they run from your inner ear down to the back of your throat) for over a month. I tried a lot of things, including Sudafed, Advil, and one doctor gave me AllegraD, and another doctor gave me a steriod based nasal spray. Didn't work. Then, about a week ago, I received a newsletter from a health food store - Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers - which had an article about inner ear health, mostly related to children, since their eustachian tubes are smaller and, therefore, more likely to have inner ear infections. The article spoke of a probiotic called S.salivarius K12, which I believe is like a good kind of bacteria, that attacks the bad bacteria in your nose and throat. This probiotic is similar to what they use in producing yogurt. At any rate, they advertised this probiotic for sale and I bought the product. Because it's directed toward children, it's in a pink box that says Nature's Plus, Animal Parade, Children's Chewable INNER EAR Support, on sale for $10.49 for 90 tablets. The directions call for children to chew 2 tablets per day. Although it doesn't have directions for adults, I have been chewing 4 tablets after my first meal of the day, and 2 more right before going to bed at night. I also purchased Acai Juice (a Brazilian berry very high in antioxidents), and take 2 tablespoons per day. I have been doing this for only 4 days and although I am not 100% back to normal yet, I am extremely happy with the results so far. Before I started taking this, I had smelled that horrible smoke constantly for over a week, and now I smell it only a few times a day, and only for a very short period of time. It appears to improve with each passing day. Oh, I also have been taking 2 Sudafed before I go to bed, in hopes that it might assist in my eustachian tubes not clogging up when lying in bed, since they have a hard time draining at that angle. I don't know if this will ultimately resolve this issue for good, but I am really happy with the results so far, and I hope that this information will be helpful to others suffering from this problem.

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Almost There, Community Member
3/14/09 2:48pm

I just want to clarify my response above, regarding using probiotics and Acai. I am NOT a doctor. If you have an inner ear infection or any other medical condition you should be diagnosed and treated by a physician. Many conditions require prescription medication, such as antibiotics for some types of inner ear infections for example, or other medicine, and certain conditions can be serious if left untreated. Please seek advice from your physician. My intent in relating my experience with the probiotics and Acai, was that I personally found relief regarding smelling smoke constantly, which is what this particular blog is all about. I just wanted to clarify that. Thank you. I hope you all are able to find relief from this problem.

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Almost There, Community Member
3/14/09 2:48pm

I just want to clarify my response above, regarding using probiotics and Acai. I am NOT a doctor. If you have an inner ear infection or any other medical condition you should be diagnosed and treated by a physician. Many conditions require prescription medication, such as antibiotics for some types of inner ear infections for example, or other medicine, and certain conditions can be serious if left untreated. Please seek advice from your physician. My intent in relating my experience with the probiotics and Acai, was that I personally found relief regarding smelling smoke constantly, which is what this particular blog is all about. I just wanted to clarify that. Thank you. I hope you all are able to find relief from this problem.

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smarie33, Community Member
3/17/09 10:04am

I've read in other forums that this is nasal polyps, an infection that can only really be removed by surgery. I read that some people thinking they had tumors, went to get brain scans and they found out it was only polyps. I'm posting because I didn't see that answer here and it made me feel better to think that I probably DON'T have a brain tumor, (phantom smells are sometimes caused by this, but I can't see a phanotm smell making my eyes water).

 

I have had one horrendus infection in my life. It was a bacterial, fungal, viral nasal infection. My fault for letting it get that sever. I waited until one of my eye closed shut and I could sleep because I was in so much pain. The doctor put me on 4 medications at once. That was some five years ago. And after that when ever I lay down my nose gets clogged, also when I don't get enough sleep my nose will be clogged sometimes throughout the day. I think about last year I began smelling smoke. I only did some internet research because yesterday my eyes began tearing. I assume it was from some medication I took, I seem to get a sinus infection every other year...might also be related to the fact that I haven't gotten my tonsils taken out, I'm 24.

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Will, Community Member
3/22/09 12:07pm

Try doing sinus rinses with saline/water mixes. A naturapathic doc made me up a solution of hydrastis glyorite (goldenseal and glycerine?) to mix with sinus rinse). I used that twice a day, then used Zicam allergy relief gel swabs. The smell went away after about two days. When it returns (no pattern), I'll try the same treatment. It's a pretty low cost alternative and worked for me. I hope it helps you as well. The smoke thing is not much fun!

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Will, Community Member
3/23/09 1:03am

Sorry - that mixture should be Hydrastis GLYCERITE (goldenseal and glycerine, I believe).

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Shel, Community Member
3/24/09 7:17pm

Geez... I thought I was going crazy with this phantom cigarette smell.  On a lark, I decided to do a web search and came across this site.  What a relief to find others who are experiencing the same thing.  Mine started about a week ago while I was visiting my parents in their Florida condo.  I thought it was just smoke coming in through vents somehow from a neighbor's apartment.  Then I started experiencing it everywhere, including my own house when I got home.  I'm going to try some of the remedies suggested here.  Thank you all.

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Launa Stanley, Community Member
3/30/09 12:06pm

I smell smoke when nobody else does at work, home, non-smoking places

 

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rn, Community Member
4/12/09 12:16am

I have this problem too...a smell of smoke in my nostrils and burning eyes, usually at the end of the day or when I'm in bed.  It comes and goes, and typically last for a few weeks to a month.  I also have a history of sinus infections, snoring, sinus headaches, and resipiratory infections.  Glad to hear that I'm not alone and many thanks to the other posters for relating your experiences. I just tried brushing my teeth, saline spray, eye drops, and dabbing some Carmex around my nostrils...helped for 5 minutes.  If this is a neurological problem, why can't I smell frehsly baked chocolate cake, why does it have to be smoke?

 

 

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Sushama, Community Member
10/28/09 4:52pm

Right - I wouldn't mind chocolate!  Smile

I've had some relief with the saline solution using a 'neti' pot which you can buy at any health food store.  Also with pranayama [breathing] exercises such as are taught sometimes in yoga classes, and esp by the Art of Living.

But I would like to know how to get rid of both the smell [which happens for me randomly] and the congestion [which is daily when i don't do pranayama] though....!  time to talk with my Dr. about this I guess.

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Me Too, Community Member
1/25/10 4:33pm

I'm with you - why not a pleasant smell like chocolate or cinamon!!!

I too am relieved to know I'm not losing my mind - I have the symptoms mentioned and also a tight chest and a bit short of breath - some brutal headaches too.  Have tried many natural remedies, nasal flushes etc but none are working so far.

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piero333, Community Member
4/15/09 3:17pm

I can't believe there are others out there with this same problem!  I have been experiencing this weird smell of cigarette smoke off and on for several years now. Does anybody out there take Lexapro?  I seem to notice the smell when I've tried going off Lexapro, so I think it has something to do with the serotonin in my brain.  I also have a terrible headache with the smell, from the front of my head clear down to the back of my neck, and no amount of Advil or Tylenol helps!  I also smell it clear down into my lungs.  I haven't told my doctor about it because I'm afraid he'll think I'm crazy!  I don't use any dryer sheets, so it can't be from that (I think I read that on another post), nor do I have sinus infections.  If anyone else out there thinks it could be linked to antidepressants like Lexapro, let me know!  I'm so glad I found this site!  I don't feel quite as crazy now!  :)

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Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 1:31pm

When mine first started over 2 yrs ago I had been on Zoloft for about a year. I was having depression symptoms (told the doctor about the smell as well). She changed me to Cymbalta. The smell went away. About 2 months later it was back. I have since changed to Welbutrin and the smell is still there so I am not sure if this could be from antidepressants unless they all have an ingredient in common.

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alici, Community Member
9/ 7/10 10:41pm

I am reading all of these posts, and I too smell cigarette smoke constantly.  I used to think it was my neighbour sneaking smokes into the house downstairs.  haha I now remember yelling at her saying that she is smoking and lying about it.  She no longer lives here and I doubt she comes by just to smoke in the basement.  I took Zoloft for 7 years.  I went off it two years ago and that is when I think I started smelling smoke.  Not as often as now though.  It has become so frequent that it prompted me to search for it online.  From my experience and remembering when I had these smells previously, it could be triggered by large doses of medication and stress.  When you take zoloft you are controlling the chemicals in your brain, as with sinus meds, as with any type of anti depressants or seizure control meds.  Have you seen the commercial, your brain on drugs... and it is burning.  When a wire shorts out in the back of a tv you smell smoke... maybe it is similar... possibly too small to detect with an ECG or EKG but it is still present.  Anyway .. I was just intrigued because someone wrote about zoloft...  could be coincidence.

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JohnD, Community Member
4/18/09 8:50pm

I started smelling this phantom smoke/coffee smell a few months ago, and I thought it was because I may drink too much coffee.  I cut down on it for a few days and it went away.  Now its back, yesterday I started smelling it in the evening, was fine all day today, then just about an hour ago it started again.  I do have sinus issues, every winter I have at least one infection sometimes more.  Not sure if I just payed more attention to it this time around, or if it's getting worse, but now my eyes seem to burn a bit too.

I'm a workaholic, don't usually get more than 5 hrs of sleep at night, so it might be exhaustion related too.

Do all of you drink coffee regularly?  To me it's a mix of cigarette smoke/coffee smell, that's why I'm relating it to my coffee drinking.  My wife tells me sometime that my breath smells like coffee, so I've even related it to that, thinking that I smell my own breath somehow from my throat.  I've never smoked, for probably 25 years no one in my family smoked either.  For the last 14 years I've been working in a manufacturing firm where metalworking is done using CNC machines and lots of coolant is used.  I am in the office however but do have to go out often to the shop.  Also before that I used to work in my parents' frame shop for 8 years so both of these things could be affecting me.  I might go see a doctor in the next few weeks to make sure it's not a brain tumor or something similar.  I've been told I have a deviated septum as well, so who knows at this point what is causing this.  It's a little comforting to know there are others with this issue, at least I'm not going nuts...well not yet anyway.  Best to everyone.

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Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 1:35pm

I don't drink coffee but I do have the deviated septum. Have experienced the smoke smell for over 2 yrs. now.

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josie, Community Member
9/11/09 11:55am

i truly understand how you feel!  mine started in may after a bad head cold it lasted most of the month then i started smellling a smoke coffee smell also,  my ear nose and throat dr. chedked me and i had a mri which is pretty standard for this problem,  my MRI came out clear and i do have a deviated septum also and he told me that my cold damaged my smell sensors and that certain smells are altered because of this and it gives a weird smell , manly a smoke smell from what the dr. says and my ENT dr. sometimes just a bad smell . but it seems from all that i ve read its smoke, i thought too it might be coffee and i also have it more at home and nite maybe cause the drainage from the deviated septum causes some crusting in the nose and the smell just lingers, i do use a neti pot each morining to clean my nose and it does help and i don t get as much moring drainage in my throat,  Its probably not a brain tumor like we all tend to think , sounds like we are all in the same boat here! I think we are all normal,  also mine did go away for  a month or so   but its back off and on, maybe the change in the weather it s cooler ,  good luck to all

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Carolyn, Community Member
4/17/10 11:13pm

Actually mine tends to be worse in spring and summer when we have the doors and windows open more.  That's why I'm thinking it may be some kind of alergy.  I'm not on any kind of medication so it's not a side effect of some sort.  As I stated earlier it feels so good to know I'm not alone.  I think I'm going to try using a saline spray on a regular basis to help keep things flushed out.

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josie, Community Member
9/11/09 11:55am

i truly understand how you feel!  mine started in may after a bad head cold it lasted most of the month then i started smellling a smoke coffee smell also,  my ear nose and throat dr. chedked me and i had a mri which is pretty standard for this problem,  my MRI came out clear and i do have a deviated septum also and he told me that my cold damaged my smell sensors and that certain smells are altered because of this and it gives a weird smell , manly a smoke smell from what the dr. says and my ENT dr. sometimes just a bad smell . but it seems from all that i ve read its smoke, i thought too it might be coffee and i also have it more at home and nite maybe cause the drainage from the deviated septum causes some crusting in the nose and the smell just lingers, i do use a neti pot each morining to clean my nose and it does help and i don t get as much moring drainage in my throat,  Its probably not a brain tumor like we all tend to think , sounds like we are all in the same boat here! I think we are all normal,  also mine did go away for  a month or so   but its back off and on, maybe the change in the weather it s cooler ,  good luck to all

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thenoseknows, Community Member
2/13/10 3:36pm

Hello, our combination of possible causes: i drink about 3 cups of coffee (fairly strong) per day and have for 40 years.  The smell of smoke arrived about 6 mos.- 1 year ago.  I do have a deviated septum and much nasal drip in spite of taking Allegra every night before bed and in the AM followed by very frequent need to blow nose throughout the day.

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Michele, Community Member
4/21/09 3:36pm

Hi Daniel, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. I have been smelling smoke for the past 6 months on and off.  I am not a smoker and no one else in my family smokes.  This is driving me crazy because I am the only one that can smell it.  I have searched many articles to find a solution, but was unsuccessful. I have an appt. coming up in May, with the hopes of an answer.  My family thinks I'm nuts because they cannot smell it.  Good luck to everyone with this problem and know that you are not alone.  This is to Bob from Hanover Pa, I am from Exeter, Pa maybe we can chat about about our unusual problem.
Michele

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LIly, Community Member
4/23/09 12:11am

Well thank goodness you all are here. Mine started tonight for the first time ever. My older sons are looking at me like I am crazy and my 14 year old has always had Spidey Smell Senses and he smells no smoke. Then I had myself convinced one of the cable installers from yesterday was hiding in my attic lighting up. lol I had to find an explanation somewhere!!! I am in the middle of a sinus cold cough issue right now Maybe it is due to that Hopefully it passes It's driving me crazy I will try some of the home remedies here Thanks

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Eva, Community Member
4/24/09 10:29pm

Well, count me in as yet another person who smells smoke.  I just googled it this evening and from what I have read there seems to be some connections.  I have smelled it on and off for about 3 years.  I always thought my neighbor was outside sneaking a smoke and it got caught up in my house.  So recently,I had a sinus infection and was put on an antibiotic.  Two weeks later I cut my hand with a chisel and was put on another antibiotic for infection.  I ended that on Monday and the smell is so bad now (Friday) that this past week I called the front desk of a hotel I was staying in and complained that the people in the next room were smoking! I literallly feel like someone next to me is smoking.

So getting back to the connections, can people respond to a few questions.  Maybe we can figure out a pattern or something.

*Did you have a sinus infection/ear infection before this started? Or did a sinus/ear infection make it worse?

*Were you put on antibiotics for any infections? More than one type?

*Have you had recent yeast infections?

If anyone can think of other possible connections add them to this list.

 

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Annie, Community Member
6/24/09 3:07pm

*Did you have a sinus infection/ear infection before this started? Or did a sinus/ear infection make it worse?

 

Yes- had an acute sinus infection

 

 

*Were you put on antibiotics for any infections? More than one type?

 

Yes - 14 days of antiboitcs and steroids.

 

 

*Have you had recent yeast infections? If anyone can think of other possible connections add them to this list.    Yes, because of the antibiotics.

 

I'm no doctor, but it's strange that so many of our experiences STARTED the same way, and after having antibiotics, we're smelling smoke.    Either we still have sinus issues that weren't treated with the antibiotics,... OR the antibiotics killed off good bacteria (and caused yeast infections) and the missing good bacteria in our sinuses is the cause of the problem???

 

I liked the suggestion above - the childrens "inner ear health".   Worth a try, can't imagine it would hurt?

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Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 2:00pm

I have suffered with the smoke smell for over 2 yrs. and I have had numerous sinus and ear infections over the years. A few years back I had the worst kind of staff infection that you can have (MRSA) on my abdomen that was treated aggressively with antibiotics. Then a few months later the staff came up in my nose along with one on my cheek. More antibiotics, different kinds this time. I have a lowered immune system due to having MS and unfortunatly MRSA tends to come back throughout life. I just wanted to comment because I have been on so many antibiotics that It wouldnt surprise me thats it...

blnix@bellsouth.net

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Char, Community Member
2/22/10 3:10pm

I also had a terrible staph infection years ago and know that it can flare up at anytime as it never leaves your body.  I wonder if that is what is causing the smell of smoke?  I haven't taken antiboitics for quite some time so I don't think it is from that for me.  I do have a sinus infection and my ear has been bothering me.  Who knows...this is crazy though.

Reply
Christabelle, Community Member
10/12/09 11:39pm

Hi, I actually asked someone in the above posts to check something out like this, I had hyperthyroid problems a few years ago and got this smelling smoke thing, then after medication for thyroid it went away. I have been off medication for over one and a half years but have started getting some thyroid problems recently and hence the smoke smelling has returned. It just might be related to thyroid or hormones, a blood test shows this up, be good if others checked this out just in case its related.

 

Hope its at least an option.

Reply
7luckey13, Community Member
12/28/09 12:18pm

I have been smelling smoke on and off for years.  Today I decided to see if I was crazy, but found out I am not alone.  I answered this post because I have hypothyroidism and take snythroid  also.  Can not figure it out.  It gets worse if I have a cold. 

Reply
Hub, Community Member
4/25/09 12:41am

My smell of smoke has been going on for several months.  Here are some things that I have that have been listed already.  I began smelling smoke as I was trying to get off Lexipro.  I also have a deviated septum.  Mine is worst in the vehicle with the air blowing on me.  I also use generic Flonaise or Nasonex for allergies and use a CPAP when I sleep.  Do we have any patterns?  Thank you for your help!  Smelling Smoke all the time will drive you NUTS!

Reply
kimber, Community Member
5/10/09 1:56am

I also smell smoke the past few days, seems to hit me at night, but I think it is because things are calm and I notice it more.  I recently became extremely run down and developed a bad sinus infection after a cold.  I am on an antibiotic and generic nasal spray combo for two weeks.  I have never been on anti-depressent meds, so don't have that connection.  It is frusterating, and I know this smell has come on before in the past, but not sure why. My Dad died from nasopharyngeal cancer recently, so think I might get tested for polyps or check the general area to get re-assurance.  He complained of dizzyness and being extremely fatigued before he was diagnosed.  Not sure if he had smell sensations, can't ask him now.  I have been VERY fatigued, so hope that also ends soon.   Hope it is nothing to worry about... wish I had more answers.  I do agree that having a sinus infection is a link.  I am dosing up on probiotics and extra C pack vitamin combo to get my immune system back in check.

 

PS... just baked brownies hoping it would help :o)

 

 

Reply
Judy, Community Member
5/13/09 8:11pm

SmileI suffer with the same smoke smells as you do. I have researched online a lot lately and just found some very interesting and promising information. Here is the site...http://www.tasteandsmell.com/may08.htm     Tests were done with folks like us and with people without our problem. The results were that we may be deficient in something that we can get at the Health Food stores. I am very excited about this!!!!!!!Hope and pray that it works for all of us!!!!!! 

Reply
Diane, Community Member
5/14/09 7:38am

Hi ive been smelling burning when no-one else can for over 7 months now. today i was at my doctors and mentioned it to him, I told him i felt silly to even mention it,

He has made me another appointment to go get a full medical check up, he said i should have mentioned it to him sooner, it could be one of many things,

so what i suggest is anyone with this problem should go see doctor and not listen to people who guess what it is. I am back at doctors next week so will keep you all informed to what happens

Reply
Maureen, Community Member
9/12/09 6:30pm

I've been smelling smoke now for 4 months - on and off - mostly on!  However, I don't smell cigarettes what I smell is more like a burning brush fire or smoldering.  I did mention this to my Dr. and he put me on an antibiotic!  The smell went away and then came back.  I then went to an ENT (the smell was driving me crazy).  The ENT convinced me that I might need a stronger antibiotic for a longer period of time (not much blood flow to the cartilage and bones in the nasal cavity).  Well, once again the smoke smell went away but came back with a vengence.  I just went for a CT scan yesterday.  Current thinking is nasal fungus or nasal polyps.  Nasal fungus makes sense to me since an antibiotic woul mask symptoms for a while but not "fix" the problem.  One needs to be put on anti-fungal medicine to clear up nasal fungus.  How one gets nasal fungus, I don't know.  I thought I read somewhere that overuse of antibiotics can actually cause fungus which is why I thought it so interesting that I was put on 2 different ones for what may turn out to be a fungus!  For the last week, it seems I have added constant headache to the list.  Today it was so bad I took tylenol and laid down for a while.  I never, ever do this!  I am a very active person and don't have time for this.  I thought this smell might be connected to the addition of vitamin D to my regimen - something my doctor insisted I needed.  The timing seemed about right.  So I stopped taking the vitamin D to see if that would cure the problem.  Unfortunately, it did not.  So, off I will go to the ENT with my CT films some time this week and hopefully get an answer.  Will post more when that happens.

Reply
elssxa, Community Member
5/17/09 4:13am

I have been smelling smoke too. It is so bad that my eyes, throat and nose burn. If I put my hand over my nose then I breath through my mouth and i can taste the smoke.

I went to the doctor. I was told it was a sinus infection and they put me on antibotics. It got worse which can only mean it is a fungus infection in the nasal cavity. Also i was told that i had chronic dry eye syndrome. SO have that checked out too. I was told that the eyes and nose are connected and can send wrong signals to each other and we smell different things.
And the last thing you need to have checked is acid reflux which i am having that checked on monday. I was told acid goes up and can burn your throat and nose when it goes up. The tissue is sensitive so then you smell the damaged tissue. That is why nobody can smell it but you. I was told by a naturopath doctor. Now im going monday to a medical doctor to see what to do.  I will be taking fungal medication, diflucan, to rule out the fungal infection too.
Good luck and God bless everyone.

Reply
elssxa, Community Member
5/22/09 10:41pm

To Everyone From Elssxa

I went to get tests and a physical on the smelling smoke issue. I was told t hat I have a very bad sinus infection and that they cause people to smell smoke cause you get all stuffed up there. Many things can cause this. One is using vicks vapor rub in your nose and it causes your sinus to clog up there. I was given antibotics for 21 days and i have to use an air purifier nearby where I sleep and sit down. I will keep everyone posted on what happens. Good luck to everyone.

Reply
elssxa, Community Member
5/27/09 10:10pm

Well I went to another doctor because i wasn't getting better. It turns out that it wasn't a sinus infection after all. The antibotics were making me sick. It was irritating my stomach because I  have ulcers/acid reflux.

Yes that is what the symptoms are.

 

Smelling smoke that isn't there is due to the acid reflux in the nose

sore throat

hoarse voice

symptoms are worse when sitting down or lying down. Mine is worse when on the computer sitting down.

the smell of smoke almost chokes me

my eye water and burn

 

 

I suggest that everyone get checked for ulcers and acid reflux. These doctors are making us take antibotics for sinus infections. I got extremely sick with the antibotics for the sinus infection. I get so angry that they just guess and guess. Please demand to have tests done. Blood tests and laboratory. But please get checked and treated. If you don't have insurance, contact the state and find free clinics and hospitals that will help you but get checked.


Its very important. left untreated it could lead to stomach cancer. I was told. Please get treated immediately.

 

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kris in parkville, Community Member
6/ 8/09 11:46pm

Are you saying that acid reflux caused the phantom smoke smell?  I have had acid reflux for years and only started with the smoke smell the last 3 weeks.  It's actually making me nauseaus.  What was your treatment??

 

Reply
elssxa, Community Member
6/ 9/09 6:43pm

I am taking pepcid AC until I go for the hospital tests. But my doctor said it was acid reflux. I am still really scared.  I was told that Prilosec was what made me get worse. I started smelling the smoke in the nose due to the acid coming up after taking prilosec for an ulcers. But i had no idea the smell of smoke, coughing and sore throat was connected with acid reflux. I have been drinking water and I went to the health store. The acid actually irritates the tissue in the nose and causes the weird smoke smell.

let me know  how you are doing. and what you are doing about this. i have increase water to 5 glasses per day. it helps.  I still have to go back. elssxa at hotmail dot com

elssxa@hotmail.com

Reply
Annie, Community Member
6/24/09 5:22pm

just a month ago, i was diagnosed with LPR.   Exactly what you are talking about!   Acid gets trapped in the throat and sinuses, instead of the esophagus.   The doctor has me on a fancy form of prilosec, and i've been doing everything i can to change my diet to help.  

 

Do you think the pump inhibitors (the meds) could be contributing to the reflux, instead of helping? 

Reply
shadrick, Community Member
5/26/10 6:33pm

elssxa!

Thank you for sharing.... I too have acid reflux and was taking Prilosec!  I'm going to stop that right away.  It looks like it's time to see my stomach doctor again.

 

Shadrick

Reply
Desiree, Community Member
4/12/11 1:52am
Thank you so much for this I woke up just last night for the first time gating on acid coming up from my stomach. This was the second time in maybe 5 years but the smoke smell has been around longer and more often, yet sporadic. it makes sense and ironic the acid reflux last night. Reply
elssxa, Community Member
6/ 9/09 6:43pm

I am taking pepcid AC until I go for the hospital tests. But my doctor said it was acid reflux. I am still really scared.  I was told that Prilosec was what made me get worse. I started smelling the smoke in the nose due to the acid coming up after taking prilosec for an ulcers. But i had no idea the smell of smoke, coughing and sore throat was connected with acid reflux. I have been drinking water and I went to the health store. The acid actually irritates the tissue in the nose and causes the weird smoke smell.

let me know  how you are doing. and what you are doing about this. i have increase water to 5 glasses per day. it helps.  I still have to go back. elssxa at hotmail dot com

elssxa@hotmail.com

Reply
Falls, Community Member
6/ 9/09 1:42pm

well my better half was smelling smoke like ye guys. Obviously we heard all the horror stories (tumors etc). She went for an mri last week and got the results yesterday..thank god she is totally clear-- nothing nada...zilch. we are relieved.


Still has the smell of smoke now and again.


So for all ye people who are worried, go get checked, but expect to be clear and unfortunately still to have the smell of smoke.


if anyone get any ideas, we will try it and thanks for this forum. its good to know we are not alone...


we are going to use a saline solution spray from today. if anything changes i will come back here and let ye know.


good luck...

 

 

 

Reply
Dr. Mike G, Community Member
6/15/09 10:13am

To all of those who suffer from "smelling" cigarette smoke that is not present:

 

I believe I have figured out what might be going on, from personal experience coupled with deep knowledge of medical science. First, I believe only individuals hypersensistive to mold spores will experience this, and the anecdote that follows  provides the rationale. I became quite ill, as others have reported, including the mother of all sinus infections, where I completely lost my senses of taste of smell for more than one month. This was merely a coincidence, as many others who report these phantom odors or olfactory hallucinations, as I like to refer to them, were not previously ill. At around the same time, my dehumidifier in the basement was failing, which I eventually replaced. This friggin' odor of cigarette smoke just would not go away. It seemed to be worse in the rooms of the house that were located in the rear portion, but that said, the odor would follow me everywhere I went - in the car, the gym, even outside, although to a much lesser extent. I did, however, notice that it was absolutely worse in my home. I also went the route everyone else did - set up an appointment with the ENT guy, who, of course, immediately moves to rule out a brain tumor and orders an MRI. He looked up in the sinus cavity, and saw that there was some mild inflammation, but needed the MRI. A few days later, the ENT guy calls me up on the phone, and says the good news is that there is no brain tumor, but the bad news is that he has no clue what to do to alleviate the phantom odor. Aaaahhhhh...the science of modern medicine. We might as well be back in Hippocrates times...at least they would have attempted trephination or something. Anyway, I'm downstairs in the basement last night finishing up some laundry, and I just happened to look up in a corner (in the REAR of the basement), and low and behold, there was a fairly significant patch of mold growth on the wall adjacent to a bend in the clothes dryer vent pipe. I bleached the crap out of it, cleaned it up, and the next morning (today), I no longer "smelled" cigarette smoke anywhere in the house.

 

OK - so here's the theory: The mold spores spewing forth from this undetected patch of mold in the basement, to which I am hypersensitive already, was causing my olfactory epithelium, as well as the remainder of my sinuses, to become inflamed and irritated. This irritation of the olfactory epithelium (which is at the very top of the sinus cavity) was simply being interpreted by the brain as cigarette smoke, since smoke is an irritant to this epithelium, and I am also hypersensitive to cigarette smoke in particular. The watering eyes and irritated throat are also the result of irritation of these mucous membranes by the allergen. The reason the phantom odor travels with you wherever you go is because these mucous membranes have become chronically irritated and inflamed over time, and that does not subside in a matter of a few hours while temporarily away from the source. Now, not everyone experiencing these phantom odors and irritation will be due to mold spores, but I guarantee you that it is due to something in your home or work space to which you are hypersensitive. You must find the source, remove it, and you will be cured.

Reply
bumptybrown, Community Member
6/16/09 10:21pm

Hello.  Like almost everyone here I'm surprised and relieved to know I'm not alone.  I googled 'smelling cigarette smoke' 'altered sense' and couldn't believe how many websites and forums there are.  Of course I'm EXTREMELY disappointed not to read of a solution to the problem.  I started smelling smoke 4 days ago.  I had just laid a lot of 'mulch' outside in my garden and though I must be smelling that.  Then I decide it was definitely cigarette smoke and went outside to see if it was coming form my neighbor's.  It wasn't and my husband couldn't smell any smoke at all.  It's been driving me crazy and I actually got a bit upset and cried today.  I have a 5 month old baby and I feel as if her room smells of smoke.  It's awful.  I've got myself all worried about it being something wrong with my brain as I had a sharp pain on the front right side of my head yesterday.  Please, I'd love to hear more stories of people with this problem going for scans and getting the 'all-clear'.  I've made an appointment with an ENT specialist for next week.  I will definitely post the results here as I know that answers are really important to people like me searching with this strange condition.  I saw a lot of posts with people saying they would report back but didn't.  I'm hoping it's for a 'good' reason because the problem just went away and they forgot about it....

Anyway, I'm slightly intrigued by the last post about the mould!!  It certainly has a connection to me now I think about it and as soon as I finish typing I'm off to deal with what I think may by my source.  I've been going crazy lately with my towels never smelling clean no matter how many times I wash them and dry them, as soon as they become wet after one use they have an awful 'damp' smell.  I googled the problem yesterday and found the reason is bacteria that regular detergent can't remove and it was suggested to use white vinegar in the wash.  It also said to clean the washing machine and look under the rubber boot in the door for mould. (I have a front loader)  I looked last night and it needed cleaning....meant to do it today but I forgot (too bust worrying about why I'm smelling cigarette smoke all day).  Point is I've been jamming my nose into and inhaling deeply my towels regularly to see if they still smell and I'm wondering now because of the last post if I've inhaled some kind of mould bacteria and that has cause this 'smoke smelling problem'???  I'm excited to go and clean my washing machine with bleach to see if it helps....  By the way, washing towels in vinegar certainly worked, if you're having the problem!!  So, it's trying to find a link here for everyone suffering this....I'm clutching at straws because I SO DON'T want to believe there's anything wrong with my brain.....Do your towels have a weird 'damp' smell???  I know it's a common problem......other things that are a bit out of the ordinary for me to see if anyone finds a link are:

 

* I'm breastfeeding.

 

* I'm on a very restricted diet because my baby has 'sensitivities' No wheat and no dairy for the last four months.

 

* I've recently laid a LOT of mulch in the garden.

 

* I'm tired because I'm not getting a lot of sleep.

 

* I don't have allergies that I'm aware of.

 

* I consider myself to be a bit of an anxious type, I'm chlastrofobic.

 

I can't think of anything else worth mentioning but if I do I'll certainly be back.

 

I'd love to hear if anyone else has 'musty' smelling towels though....wouldn't it be fantastic if THAT was the problem......

 

 

 

Reply
Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 2:47pm

I just wanted to let you know that my towels are smelling the same way. I have had this smoke smell for over 2 yrs. After I read the post about mold it was an ahh haa moment! I have noticed that when I sit on my couch I keep smelling a musky mold smell. It was coming from the vent with the filter in my home. My husband changed it a month ago but I can still smell it. I had just not thought anymore about it until I read the mold post. Now I am wondering if there is mold growing under my home and is coming out through the vent. We have noticed a weird fungus or mold growing in our flower bed. Our neighbors have the same mold. We had this house built 2 1/2 years ago.. Coincidence, I'm not so sure.. the timing is on target... Now I want to go out and look under the house... we have black widows bad here so maybe I will send my husband..lol.. either way I have to know if something is growing under there and if not I already know that something has been growing in our flower bed the last two years during the summer so is it the soil that my house is bult on or is it the mulch in the flower bed? There's got to be a connection here... Tell me what you guys think...

blnix@bellsouth.net

Reply
TXanne, Community Member
8/26/09 11:02pm

I'm also breastfeeding, but I've been smelling smoke sense my second trimester. I always assumed it was pregnancy related and expected it to resolve itself once my baby was born. It stopped for a while (maybe a month) after he was born but resumed. I can't speak for everyone else obviously because you're the only breastfeeding poster other than myself--but maybe it's related to hormones and milk production? It's just a feeling I have, but I won't know until I wean my son--and that's going to be several more months. The smoke smell is a nuisance to me but not severe enough for me to go the doctor.

Reply
Max, Community Member
7/14/09 7:02pm

Mold spores may be a plausible cause, not readily detectible, and considering no other known environmental factors. I have experienced this false sense of smelling smoke, as of cigarettes, burnt toast, or roadside burning, for four or five years, both at work and at home. It is intermittent, annoying, and causes bronchoconstriction. Fortunately it usually lasts no more than a minute. It used to happen several times a day, but in the past year or so it has been more like weekly. An albuterol inhaler seems to relieve the symptoms.

Reply
hazmat house, Community Member
5/19/10 6:09pm

Yes!!! Thank you!  That would explain why spouses are smelling it as well! My husband has also smelled this.  This has been happening for several months now, and we jsut recently found a leak in our crawl space which caused significant mold and water damage that has recently been treated.  Our house is currently under construction and the smell is definitely at it's worst!  Thank you!!!!  I truly think this could be the cause! 

Reply
Faria, Community Member
3/12/11 12:41pm

Hi,

 

Ive been smelling the cigerrate smell recently and I believe that it could be because of the mold that was growing in my room. Now, I removed it and cleaned it with bleach really well. Oddly enough, I have been smelling the smell after i removed the mold. Any idea why? Thanks !

 

Faria

Reply
bumptybrown, Community Member
6/16/09 10:42pm

Hello. Like almost everyone here I'm surprised and relieved to know I'm not alone. I googled 'smelling cigarette smoke' 'altered sense' and couldn't believe how many websites and forums there are. Of course I'm EXTREMELY disappointed not to read of a solution to the problem. I started smelling smoke 4 days ago. I had just laid a lot of 'mulch' outside in my garden and though I must be smelling that. Then I decide it was definitely cigarette smoke and went outside to see if it was coming form my neighbor's. It wasn't and my husband couldn't smell any smoke at all. It's been driving me crazy and I actually got a bit upset and cried today. I have a 5 month old baby and I feel as if her room smells of smoke. It's awful. I've got myself all worried about it being something wrong with my brain as I had a sharp pain on the front right side of my head yesterday. Please, I'd love to hear more stories of people with this problem going for scans and getting the 'all-clear'. I've made an appointment with an ENT specialist for next week. I will definitely post the results here as I know that answers are really important to people like me searching with this strange condition. I saw a lot of posts with people saying they would report back but didn't. I'm hoping it's for a 'good' reason because the problem just went away and they forgot about it....

Anyway, I'm slightly intrigued by the last post about the mould!! It certainly has a connection to me now I think about it and as soon as I finish typing I'm off to deal with what I think may by my source. I've been going crazy lately with my towels never smelling clean no matter how many times I wash them and dry them, as soon as they become wet after one use they have an awful 'damp' smell. I googled the problem yesterday and found the reason is bacteria that regular detergent can't remove and it was suggested to use white vinegar in the wash. It also said to clean the washing machine and look under the rubber boot in the door for mould. (I have a front loader) I looked last night and it needed cleaning....meant to do it today but I forgot (too bust worrying about why I'm smelling cigarette smoke all day). Point is I've been jamming my nose into and inhaling deeply my towels regularly to see if they still smell and I'm wondering now because of the last post if I've inhaled some kind of mould bacteria and that has cause this 'smoke smelling problem'??? I'm excited to go and clean my washing machine with bleach to see if it helps.... By the way, washing towels in vinegar certainly worked, if you're having the problem!! So, it's trying to find a link here for everyone suffering this....I'm clutching at straws because I SO DON'T want to believe there's anything wrong with my brain.....Do your towels have a weird 'damp' smell??? I know it's a common problem......other things that are a bit out of the ordinary for me to see if anyone finds a link are:

 

* I'm breastfeeding.

 

* I'm on a very restricted diet because my baby has 'sensitivities' No wheat and no dairy for the last four months.

 

* I've recently laid a LOT of mulch in the garden.

 

* I'm tired because I'm not getting a lot of sleep.

 

* I don't have allergies that I'm aware of.

 

* I consider myself to be a bit of an anxious type, I'm chlastrofobic.

 

I can't think of anything else worth mentioning but if I do I'll certainly be back.

 

I'd love to hear if anyone else has 'musty' smelling towels though....wouldn't it be fantastic if THAT was the problem......

 

 

Reply
Lynn Marie, Community Member
7/23/09 2:57pm

I just wanted to let you know that my towels are smelling the same way. I have had this smoke smell for over 2 yrs. After I read the post about mold it was an ahh haa moment! I have noticed that when I sit on my couch I keep smelling a musky mold smell. It was coming from the vent with the filter in my home. My husband changed it a month ago but I can still smell it. I had just not thought anymore about it until I read the mold post. Now I am wondering if there is mold growing under my home and is coming out through the vent. We have noticed a weird fungus or mold growing in our flower bed. Our neighbors have the same mold. We had this house built 2 1/2 years ago.. Coincidence, I'm not so sure.. the timing is on target... Now I want to go out and look under the house... we have black widows bad here so maybe I will send my husband..lol.. either way I have to know if something is growing under there and if not I already know that something has been growing in our flower bed the last two years during the summer so is it the soil that my house is bult on or is it the mulch in the flower bed? There's got to be a connection here... Tell me what you guys think...I live in South Carolina...

blnix@bellsouth.net

Reply
bumptybrown, Community Member
6/18/09 4:33pm

Ok.

I posted a couple of days ago. I have an MRI appointment tomorrow.

In the meantime I've been reading more and I'm convinced this isn't anything to do with the brain although now I'm worried so I'm going ahead with the MRI to rule it out.....

I just bought a neti pot to try as a few people seemed to have had success...I've used one before many years ago so I'm not new to it and I know how to do it. I can NOT get the water to come out of my other nostril!!! I've tried many different head angles and even just watched a 'how to' video on youtube. I'm relaxed, I'm not afraid (as I said, I've done it before) I'm doing it RIGHT and the water will not come. All I'm getting is a pain in my forehead.

Is it possible to have blocked sinuses without even knowing it??? I can breathe fine.....

 

Reply
CR, Community Member
6/ 3/11 5:59pm

I know its been a while since you last posted. BUt I wanted to ask about the results of your MRI?

Reply
shoshe, Community Member
6/18/09 11:40pm

This is so interesting.  I have been having this smoke smell for a few weeks and am sort of relieved I'm not imagining it though sorry you all have it too.  I had brain surgery to remove a pituitary tumor in February  -- it was removed through my sinuses.  They have been sensitive ever since and I have a chronic infection in the sphenoid sinus right near where they accessed my tumor.  I think the sinusitis is the key and I'm on an antibiotic to try to kill it off.   I also have been trying to follow the "sinus survival" guide program to approach it from a more holistic direction.   Yeast and fungus could be culprits.... 

Reply
shoshe, Community Member
6/18/09 11:42pm

I forgot to mention that in Arizona, the tree pollen is very high right now so my allergies are unlike they have ever been before with burning sinuses-- another factor in this smoke mystery.

Reply
bumptybrown, Community Member
6/20/09 12:28am

Well, after a day of horrible anxiety because I'm claustrophobic, I went for the MRI on my brain at 5.15pm. I got through it with the help of two lovely receptionists!! One held my hand and the other watched my baby!

The technician isn't allowed to tell you any results but the lovely receptionist told me there was 'nothing'!! I can't tell you how relived I am after reading a few posts here about brain issues. I still have an appointment with a neurologist next week so we'll see what he says. Maybe he'll suggest an EEG because I know some people mention un-known seizures? Who knows? I also have an appointment with an ENT specialist and an allergist.

My gut feeling at the moment is that this is an allergy matter. AS I mentioned earlier I laid a TON of mulch the day this started. I looked up 'mulch and allergies' and there's a big connection because of possible mould and spores that lie in mulch......

I'm still smelling cigarette smoke really strongly and it's been almost a week now. I have a mild headache but that's probably due stress worrying about the MRI. I do however also have a bit of earache in my left ear which may suggest an ear problem which hopefully the ENT guy would detect......Maybe it's all sinus related.

I'm absolutely determined to get to the bottom of this. I'm 38 years old and have never experienced anything like this before. I have good health insurance so I'm going to ask for ALL the tests and I'll let you know what I find....

I'll keep you posted....

 

Reply
bumptybrown, Community Member
6/23/09 8:21pm

Hi again.

Just been to an ENT specialist and a neurologist.

I have a mild inflammation on my sinuses. I checked out 100% with the neurologist.

It was recommended I use a saline rinse twice a day. Take a zinc supplement. He also suggested a steroid nasal spray and maybe anti-biotics but because I'm nursing I'm not able to take these.

I still have an appointment with an allergist and then I'm at a loss.

The second last post, ashgar30 seems to be in exactly the same situation as I am.

The neurologist thinks this will resolve itself soon enough, but because of all the posts I've read here I have my doubts!!

I'm going to the UK for 5 weeks in 2 weeks time. If I still smell smoke I'll be interested to see if it goes away when I'm in the UK. If it does, and it returns when I come home, I'll maybe assume it's something in my house causing an irritation.....

Also, I suppose this COULD be a stress related thing. I have a 5 and a half month old baby, I have no help and I'm pretty tired....

If I can't get to the bottom of this I'll try acupuncture, Chinese medicine, hypnotism, ANYTHING to get rid of the smell. It's awful and I do NOT want to think I have to live like this permanently.

 

Reply
Speicalkitty, Community Member
8/17/09 9:55pm

I too am experiencing smoke smell. Every since I started sterioids.  I Have had cronic allergies and sinus problems all my life so I doubt it's that.  I'm betting it's the steroids.

 

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Reply
Ren, Community Member
8/28/09 3:31pm

Hello. I guess you know why I'm here. That's right: smoke smell. I smoked for 25 years but quit nearly five years ago.  I am very sensitive to smoke now, choking and having to take small, shallow breaths when I am near smoke.  Two weeks ago, while on vacation, we wound up in a smoking restaurant. Even though we were in the non-smoking section, I had to keep a napkin on my nose to be able to breath. The choking sensation is so bad that I can't even speak; I gag and am not able to get a complete sentence out.  The next day, we also wound up in a gigantic tourist shop that reeked of smoke.  Unfortunately, since the place was so huge and had prices much better than those in the regular tourist spots, we were in there for an hour--with me choking and stuttering all the way.  That same day we went home, and the smoke smell did not leave me.  I gagged all the through our five-hour car ride, even stopping to dig out a clean shirt from my suitcase, thinking that the smoke smell had attached to my shirt. That didn't work. So I figured it was on my pants or my hair, or even on my family's clothes as well.  So after we got home, I immediately got into the shower.  But I was assualted by smoke smell right after I got out!  That nasty smell, which distrupted my sleep, lasted for two full days.  The only thing that brought me any relief was to rub a pile of Vicks under and around my nose. But that only lasted for a few minutes--then I could still feel the mintiness of the Vicks on my face, but I could not smell it anymore.  All I smelled was smoke.  This lasted for two days, but then went away.  I thought that maybe the smoke smell had "latched on" to stuff in my sinuses, and that it took a while for it to be moved out of my system.

 

At least that's what I thought until yesterday, when the smoke smell returned with a fury! I live in an area where people burn their trash, so I figured it was wafting in through the A/C system.  But then later, when I went out to pick up my kids from school, I noticed how CLEAN and FRESH it smelled outside.  It didn't smell like smoke at all! That's when I began to suspect that the problem was "in my head," so to speak.  So last night, I had a very rough night, unable to sleep for the smoke smell. Like before, Vicks worked, but only for a few minutes at a time, so I repeatedly put it on hoping I would be able to fall asleep while still smelling Vicks. I awoke several times during the night, only to find myself choking on smoke smell.  Oh yes, I also developed a headache last night.

 

Today the smoke smell has been just as bad--constant, burning my nostrils and gagging me, although not making my eyes water.  But at one point, the smell suddenly left.  I could "feel" something moving in my sinuses when that happened, as if something shifted. It happened when I got up from my seat and was walking around.  Then the smell stayed away for a while as I was out doing errands, but returned again once I arrived home and sat in my chair.

 

So for me, I suspect the smoke smell is related to sinuses. I have never been diagnosed with allergies. But a few other wierd things make me wonder if it's all related:

 

--a few weeks ago the entire right side of my head and face started tingling ... the sensation came on strong and then sort of petered out.

 

--a few days ago, when walking into the bathroom, I noticed an overwheming MOLD smell.  My husband said he couldn't smell it, but he tried to pull up the ends of the carpets to see if anything was wet. He couldn't see anything.

 

--For many years--at least 10--I have suffered on and off episodes of nausea mingled with headaches ... it feels like a hangover that won't go away. At its worst, which was only last month, I was laid up in bed for two days, feeling sick with a fast, thready heartbeat, a "sick" feeling in my head and gut, and a headache. 

 

I don't know if these things are related or not.  But I certainly wish--like you all do--that we could find some answers.

 

If any of you reading this "connect" with my symptoms or problems, please let me know. It really does help knowing you're not crazy--and that you're not alone!

 

Thanks for listening. I'll be tuning in here for more reports and in hopes of finding a solution! 

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wendylloyd, Community Member
11/23/09 1:03pm

Hiya, I wanted to reply to your post because recently I had a similar experience. My mum smoked all through my childhood and other than having asthma and the usual symptoms I had no real reaction to cigarette smoke. Since the public area smoking ban here in the UK Ive noticed that when i am near a smoker the smell of smoke doesnt go away for a very long time, this is affected by my poor sinuses.

I had two operations on my nose as a kid, one to cut down oversized filters, the second was a revision. Ever since I have found my nasal passages cling on to any particular smell until my nose fully clears, which can take up to a week. The way I see it, is that our nasal passages can feel clear but they always have regular levels of mucus right in the back almost behind our eyes, (have a bandage removed from here, you'll know what im talking about). This mucus can take weeks to move forward, sometimes hours to move backwards and own into the stomach, the result is that smells can often linger far longer than normal, making us irritable towards them. When we lie down our nasal passages can collapse slightly causing mucus to shift, releasing trapped smells. You're not going mad, try a sinus cleaning fluid before going to bed. I can smell my cold virus for around two weeks after a cold symptoms have gone, this is about the same time it takes for the mucus to do a full circle too. The fact that youve quit smoking and are a bit oversensitive to the smoke too wouldnt help. I once got a whiff of an old ladys 'gerkin' breath, I have never ever ever smelled anything like it and it triggered my gag reflex. I cant even speak to her on the phone anymore, Im trying to think of what im going to say to her as to why ive not replied to her machine messages...

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Raj, Community Member
9/14/09 3:22pm

I started experiencing the smoke smell first time in my life time for last 3 days.

after reading all these artcle I think I should consult a doctor.

--Raj

 

 

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Alphiyah, Community Member
9/21/09 1:53pm

Dear All,

 

I decided to google the `burning smell' sensation because my daughter, 10,

complains about it for about 2-3 months now. It comes to her on and off and

she becomes really irritated and cranky because of that; especially somehow

when it's time for her to sleep. We were dismissing her complains as we

felt no smoke at all; but now I see it can be serious and real!  As far as I see,

it indeed may have had started after her especially bad cold, some 3 months ago.

She also had rather weak sinuses before, mostly having stuffed nose every time

after swimming for the last 2 years, and she swims a lot. I even thought she has

allergy to the chlorine in the pool water... My husband did smoke but quit 3

months ago, and she says she never had it outside of the house. It is monsoon

season now in India and mold (spores) is probably everywhere. I will definitely check

for polyps and/or nasal fungus; it's just possible that this is the reason. Any severe

infection lowers the immunity (what with antibiotics) and fungus could have taken

over...  The problem with the child is that she can't really express what she is

feeling, just gets too cranky, cries and screams at us...

 

 

 

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Alphiyah, Community Member
9/21/09 2:03pm

Dear All,

 

I decided to google the `burning smell' sensation because my daughter, 10,

complains about it for about 2-3 months now. It comes to her on and off and

she becomes really irritated and cranky because of that; especially somehow

when it's time for her to sleep. We were dismissing her complains as we

felt no smoke at all; but now I see it can be serious and real!  As far as I see,

it indeed may have had started after her especially bad cold, some 3 months ago.

She also had rather weak sinuses before, mostly having stuffed nose every time

after swimming for the last 2 years, and she swims a lot. I even thought she has

allergy to the chlorine in the pool water... My husband did smoke but quit 3

months ago, and she says she never had it outside of the house. It is monsoon

season now in India and mold (spores) is probably everywhere. I will definitely check

for polyps and/or nasal fungus; it's just possible that this is the reason. Any severe

infection lowers the immunity (what with antibiotics) and fungus could have taken

over...  The problem with the child is that she can't really express what she is

feeling, just gets too cranky, cries and screams at us...

 

 

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Ty Mechs, Community Member
9/27/09 3:01am

I get this when I have a sinus infection.  You may have a fungal infection (most Drs don't think about that), or a resistant bacterial one.  Rather than throwing more pharmaceuticals at it, suggest you start doing regular saline sinus washes, make sure you're drinking plenty of WATER, while getting enough salt, and lots of Vit. C (several grams a day).  The C is a natural antihistamine, and the salt (while you're well hydrated) thins the nasal secretions so your body can get rid of them more easily. 

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carmenuch, Community Member
9/27/09 9:54pm

Almost the same thing  happened to me.   I smelled that someone had maybe been smoking or that something was burning or had been burning.  It could have been cigar smoke I was smelling.  But no one smokes a cigar. I don't know if that helps any....

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Sureican, Community Member
10/10/09 1:02am

I found relief from the "ghost smoke" after a coarse of antibiotics and the Dr. told me to put a few drops of BABY SHAMPOO in my salt water sinus rinse. Do this 3 times in a row, 1st Baby Shampoo & salt water rinse, followed by 2 more just salt water. The very day I did this I could smell the most faint PLEASANT smell. I didn't mention I had lost my sense of smell completely for the last TWO YEARS! The "ghost smoke" as I called it, would come and go, always scared me until I could get someone else to assure me there wasn't anything burning.   I also use "Fluticasone Propionte" nose spray.

I had 3 sinus surgeries in a year and half, they helped me breath again and the pain was gone but lost my sense of smell. Long story short, I came to find out I have ASPIRIN ALLERGY, called Samster's Tirade, or Aspirin Tirade, NSAID too will cause nasal polyps, asthma. I've been desensitized to aspirin and now must take it every day, AM-PM,

BIG difference in my asthma control, lung function great. If you ever take aspirin or ibuprofen and get any breathing problems, or a sudden stuffy noise (as I did )  you may have this condition. 20% of asthma sufferers do.

This is a recipe for the salt/soda used in the NEDI RINSE make it your self and save.

www.aaaai.org for more info.

3 heaping teaspoon canning salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

I use 1 teaspoon in 8oz bottle of warm water, might be too strong for some.

BEST OF LUCK TO ALL

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lisa, Community Member
10/19/09 11:17am

i have been smelling smoke for about 10 years. can never find the source.also recently developed some kind of pain in my right arm[cannot reach under anything or raise it higher than my shoulder,without having crippling pain.after attempting to do this it takes some time before my arm stops hurting.can not afford health insur. or dr. visits.i thought the smoke smell was just my imagination, but am relieved to know i'm not crazy.the arm pain developed about 6 mo. ago.at first i thought maybe i had slept on it or perhaps my husband rolled over on it during the night, but it has gotten steadily worse.can't pick up my grandchildren or even the cast iron skillets i cook with.

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thenoseknows, Community Member
2/13/10 3:54pm

In addition to the smell of smoke, I also have the problem with pain in arm that comes and goes.  I understand that to be a symptom of herpes virus.  I have started to work out regularly with controlled weights and still have occasional problems with arm pain & weakness which doesn't last as long as it used to.  Still smell smoke!

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Max, Community Member
10/23/09 12:55am

Daniel and others,

 

I don't want to cause alarm, but I thought my recent situation may shed some light for a few of you.

 

Like you, Daniel, in July of 1009 while in Hilo, Hawaii I developed a very severe sinus infection in conjunction with a terrible persistent cough, fever, and headache.  I also took 2 Z-pak (antiboitic) courses.  Throughout the following summer I could not entirely get rid of the cough.

 

In about November I began to smell, what seemed to be, burning toast.  At the time I didn't consider the smell of cigarettes since neither my wife or I have ever smoked and we are the only ones in the house.  Like many of you, I would open windows to try to clear the air and would ask my wife if she had burned some toast.  It was only after her feedback/confirmation that there was absolutely no smell that I realized the problem was unique to me.

 

The next month I woke up with a persistent cough and headache.  I discovered a tingling sensation over the left side of my face such that, when I brushed my hand over the skin's surface it felt as if was dragging a spider web across it.  I thought I was having a mini-stroke (TIA or transient ischemic attack) and was taken to the local emergency room.

 

Contrast CT and MRI scans revealed 2 golf ball-sized bacterial abscesses had formed in my posterior frontal lobes.  Treatment consisted of brain surgery, 21 days in the hospital rehab unit with massive 24/7 infusions of extremely strong antibiotics for 4 months.

 

I am still bothered by the inconsistent smell (phantosmia) of cigarette smoke which appears to be worse when my brain is fatigued and is strong enough to wake me up.

Sleep (ie. relative brain inactivity) seems to definitely help reduce the symptoms.

 

Many of you have probably done extensive Web searches under olfactory hallucination and have seen the possible links to brain damage and seizure activity (Mayo Clinic, etc.).  Based on my experience, I highly recommend that you see a good neurologist if you have these ongoing weird olfactory symptoms.  Mine appear to have been the result of a nasty brain infection. 

 

My MDs continue to worry that I may yet have a seizure disorder which has not yet manifest despite a negative EEG, based on my ongoing phantosmia.  Yet another work-up with a neurologist is next month.  If something is revealed I will let you know.

 

Best of luck and health to you.

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vicki, Community Member
10/23/09 8:05pm

My experience has been of smelling stale nicotine, like yesterday's ashtray full of stubbed out cigarettes.  This happened last year when I had full-on influenza with head and lung congestion.  I didn't take antibiotics.  I have never smoked.  No-one near me smokes.  I live in pure country air.  When I got over the flu, the smell went away.  Thus, in my case, the stale nicotine smell was directly related to having a head-nose-throat-chest infection.  A year later I have a head cold and sinus infection and noticed the same smoky-nicotine smell for a little while.  So I think it is just something to do with the infection.  Doesn't mean you have a brain tumour or a mental illness.  Smile

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Susan, Community Member
10/27/09 4:24am

Hi all,

 

I posted somewhere else about 6 months ago, had been smelling cigarette smoke all the time, but it went away and I proceeded to forget about it.

 

Yesterday it came back with a vengeance. I have this theory about it being the neighbors, that somehow they are smoking and the smoke is getting into our house through the attic via the air return system. The only problem is, neither my husband nor my daughter can smell smoke. This is driving me nuts, because it really is so strong it is almost overpowering. Yesterday I woke up very early and made my husband open the garage door and start up the fan, even though it was only 30 degrees outside. I was desperate for some fresh air.

 

I lived with extreme second-hand smoke until the age of 18. At 15 I developed asthma and on top of the allergies I already had, this made a real mess. I continue to suffer from asthma/allergies, which I thought were under control. I might understand this episode if there was some obvious trigger (why now and not for the past six months am I smelling the smoke)... I haven't had any particular upper respiratory problems, am not on any unusual medications, etc. I do have very dry eyes and sometimes my right eye does not want to open when I wake up because it is so dry. But no nasal congestion to speak of, occasional sneezing, but that was pretty much confined to the allergy season (Jun-Aug). The only new food is some dill pickles we put up about 9-10 weeks ago. The brine turned out way too salty, but homemade pickles are just the best so I ate them anyway -- then drank lots of water.

 

My husband theorizes that if I get a whiff of any kind of smoke, I start thinking it is cigarette smoke. I have explained to him that I can differentiate every kind of smoke, cigarette, from the oven, from a frying pan, from the neighbor's grill, from industrial sources -- they all have a distinctly different odor, but for me cigarette smoke is the worst. It burns my throat and eyes and I can practically taste it -- does anybody else have it to this degree? The last time I smelled smoke, it was like smoke from a pipe -- sweet and even more sickening than cigarette smoke. This time it's back to plain ol' cigarette smoke. I am so fearful that it is real and will injure my already damaged lungs.

 

Today I actually posted an inquiry for a home air quality test. If the cost is reasonable we are going to spring for it. If it can be proved to me there is absolutely nothing contaminating the air then I will deal with this in a different way -- i.e. biofeedback or accupuncture or something...I would actually be relieved to know that this is something in my head, because then it won't be making my lungs/breathing worse and shortening my life at the same time. I'm pretty good with biofeedback -- but right now I'm not convinced it isn't real. I need proof!

 

If anybody wants to communicate more often, just let me know and I will happily exchange e-mails.

 

Best of luck to all ...

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preliminarymap, Community Member
10/30/09 5:19pm

I too have been smelling smoke when there is no smoke around me.  It started several weeks ago when while driving through town one evening we drove through smoke coming off a burning pile of leaves.  After driving through, I notice that the smell was still with me much later and many miles away.  Well today makes the 3rd or 4th episode with the phantom smell/smoke and I am starting to really get bothered by it.  I am glad to read that other people are experiencing this and that I am not alone.  I am going to try a sinus rinse/flush.  If that doesn't help I'll make an appoint with the Dr.  I have read many theories and ideas and will share those with my doctor. 

I was wondering if this might be brought on by using to much hand sanitizer (contains 62% ethyl alcohol - could this be absorbed through the skin? ) And just this month I started taking a low dose antibiotics for acne.   -----   I am just throwing ideas out there as I am always one to question, question, question until I find answers........ 

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preliminarymap, Community Member
10/30/09 8:25pm

Just read up on ethyl alcohol, not a source for concern.

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goodqueen, Community Member
11/ 5/09 2:31pm

I can't beleive it.  I too have been smelling smoke all around me for the past week. I actually had it happen to me last January for about a week and I attributed it to something else entirely. Now it's back and yes I have started a new job where I have to continually use hand sanitizers (nurse).  My husband actually made the connection and asked me to google it.  The day the smoke smell started, I remembered putting the some sanitizer gel directly under my nose so as to avoid germs from a women who had a bad flu. (I know sounds silly - but she was really sick and in my car). That same day  the smoke smell started.  Could that be it??????????  Somebody figure something out - I'm desperate, it's with me all the time and I am having trouble sleeping with it. Does the smell affect your taste? Not me, as yet.  I tried taking a Claritan - did nothing. As well - do you have the smell in both nostrils? I can't tell.  Somebody must know something by now.

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NadineB, Community Member
11/13/09 4:35pm

hello everyone,

wow, I started smelling the smoke extremely bad in the past 10 days or so. I engaging in smoke free places and no one else smells it. But also it is too strong to be real unless someone next to me was smoking.

Anyway, I am a spiritual person and recently learnt Reiki. On a reading session about energys and metaphysics recently I read "ghost, or spirits" have smells. So honestly when I started looking this up I expected to see stuff along those lines. I am still going to follow this lead, but am now alittle worried.

 

about 2 years ago my Doc thought I had MS, I would lose eye sight, feeling in my left arm and shake uncontrollably. I went to a neuro doc and they found nothing. I ended up seeking natural therapies and homopathy and actupancture worked...until this week. I feel all these syptoms and more. I am now feeling pressure in my right eye everyday and in my right sinuses every day, with mild migrane syptoms.

I put these down to hayfever and the previous syptoms to stress...

 

Like I said. I am now off to the doctor this week, but think I will still follow the natural energies idea for answers as last time natural therapies helped and the docs found ZIP!

 

Opps....forgot to mention, at the onset of these last syptoms and the old ones returning, I have jumped from low blood pressure to slightly high.

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Jeannie143, Community Member
11/15/09 10:57pm

Don't know, but it is happening to me too.  For almost two years, on and off.  It is driving me nuts.  Nobody around me can smell it. This is just like someone lighting up a cigarette right beside me and blowing smoke in my face.  Sometimes, I get a sore throat and my eyes will burn too.  But... there is no smoke around me and has not been for years.

Jeannie

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cll766, Community Member
11/24/09 5:25pm

Could be a side effect from the Z-pack. In the past, I have had taste changes for a few says while on a medicine until the effects wore off. I had a major sinus infection this year and could "smell" my infection. I was also on a Z-pack this year for a mastoid and did not have any ill effects. If it persists, tell your doctor or get a second opinion.

 

Just a thought, I have a nicotine allergy and I can smell smoke on clothes and in cars for days after they lit up. Prolonged exposure triggers my asthma. One time, I was working at Meijer's and smelled a person who had just smoked a cigar from 4 aisles down (don't ask). Are you sure that someone close to you is not lighting up and keeping it from you?

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abcdefg54321kkssj, Community Member
11/26/09 1:32am

Okay,

I am just 18,

and I am experiencing the smoke smell in my nose,

and I can't seem to smell anything else, it sucks!

 

Here is what happened:

I had a shot of bourbon (old crow),

and my chest got really tight,

it felt like I needed some fresh air

(no one was smoking or burning anything, air was clear)

so I breathed in a deep breath expecting it to help,

but it only made it worse! And not only that,

but pressure and pain spread into my arms..

 

I was advised by the friends I was with to take HALF of another shot,

and chase it with beer, to loosen up.

 

Well it worked.

 

I threw up early that morning, and in the afternoon,

it's only been about a whole 26 hours since I drank that first shot,

but I noticed that I started smelling the smoke around 24 hours after the shot I took..

 

I still feel slightly sick to my stomach,

but I ate a tuna sandwhich about 6 hours ago.

I don't FEEL hungry..

I want the smell to go away,

it smells like a fire, sometimes it smells like the bourbon..

It's making things worse,

and I'm getting scared..
What is going on?!!

 

I'm thinking nerve damage,

but then what happened in my chest?

 

I DO have bad sinuses,

plus I live in the WV/KY area,

so it's bad for allergies anyway..

Anybody know what's going on or have any CLUE?

=(

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Monique9382, Community Member
11/27/09 10:35pm

I lost my sense to smell for about 3 months, had to have an MRI done and kept getting repeated sinus infections.  Took zithromax, felt better and got sick again a couple weeks later.  Tooka some vancomycin, started to smell again.  This past week, I smell something burning, my eyes burn as if it was right underneath my nose.  My otarnologist thinks I had a virus that attacked my olfactory nerve.  I am so clueless and so annoyed.  I have yet to call and tell him my new symptoms.  There has to be someone that specializes in cases like ours.

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anonymous, Community Member
12/ 8/09 10:47am

I had the smoke smell thing going on last winter after I had taken Zicam for several days (nasal swabs) so I stopped the Zicam and the smell went away.

 

Now I recently had an old fashioned cold again and I have been using Mucinex because of the congestion.  And once again I have the smoke smell thing happening !

 

So, yesterday was my last Mucinex, but I'm still smelling smoke faintly as of today.  I hope it will resolve after Im off the Mucinex a day or so.

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rstone, Community Member
12/13/09 3:25pm

$$$$$$$ Well people, we ALL have something in common! Stuffy nose, Sinus Infections, nasal problems, Allergies.... etc... Tell me one thing. What do you reach for when you want to clear your sinuses? Yes siree! this website advertises it so I don't suspect this posting will be here long. Think about it... What you reach for to clear your sinuses is causing the SMOKE smell! It happened to me too. I used Zircam Gel. What do you use?

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cacchen, Community Member
12/14/09 12:09am

I am not sure if there is anything here that will help, its been more than a year and a half since your post.

I've been experiencing this smell of faint cigarette smoke over the last 2 weeks also, and at first I thought someone was outside the house smoking and that the smoke was coming inside somehow, not the case. this smell is driving me up the wall. This morning the smell wasnt present and the only changes were, rain moved in and it warmed up to where the furnace didnt kick on.

Now the rain and humidity has moved out, the temperature has dropped, the furnace has kicked on a few times and the smell has returned.

Tommorow I am calling to have the furnace checked and I am going to use my humidifyer to see if things change.

After this if the smell is still with me I will go get checked for possible phantosmia.

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Vicki, Community Member
12/26/09 1:34am

Let me know when you find out cause I have had the same thing happen to me.

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Smoky, Community Member
12/28/09 6:24pm

A friend of mine and myself discovered that we've both experienced this sensation and both of our doctors said it was quite common among people suffering from depression. Whenever I seasonally dip into depression the smoke comes back. Quite subtle, reminds me of fall with someone with a fire on down the road.

 

 

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tequila mockingbird, Community Member
1/30/10 3:46pm

Your doctor may be on to something. I read your post, and a light went on. I've been living in apartments for the past five years and thought it was residue from past tenants who smoked in my apartment. When the last of the smokers moved out, I thought the problem would go with them...it didn't. Then I read your post and remembered I hardly ever have this problem in summer when the doors and windows are open. I thought it was because the air was circulating better. But, I do have problems with the gloominess of winter. Maybe it is depression. I will have to monitor that closely. Thanks for your post.

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Smokeless in Seattle, Community Member
12/31/09 10:20pm

Hello everyone!

 

I've had the phantom smoke odor in my nose for the past month. I also had it about 2 years ago for a few months. I had no idea what was causing it. Initially I thought it was from allergies. Recently I read a post from an MD who said he was fairly certain it was a side effect from Acid Reflux. Since I've had acid reflux problems in the past (in the form of heartburn) I thought I'd try cutting out all of the acidy food/drink in my diet. So last week I stopped drinking coffee/tea in the morning and the one glass of (red) wine I usually have every evening. Wouldn't you know it! Within two days the smoke smell was gone! It's been a week now and the smell hasn't come back. It worked for me.....you might want to give it a try.

 

Signed,

 

Smokeless in Seattle

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dmae_1, Community Member
4/19/11 10:53am

I first started noticing strang smell sensations about 10 months ago. Mine started as a chlorine like smell, I was living in an apartment in New Orleans at the time and had been swimming in a chlorinated pool and thought there might be a connection there, at the time. I also had an abcessed tooth a few months before that and was on the Zpack. And also had a short time before went through laser surgry on my gums for peridontal disease. I also found I had an ear infection from my doctor around that time too. I noticed I never had the smell problem while traveling away from home, so thought it was in my apartment in the AC system. (first started in June) Well then I moved to Missouri and again started experiencing this smell thing only this time it was like exhaust fumes and I thought it must be happening because of somethong related to my car, because I was living in a new apartment in a new state, though I stilll wonder about the mold thing, especially after this started in New Orleans.... When this happens to me it lasts two or three days, and it seems like drinking water helps. Then lately it has happened to me and it's this burnt wood like smell. I am a smoker, but when I had my first onset in New Orleans I had quit for a couple months. I started wondering if it was somethnig in the cigarettes. I had another onset a couple days ago that led me to this site. I had a sudden anxiety feeling and then the onset of this smoke smell happened. I did some green tea, and cilantro in tomatoe soup and it went away, also used relaxation / meditation techniques and relaxed my brain...which is constantly spinning...

I have however noticed a correlation with drinking red wine. Seems like when I drink red wine regularly, it sets it off. I'm laying off the red wine; definately seems to help.

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leah beck, Community Member
1/10/10 2:36am

This can be a serious reaction to drugs, especially any drugs containing sulfa or sulfur, or these drugs: antithyroid drugs, captopril, griseofulvin, lithium, penicillamine, procarbazine, rifampin, vinblastine, and vincristine

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Teresa, Community Member
1/12/10 4:51pm

You seem to know about meds.

I couldn't sleep for the past month, and I started taking Unisom over the counter sleep aid, that dries up my throat and nasal passages. I am wondering if that has anything to do with me smelling cigarette smoke all the time? I also take multivitamins and fish oil supplements and CoQ10 supplements.Is there any sulphur in them?

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Teresa, Community Member
1/12/10 4:43pm

I have the same sensation of smelling cigarette smoke, for longer than a month now, but only inside my house, where the air is dry.We do not have a humidifier, and it's winter time. I am wondering if the furnace heating the rooms releases some fumes that bind to the same receptors like the cigarette smoke, causing my brain to interpret it as the smell of cigarettes. Friends joke of the possibility of a brain tumor, which I refuse to believe as true.I do not want to go to the doctor, because I know how they send you from one specialist to another and do all kinds of un-necessary tests. In the end, one becomes more crippled from the tests, then they were from the initial condition they came for in the first place. Without mentioning the medical bills. I couldn't sleep for the past month, and I started taking Unisom over the counter sleep aid, that dries up my throat and nasal passages. I am wondering if that has anything to do with it. I remember taking Benadryl for my allergies in the past and getting the same sensation of smelling cigarette smoke.

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Joan, Community Member
1/14/10 11:15am

Incredible that so many people have this symptom! I've had it off and on for years, but recently it has become constant. I had sinus surgery in 2003, and was diagnosed with migraines in 2006. It turns out that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between sinus problems and migraines, so perhaps some of the people responding to this question have been misdiagnosed. This would affect the understanding of this phenomenon. 

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Lana, Community Member
1/29/10 1:29am

Hi all,

I, too, am amazed that so many people suffer from this annoying symptom yet very few doctors have ever heard of it. After reading these posts I felt I might help someone if I told my situation.

I'm 40. I suddenly lost all hearing in my right ear about 10+ yrs ago. I've had an MRI and thyroid tests and they came back normal. The doctor said that to lose hearing suddenly and without warning happens to many people. 

I have never had a sinus infection and I rarely get colds and flus. I only recently, in the last 2 years, developed some type of allergy that comes and goes in the form of hives and swelling, usually in the face. I do have asthma and it developed about 7 yrs ago.

I started smelling the phantom smoke after I lost my hearing. Connection?? I did ask my ENT doc about the smoke smell and, after an exam, he had absolutely no suggestions.

I do love food and it's usually not the most healthy. I try to stay active but I don't take my vitamins as I should.

For some reason I tend to think my smoke smell comes on strongest when I have eaten carbs such as white bread and pasta although it is by no means consistent in it's appearance. I do have less flare ups when I eat healthier but the smell hasn't completely gone away.

I must admit I got a little concerned when I read that the phantom smell might indicate brain problems. I intend to investigate further.

I hope there are some doctors out there who suffer from this symptom, not for revenge, but so that they can instigate some research and possibly get a diagnosis. If anyone out there knows a doctor through friendship or relations try to get them to pick their colleague's brains and see what they can come up with. Who knows? You may be the one to start the process.

Good Luck

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Ken, Community Member
1/30/10 10:27am

Hi all, I, too, have smelled cigarette smoke off and on for the past four years. I do not smoke, never have, nor did anyone else living in this house. I also smelled the smoke in my car at times, and no one ever smoked in my car. My house and car are clean, free of molds, dust, etc. This is going to sound unbelievable to some, but having consulted two psychic mediums, the smoke is attributable to my parents who smoked heavily when I was a child. As a kid I would admonish them about smoking and hide their cigarettes or vandalize the cigarette packages to make it harder for them to smoke. The psychics informed me it was their way of letting me know they are around. It would make sense that they would use the smoke as a signal. Additionally, my mother uses Jean Patou's perfume, Joy, as well. There is no perfume in this house.

Just thought I'd throw this out to you as another possible explanation.

Now, I welcome the scent. It comes every now and then.

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jajoon, Community Member
2/ 1/10 2:34pm

I reserched this problem like many of you are doing right now.My symptoms were a smoke smell and also watery eyes and light chest congestion. These symptoms started around my computer,at which point i thought it was the computer or i was becomming allergic to the computer. Soon i was smelling smoke often ,especially around a light or heat source and a wave of fatigue was common . I determined for myself that it was a sinus infection ,brought on by a recent flu. I used sinus rinse quite aggressively and consistently for 2 days and took natural antibiotics[ garlic capsules and echinacea-golden seal]. I'm on the mend . No smoke smell and my body is definitely fighting back. My symptoms were quite severe and disconcerting,and I would strongly suggest the sinus rinse [netty squirt bottle] . the rinse flushed stuff out and made a huge difference, but you still need to attack the bacteria. I choose the natural way simply as a experiment.You may want a prescription.

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rs200, Community Member
2/ 5/10 9:05am

Same symptoms here. You mentioned a connection with using your PC. Is it a Mac? the reason I ask is that my symptoms started when I got a new mac pro. I thought it was the Mac smelling, so I googled that, and it seems there is an issue with chemical burn off on new machines, which affects some people. I still have the symptoms every where I go, but they are strongest when I am using my Mac. I am wondering if that is what caused the issue in the first place. Many people have had their macs replaced due to this 'smoke' smell, and have commented they are not happy that it was not good for their health. Maybe a terse connection but I'm looking at any cause I can to try and get rid of this problem.

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chichi, Community Member
2/ 1/10 2:35pm

I have been smellingsmoke for the last 2 days . I think mine is due to a very bad chest and head cold

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Dana, Community Member
2/10/10 7:58pm

I've been smelling smoke, just lightly, but noticeably for about a week.  Oddly, it started after burning popcorn in the microwave, so at first I thought there was something lingering in the house, but I have started to smell it at work too.  I noticed that a respondant from 2008 also lived in south central PA -connection to pollutants?  Any response would be helpful.

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Char, Community Member
2/22/10 5:12pm

I too have been experiencing the smell of smoke.  I have had sinus problems lately.  It seems to me after reading all these that it has something to do with our sinus.  Hope someone can figure out what is causing it.  I am making an appointment with my doctor this week.  Do not like the smell of cigarette smoke at all anymore.  Use to smoke....20 years ago.   Glad to see I am not the only one experiencing this. 

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Tonyvt, Community Member
2/25/10 11:35am

Me too.   Same issue.  No alergys known?  First happened last year off an on for a few days then gone over a couple of week period.  Its back now. Only thing I can add that is bugging me that Ive read from others is I have developed migrane in the last 1-2 years.   Only very occationally. Maybe once every other month.  Either head ache or the eye spot (most commonly) light in the eyes.

 

So Ive had this smoke smell symptom for over a week now again.  It comes and goes during the day.  off and on.  Im amazed so many have this but no doctors know what it is.   I also have not been sick or anything.   I seldome ever get colds, flu or sinus infection...

 

Im stumped, wondering.....

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Tim, Community Member
2/26/10 12:21pm

like all of you I thought I was nuts till I found all these posts. My story:

it started several months ago and has happened off and on. Actually now that I think about it the first time it started happening was when I had kidney stones 4 months ago. the dr perscribed me cipro, and flomax and oxycoddon for the pain which I only took twice and hated they way it made me feel (No idea why the heck druggies wanna buy that stuff.....). Anyway. yeah like all of you I smell cigarette smoke when no one is smoking. it's at work, at my house (I live alone and I don't smoke), at my girlfriend's house, outside, inside, anywhere. But unlike some of you my eyes don't burn, I don't get migranes. I've been doing a low carb diet since August, so I don't really have sweets or anything with a lot of sugar. What I do feel though is some blockage in my nose. Like, at the very top where the bone is and between my eyes, no other way to describe it but it feels like I have a ton of dried up boogers up there that need to get scooped out. Like I gotta find a dr with a mini spoon to go up there and dig it all out. It doesn't interfere with my breathing, everything seems normal, it's just that feeling and the smoke smell.
My mother was a heavy smoker and passed away from lung cancer 2 years ago. Since then, I've lived in a totally smoke free environment. Growing up, I got bronchitis pretty much every january like clockwork till I got out of school. I'm 37 now. I haven't had a cold in a year and a half and have had both flu shots this year. When I do get a cold though, I always get a scratchy throat that takes a good 2-3 months to totally go away, like just coughing is enough to irritate it, and then it tingles and makes me cough, so it's just a vicious circle.
Anyway I'd love to hear if anyone found any way to get rid of this? it seems like there's way more questions than answers in this post... but there's my story...

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Gary in Indy, Community Member
3/ 7/10 7:45am

Thanks all.

I now know I'm not crazyLaughing (well, maybe a little).  And I was praying that it wasn't something severe {may still be, but we don't really know Frown}.

I, too, hate smoke with a vengeance and tell smokers to bugger-off when around and have only been to only 2 sports bars in the past 10 years...and left early.

 

I have never smoked, but came from a smoke filled home where my dad smoked.  But that was far too many years ago to be related.

  

Now that I have been smelling this phantom smoke-smell for 2-3 weeks, I was getting very concerned that I was smelling, tasting and sensing (my eyes, back of my throat) for this entire time period.  Along with these posts, I have used a Z-pack (5th or 6th time in last several years for a sinus infections) and Mucinex DM (expectorant & cough - first time for that, but haven't used in 5 days now).  My cold / cough/ sinus drainage has lingered this time, whereas I'm accustomed to only 2-3 days and OTC meds usually do the trick.  I'm still coughing and have a raspy-ness to my breathing - something new to me.

 

I will look into the "burnt popcorn" suggestion....my daughter severly burnt a brownie in the microwave and we had smoke in the entire house (my furnace has a fan that's always on and helpfully pushed it around!).  Every time anything is heated up in that microwave, that burnt smell comes out again. 

However, this is a different smell then the cigarette-like smoke-smell and sensations I'm going through right now.

 

I have been on a very poor "diet" these past 4+ weeks (work related stress), so my carbs are way up like a few posts says.  Time to hit the fitness equipment to see if that helps...

 

I am in central Indiana, just north of Indianapolis and have been here for 4 1/2 years.  I'm 45. 

 

I will try to get back to this site to post any updates to my (our) problem.

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Carolyn, Community Member
3/20/10 10:08pm

Thank God for the Internet.  How else would we learn that so many of us are experiencing such a peculiar situation?  It first happened to me in 2007 on a trip to Istanbul. The smoke was so heavy in the hotel/restaurants that it stayed with me when I moved on to Brussels.  I complained because my floor was supposed to be non-smoking but I kept smelling cigarette smoke (no one else did).  How embarrassing to blame innocent people of smoking....yikes.  Anyway when I returned home it went away for a while but it's back again.  It's shocking to calculate how much money has been wasted on all kinds of test and misdiagnosis and worst - taking medications that clearly have not solved the problem.  I'm also experiencing a constant watery eye and suspect that stress, poor diet and allergies are an important link.  Will keep you posted on my progress.  Good health and best of luck to all....C

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kadybug, Community Member
3/29/10 12:27am

Wow, am I glad I'm not nuts! Wink  I take quite a few medications but have not ever smelled smoke (when it isn't there) until now.  My doctor changed my birth control [Yaz] about six months ago. Then another doctor changed my anti-depressant [Effexor] about four months ago.  In December he changed my seizure medication [Keppra].  I have been taking birth control, anti-depressants and seziure medications for five years.  I also take Allegra-D for allergies.  This new combination of Yaz, Effezor, Keppra and Allegra-D are somehow causing the smoke smelling sensation.  It lasted about three days.  And no, I don't smoke or live with any smokers.  I ran out of Yaz for a week and started taking it again today and the smell of smoke (and the taste in my mouth) returned.  I was worried the smell of smoke might be related to my migrains or seizures, since people with headaches and seizures sometimes smell metallic smells and have auras beforehand, but I have never heard about the smell of smoke.  I feel better knowing I am not alone and this seems to be annoying, yet harmless.  I haven't had any seizures so I don't worry.  I assume it will go away in a few days like it did last time.  I can see how depression could cause sensory changes, such as smelling smoke.  Allergies too.   

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Jim, Perth Australia, Community Member
3/30/10 5:31am

Like everyone else here, I was quite amazed and amused to find that so many people have Googled "I smell smoke all the time" or something similar. I was working on a construction site about 18 months ago where smoking is not permitted but many workers smoke anyway. The smell of their smoke and dust and other aromas on the site really annoyed me all day long. When I got home at night I could still smell it! It kept me awake however after a day or two it had cleared up. Recently I was back at the same site for the final phase of the job and guess what? the whole thing has repeated itself only this time it seems to be lasting a bit longer. It seems to me that because the smell on site is so irritating to me, my sense of smell overreacts somehow and tricks my brain into believing it's there all the time. I wish I had an answer.

 

Some fact about me:

- I used to suffer from migraines but not for the last 8 years

- I have a hiatus hernia and am on daily medication to reduce acidity level in my stomach, have been for 5 years

- I am active and cycle a lot, not overweight and generally very healthy.

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Jim, Perth Australia, Community Member
3/30/10 5:35am

Like everyone else here, I was quite amazed and amused to find that so many people have Googled "I smell smoke all the time" or something similar. I was working on a construction site about 18 months ago where smoking is not permitted but many workers smoke anyway. The smell of their smoke and dust and other aromas on the site really annoyed me all day long. When I got home at night I could still smell it! It kept me awake however after a day or two it had cleared up. Recently I was back at the same site for the final phase of the job and guess what? the whole thing has repeated itself only this time it seems to be lasting a bit longer. It seems to me that because the smell on site is so irritating to me, my sense of smell overreacts somehow and tricks my brain into believing it's there all the time. I wish I had an answer.

 

Some fact about me:

- I used to suffer from migraines but not for the last 8 years

- I have a hiatus hernia and am on daily medication to reduce acidity level in my stomach, have been for 5 years

- I am active and cycle a lot, not overweight and generally very healthy.

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kishmir, Community Member
4/ 2/10 3:41pm

Hi everyone. First let me say that I am an Internal medicine physician 25 yrs of practice. Interestingly I have never had a patient talk about smelling smoke when it was not there. I have to admit, that I am not sure what the association between smelling smoke and sinus infection actually is. But i do have an open mind and many of you are having these symptoms, and they have gone away with treatments so something must be happening.

 

my fiance and I just moved into a house that is 16 yrs old. The owners were the original ones and to my knowledge did not smoke. The three times that we visited the home before buying I did smell "smoke". I asked if there were smokers--there were not.

 

 

One time i actually became physically ill and had to walk out. But we decided to buy the place and we redid the entire interior the carpets, drapes floors, toilets

painted etc. The smell does seem to have gone away. Oh yeah, we had environmental experts test the air for fungal, molds, spores etc. all OK.

 

So now we only have the smell in one of our bathrooms. (master bath), in the commode area, which has its own door. Although it is not all the time.

 

So i wonder, could it be the water? We have well water, and it has a chemical added to our pump to remove rust. could this be a chemical reaction.?

 

thanks.

 

dennis

 

 

 

 

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TerribleTeriB, Community Member
4/ 8/10 8:46am

I had this sensation, starting when I was about 50.  It would last for days or even a week or more.  I finally started writing down what I ate and drank, to see if I could find a pattern.  Sure enough, every time I drank a canned Coke (even if I poured it over ice), I would smell smoke for several days.  Some times are more intense than others.  Once I found the link I stopped drinking Coke altogether.  Haven't had the sensation again.

 

This weekend I was talking to my sister and she has developed the same thing!  She, like I, thought she was the only one with this sensation.  Our husbands thought we were crazy.  She was out of town and had purchased a Coke from a vending machine earlier to take back to her room.  She said the smell was so intense she almost couldn't sleep.  It's been that way for me several times.  So, my recommendation is to log what you eat and drink and see if you can find the trigger for you.  I doubt it is the same for all people, but, for both my sister and I, it was Coke.

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Carolyn, Community Member
4/17/10 11:20pm

Great idea! I never thought about it being triggered by food or drink.  I'm going to try keeping a log of when this happens.  I'd love to find some answers for this.

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Ridgeback, Community Member
4/24/10 10:53am

Hi.  I've had the same problem on and off for a while now. Mine seems to follow eating Rocket leaves(the peppery salad).  Although I love the taste it has now started causing a reaction in my mouth (sore and swollen mucous membranes). After this the smoke smell comes on.  I feel that in my case it is an allergic reaction possibly due to damage to the olfactory sense cells. Ihavent tried antihistamines for it but that will be may next step.

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William, Community Member
4/26/10 4:03pm

Daniel,

Please don't mess around with the internet.

Go see a Physician....in person , and do so soon.

William

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Lorie Good, Community Member
5/18/10 3:53pm

Thanks to everyone for letting me know I am not crazy!

 

My "smoke" smell started in spring 2009 shortly after my mother, a lifelong smoker, died.  I thought she was haunting me!

 

It went away for a while, but has come back again.  

 

After reading everything here I think it has to do with my allergies.  I don't know what I am allergic to specifically, but between February and April/May I am on loratadine 10 mg (Claritin) every day.  I also use a nasal spray to help open the sinuses.  

 

Even during my non-allergic seasons I will smell the smoke and I am not on the medication at that time, but I always have kind of a stuffy nose and I think, perhaps, it is my sinuses becoming agitated again.  Also, my ears feel "full" like I have to clean them, but I clean them every morning after I shower so I think it could maybe be some kind of irritation related to the ears/nose/throat/sinuses, etc.

 

I am going to talk to my doctor and have him look for polyps or anything "up there".  It is frustrating for sure.  

 

Thanks for everyone's comments and for letting me know I am not crazy and I am most likely not being haunted!

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Darcey, Community Member
6/ 6/10 2:32pm

I first has this sensation about 8 years ago - it followed a really bad cold and sinus infection. I took antibiotics but it somehow just when on its own. Since then I've had it on and off but it's become more intense recently and I've had it almost non-stop now since last October. I've been keeping a log of what I eat and drink but no pattern has emerged, I've stopped using spray deodorant and perfume but again no relief however, the one thing I have noticed is it's worse when I'm working in the office - I wear suits to work that are dry cleaned regularly - I was wondering if it's something to do with the dry cleaning solvents? Can anyone else make this link?

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Pat McCants, Community Member
7/ 3/10 6:34pm

What a relief, I thought I was alone until I found others suffering from same suffer only smoke smell.  I visited my ENT yesterday, and share the smell of smoke with him he suggested a MRI and boy was I scared.  I will schedule one but feel alot better knowing I am not the only one or that I was losing my mind when I was the only one smelling smoke every where I go. I will try anything to alleivate this smell.  It oftens give me a slight headache but truly annoying to say the least.  Your suggestions I will try and if my doctor suggest something that is helpful, I will pass it on.  Stay strong and here's to try to smell the roses once more and more often.  I am not a smoker and I am asthmatic and with severe sinusitis

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Darcey, Community Member
8/ 9/10 2:12pm

I have now seen an ENT consultant and had a CT head scan - results have come back showing nothing is wrong. My consultant has said that the smell I've been experiencing is likely to be caused by a direct effect of a very bad sinus infection slightly altering the function of the olfactory (smell) nerve. He has said that it is likely to improve and return to normal over time (although for some people it never actually goes away). I also feel that my symptoms could be exacerbated by stress.

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Joe, Community Member
6/11/10 11:16pm

Suddenly one day I began to smell something burning. I couldn't get away from it. For over a month it burned my eyes, my throat, made me gag and it was hard to breathe. I used a face mask coated with Vick's salve, but that only gave me a few minutes' relief.

 

I smoke cigarettes, have sinus trouble, use nasal spray, have sinus infections about 3 times a year and live out in the country where people burn off their land in the springtime. I thought it had to be one of these. Reading that Mayo Clinic thinks the condition needs to be treated with anxiety medications was shocking, to say the least. Talk about a new anxiety! It had me worried there for a while. I don't take any kind of meds except for an occasional sinus tablet and or aspirin for sinus headache, and the occasional Rolaids tab.  

 

After having the wiring in my house checked, asking everyone who came over here to smell for something burning (nobody smelled a thing) and then reading this site, I changed two things....

 

1-I took a garlic oil capsule once a day for a week.

 

2-I brushed my tongue twice a day with Listerine Whitening pre-brush rinse (which is what I happened to have on hand at that time) and a brush called TUNG (inexpensive and bought at walmart).

 

Two days later I woke up and didn't smell smoke for the first time in a month. I kept on with the garlic oil and tongue brushing for several more days.

 

During that week I smelled the smoke intermittenly. After about 6 or 7 days, I never smelled it again. I stopped doing the garlic oil and Listerine to see if it'd come back. After about 3 days I smelled it a little for a couple of hours, brushed and took one garlic oil capsule that day and it stopped.

 

I have not taken a capsule or used Listerine in over a month. I also haven't smelled any smoke whatsoever in that month.

 

I'm thinking that maybe only the tongue brushing with Listerine (AND the special tongue brush) was all I needed, but garlic oil is a natural antibiotic and I was desperate to do something to stop that smell.  

 

This is a cheap, easy, non-invasive, fast way to see if it solves your problem too. I should think that you'd see a difference within days like I did, IF it's going to work for you too.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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DLD, Community Member
6/24/10 12:56am

Hello to Everyone:

 

I experienced this from May/June 07 to December 07. It was very, very bad. I particularly smelled cigarette smoke all day, every second as if the cigarette was directly up my nose, eyes tearing, ear fullness, eye twitching. Doctors,  please don't hate me for this but whatever the reason, I honestly don't think we'll ever know because our doctors don't seem to focus on reason just want something to treat. Also, I quit smoking about six months prior. Now, I was diagnosed by doctor as having acute sinusitis. Definitely sinusistis, given nasonex and zyrtec, I believe anyway nothing helped. Coffee, alcohol, exercise, and air conditioning made it worse. During the time that I was experiencing this problem, I was totally stressed out from writing my book and looking for work. Just in case some of you are stressed. Okay here is what cured me. DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.................... I took a trip to Montgomery Alabama and did not experience the smell from the time I arrived. I don't know if it was cured by the high altitude, or fresh air of Alabama. Now, some of you may not have $ to go to Alabama. Maybe you can go somewhere else where the air is not so polluted and see if that works. But I am telling you that I returned from Alabama cured. I also prayed and had people praying for me. I hope this helps. T here was nothing out there to help me whene I was searching. Maybe it is excessive stress and high blood pressure which I had also. Be cured!

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DLD, Community Member
6/24/10 12:56am

Hello to Everyone:

 

I experienced this from May/June 07 to December 07. It was very, very bad. I particularly smelled cigarette smoke all day, every second as if the cigarette was directly up my nose, eyes tearing, ear fullness, eye twitching. Doctors,  please don't hate me for this but whatever the reason, I honestly don't think we'll ever know because our doctors don't seem to focus on reason just want something to treat. Also, I quit smoking about six months prior. Now, I was diagnosed by doctor as having acute sinusitis. Definitely sinusistis, given nasonex and zyrtec, I believe anyway nothing helped. Coffee, alcohol, exercise, and air conditioning made it worse. During the time that I was experiencing this problem, I was totally stressed out from writing my book and looking for work. Just in case some of you are stressed. Okay here is what cured me. DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.................... I took a trip to Montgomery Alabama and did not experience the smell from the time I arrived. I don't know if it was cured by the high altitude, or fresh air of Alabama. Now, some of you may not have $ to go to Alabama. Maybe you can go somewhere else where the air is not so polluted and see if that works. But I am telling you that I returned from Alabama cured. I also prayed and had people praying for me. I hope this helps. T here was nothing out there to help me whene I was searching. Maybe it is excessive stress and high blood pressure which I had also. Be cured!

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Jon, Community Member
8/ 2/10 10:24am

I too am experiencing this "smelling smoke" however mine is only noticeable when the air conditioning is on, either at home, in the car or at work. I have had some serious sinus issues in the past but started using a neti pot a year ago and they seemed to clear that up, I do drink Coke as one person noted but the strange one is the Air conditioning. Anyone else only notice it when running the ac?  

 

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Jon, Community Member
8/ 2/10 10:25am

I too am experiencing this "smelling smoke" however mine is only noticeable when the air conditioning is on, either at home, in the car or at work. I have had some serious sinus issues in the past but started using a neti pot a year ago and they seemed to clear that up, I do drink Coke as one person noted but the strange one is the Air conditioning. Anyone else only notice it when running the ac?  

 

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Jon, Community Member
8/ 2/10 10:29am

I too am experiencing this "smelling smoke" however mine is only noticeable when the air conditioning is on, either at home, in the car or at work. I have had some serious sinus issues in the past but started using a neti pot a year ago and they seemed to clear that up, I do drink Coke as one person noted but the strange one is the Air conditioning. Anyone else only notice it when running the ac?

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Mike, Community Member
8/ 9/10 9:31pm

I smell the same smoke and no one close to me smoke, and no one could tell me why before. I had a biopsy of my Thyroid done last wee. This afternoon I was told by my doctor I have Thyroid cancer and he want to have them out ASAP. He said there is a high probability that's why I smell smoke. So please check yourself so it does not go to your Lymph nodes. Thanks, M.

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Mike, Community Member
8/ 9/10 9:31pm

I smell the same smoke and no one close to me smoke, and no one could tell me why before. I had a biopsy of my Thyroid done last wee. This afternoon I was told by my doctor I have Thyroid cancer and he want to have them out ASAP. He said there is a high probability that's why I smell smoke. So please check yourself so it does not go to your Lymph nodes. Thanks, M.

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RENEE SHEDECK, Community Member
8/13/10 10:14pm

In the past I have had this same problem.  Sometimes it has lasted for 3 weeks or more.  It eventually disappears.  This problem has reappeared with several years in between.  No explanation I can figure out.   Of course, my family thinks I'm nuts.  I have read that this is a pretty common problem. 

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RENEE S., Community Member
8/13/10 10:14pm

In the past I have had this same problem.  Sometimes it has lasted for 3 weeks or more.  It eventually disappears.  This problem has reappeared with several years in between.  No explanation I can figure out.   Of course, my family thinks I'm nuts.  I have read that this is a pretty common problem. 

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Linda, Community Member
8/17/10 11:24pm

Appoximately 3 weeks ago I started smelling cigarette smoke in my living room of my house, particularly the in which I sit. Neither my husband or I smoke or do we ever have visitors that smoke. It was so bad until it had me gasping for air. I had my husband go outside to see if anyone was smoking in the yard or even next door.

Since then it's gotten to where I smell it anywhere in the house, and just as of yesterday I smelled it while driving. It has really gotten to be annoying now and mostly because of the shortness of breath that I experience. I've never had a problem with my sinuses. Seziures were questionable one time but never any scientific evidence of any and I've had plenty EEG's. Calling M.D. tomorrow will let you all know something when I know something and I'll keep checking back for answers here.

 

 

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concerned in south, Community Member
9/ 4/10 1:17am

Have been smelling smoky, dusty smell since mid June, 2010.  It wasn't constant at first, now is pretty much all the time.  Takes my breath away and causes a weakened voice.  ENT sent me for brain MRI Tuesday.  Results gotten today.  Clear MRI.  What next?  Can do EEG if I choose.  Not a lot of hope that it will show anything.  Smell is making me lose sleep, struggle with talking, doing things I normally would.  My husband is tired of hearing about it although he has been supportive.  I don't have same energy and feel bad most of the time.  Have to work so it has become harder on me.  Have a stressful job.  Had to get sleeping pills to help me sleep.  I smell it everywhere.  Lets up sometimes.  Stress makes it worse.  Thankful I am not alone nor crazy.  I want a cure for this.  Can't stand thoughts of living like this every day.  It makes me crazy to smell this.  When at home or work, I try to have fan blowing on my face, seems to help a little.  The breathing is what I'm most concerned with because it is so hard to get my breath sometimes.   

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concerned in south, Community Member
9/ 4/10 1:17am

Have been smelling smoky, dusty smell since mid June, 2010.  It wasn't constant at first, now is pretty much all the time.  Takes my breath away and causes a weakened voice.  ENT sent me for brain MRI Tuesday.  Results gotten today.  Clear MRI.  What next?  Can do EEG if I choose.  Not a lot of hope that it will show anything.  Smell is making me lose sleep, struggle with talking, doing things I normally would.  My husband is tired of hearing about it although he has been supportive.  I don't have same energy and feel bad most of the time.  Have to work so it has become harder on me.  Have a stressful job.  Had to get sleeping pills to help me sleep.  I smell it everywhere.  Lets up sometimes.  Stress makes it worse.  Thankful I am not alone nor crazy.  I want a cure for this.  Can't stand thoughts of living like this every day.  It makes me crazy to smell this.  When at home or work, I try to have fan blowing on my face, seems to help a little.  The breathing is what I'm most concerned with because it is so hard to get my breath sometimes.   

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Mary, Community Member
9/18/10 3:30pm

I also have this distorted sense of smell.  I notice it more when I am sitting.  The first time it happened was right after I bought a big screen tv and I thought it was emitting fumes, but the fumes stayed with me when I left the house.  It smells like burning plastic.  No one I know can grasp what I am talking about. 

 

I've gone through menupause and this did start occurring during that time in my life.  I'm wondering if it could be hormonal.

 

I also take levothyroxin for hypothyroidism, but it's the smallest dose.

 

I started taking a multi-vitamin and a B-complex vitamin daily, but just started doing that. Impaired sense of smell is a symptom of a B12 deficiency.

 

I have these bouts with smell impairment about every other month. 

 

I'll bookmark this page and stop back in a couple months after I've been on vitamins for a while to let you know if it helps.

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Kim, Community Member
9/23/10 10:30am

I have started smelling smoke within the last 2 weeks and it has been everyday since.  Around the same time I had just gotten over a sinus infection and had taken antibiotics for it.  No one else smells it and I smell it at work, in my car, in my house or wherever.  It's like it is me.  I have never been a smoker and no one in my home is a smoker.  It has been very annoying and frustrating not knowing why.  I haven't consulted my physician yet, but not sure if it's something I should bother them with or not.  I was amazed as to how many people have experienced this same sensation.

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ew, Community Member
10/ 5/10 11:46am

Question?  Is it possible any of this is related to Zicam?  How many of us suffering have used that extensively at some point?

I suffer from the "wood burning" smell.  It is more active when the AC is on, when I have a sinus infection.  However, its been lingering around more and more lately.

Going to go get the basics checked and make sure it isn't an indicator of something more severe.

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annamaclean, Community Member
11/ 6/10 8:08pm

I get the same thing. Its driving me to insanity! my breathing goes heavier and it stays for a good hour.. i find if i eat something it helps go away faster. My smell is a strong burning down from my throat, up through my nostrels and then all the way to my head. Its horrible!! But there is NO cure or any actual decent answer to cure it. But I think i have found the answer, i have never smoked before and no one in my family have smoked before, only recently my mum started taking up the habbit, and its strange because its only been recently i have started getting this horrible pain.. i believe that i'm just sensitive to smoke, and thats what the answer is to everyone that also has it. i mean, what else could it be?

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Concerned, Community Member
10/ 6/10 1:18pm

I have been experiencing the smell of someone smoking for a few weeks. I decided to eliminate items from my diet. I like Everglades Seasoning and use it very liberally, especially on breakfast potato's. I did not use it for a while and did not experience the smell any longer. Does anyone else use this seasoning that has been experiencing the smell of smoke.

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Sher, Community Member
10/20/10 10:34am

I keep having a reoccuring smell of exhaust.  It doesn't matter where I am, the car, my office, home or in the grocery store.  It generally lasts for a week or two and then goes away for about the same and back again.  I have never been a smoker and I am not on any regular medications.  I was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider abut six years ago and have experienced many side effects from that and that is approximently when this started.  sometimes the odor is so strong, it makes me cough and my eyes burn and swell.  I have had migranes since I was bitten.  If anyone has a clue what this is or how to treat it, please let me know.  Cantlivwitoutu@aol.com

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jarkmann, Community Member
11/29/10 11:21pm

I have had the same issue for months until I figured it out how to get rid of it. Unsure what causes it.  But here goes.. Smell a rose for about 5 minutes really take in the smell and then afterwards control your breathing, breathing in through your nose slowly, go back to the rose for another minute and really take in the smell and then breathe slowly again barely taking in any breath at all through your nose after awhile (3-5 attempts of this) your smoke sensation will vanish.  There are a lot of healing properties to roses.

 

Also as ad added bonus to help improve circulation:  take 2 lemons, peel and place in blender, one tablespoon of Agave nectar, 1 large handful of Spinach, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 2 inches of Ginger root peeled, place in blender with purified (or clean) water and blend for 3 minutes and then drink.   Smell the drink often. 

 

Problem solved. Good Smelling to you. :)

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kim12, Community Member
12/ 7/10 2:38pm

I take no medication but have the same problem!  It's not always but often enough that I notice it!  It drives me crazy!  I have never smoked nor has anyone in my family. 

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Gramma in MN, Community Member
1/15/11 1:22pm

Oh WOW I can't believe this is so common!! I started to smell "cigarette smoke" too, about a week ago. Was going NUTS.. sniffing my husband's clothes- he smokes! I thought oh he is leaving his smelly clothes here. But it wasn't that. My husband does NOT smoke in the house ever. He will smoke in the garage- I thought it was coming in from there. No, it's NOT. The garage doesn't even smell like smoke at all! I thought okay I need to clean more. That didn't do it. When I smelled it in my bedroom- that was the last straw. I keep my bedroom very clean, and I air it out all the time, with fresh air, EVEN throughout the MN winters! For I DO have allergies and that helps keep my bedroom a haven of freshness for me. WHen that happened- smelling that smell in bed! I was sad.. what could be going on????? I google it and voila! I find this page. I have had sinus and allergy woes for so long. Many years ago, a septoplasty, which didn't help me, I can't really breathe out of my right nostril to this day. Drives me crazy. But this smell is too much. I hate cigarettes in the first place, and now to have it "follow" me. I got a Neti Pot and am going to go on a neti pot regime. I can't go to the doc right now cause we have had such disasters and have no health insurance at all right now. Barely making ends meet at the moment. I am praying the Neti Pot routine will help. I have read that eating Horseradish also is great for sinuses, better than chili pepper... I am going to try both. Wow I am SO glad I am NOT nuts and not alone in this.

 

OH I do NOT take ANY medications! Except for the occasional Ambien or Melatonin pill when I can't sleep.

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patsy, Community Member
12/21/10 4:07pm

for the past 2 weeks i have been feeling bloated, nauseous diahorrea and i am experiencing this constant sensation of smelling smoke''  there is no smoke around me and no body else can smell it. It appears to be in the back of my throat.

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RickAtKnowWare, Community Member
1/31/11 2:14am

I posted here a few months ago that I have experienced the smoke smell as well. For me, it seems to be related to not getting enough sleep and/or possibly taking ibuprofen (which I very rarely take, except when I get a really bad headache, which mainly happens when I don't get enough sleep). Once I get the smell, it can linger for weeks, even if I get sleep and don't take any more ibuprofen. However, it eventually goes away with exercise, sleep, eating well and overall taking care of myself. I personally believe it's a reaction to some toxin building up in my system. Taking Milk Thistle capsules daily actually seems to make the smell go away much faster (I found out about Milk Thistle from the book "Over the Counter Natural Cures" by Shane Ellison - a Biochemist and ex Big Pharma employee).

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JCB, Community Member
2/17/11 2:55am

For those of us that are still mystified by this, can we try to establish some commonalities by sharing some of our details? This might help. Here's my details and some questions to consider. If you can think of any other relevant questions that I left out, please post them.

 

Are you on any medications? Were you on any medications just before this started?

currently on albuterol (daily), topamax (125mg/day), tizanidine (8mg/day). Not on anything different before.

 

Do you have any medical issues?

Vitamin D deficient, Severe Iron deficiciency, Asthma, overweight, pre-menopausal.

 

What tests have you had and what were the results?

CT scan--enlarged pituitary, inconlusive

 

Did anything else change when the symptoms first occured?

I started exercising and lost weight at a rate of 2 lbs per week.

 

 

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megan82, Community Member
4/17/11 2:04pm

I've found my cause for smelling smoke, and hopefully it'll help you too?

 

Its dicalcium phosphate for me.  I've found it in vitamins and supplements.  Also, so far, soy milk, whole wheat tortillas and cereal. (not all brands)

 

I've written out my experience in a reply to the original poster, dated this date also, if you're interested.

 

Here are some aka's...

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

 

And some related compounds...

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

 

If this helps you, please pass on this information.

 

GOOD LUCK!!

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samsiam, Community Member
11/17/11 11:32pm

Same here. Meds are topamax 100mg a day. over weight... Losing weight... Just lost 18lbs. CT scan -  enlarged pituitary sac , inconlusive....

It just started and it feels like I licked an ashtray. My eyes burn and when I breath in my chest hurts... someones blowing smoke in my face.... Help!!!

It is driving me crazy!!

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samsiam, Community Member
11/17/11 11:32pm

Same here. Meds are topamax 100mg a day. over weight... Losing weight... Just lost 18lbs. CT scan -  enlarged pituitary sac , inconlusive....

It just started and it feels like I licked an ashtray. My eyes burn and when I breath in my chest hurts... someones blowing smoke in my face.... Help!!!

It is driving me crazy!!

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Nena, Community Member
2/18/11 11:43am

I really can't remember how did my sense of smelling smoke started but thank God I'm not alone. I thought I was going nuts. I don't only smell smoke but I get an upper chest/throat burning sensation like when you smell real smoke. I don't know what triggers my smelling sensation because it doesn't happen every day. I noticed though it mostly happens at work, also if I'm going to get sick with a cold. At least I feel better knowing that this feeling is real, and I'm not alone.  

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Bel the slave, Community Member
2/22/11 2:43pm

I have had this problem for 4 years when I will get the feeling as if someone is smoking next to me, but no one else will feel the same, which was very frustrating (yes, it was driving me ‘nuts’).  I have now figured out what I think the causes is for me and would like to share this with you so that you may try and see if it will work for you too.

 

I am a non-smoker and drinker (never done either). I only start to feel the smoke when I have been near alcohol (dinners with colleagues, client meetings etc) and soon after the smoke feeling starts and last for about a week.

 

I would like you to try and stay away from alcohol (if you can ;) lol) and see if that will work for you.  I have searched the web and no one has yet come out with either the cause or treatment for this, so it is worth trying my suggestion. Good Luck.

 

The dilemma for me is that colleagues and clients wont believe I have Phantosmia and would think of me as Muslim Extreamsim, but as long as God is happy from me I am pleased/happy.

 

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Mike, Community Member
3/ 1/11 12:28am

I have had this problem for 5 years. I am tired of trying to explain this to Doctor's only to have them just dismiss me without even trying to help. However I have been able to control and even elimate the smell for extended periods of time. I have slowly started elimate foods and found that by cuting out all dairy products and coffee...I know...I love coffee. But as long as I stay away from these I can be smoke smell free. I am sorry to say that most foods that I get in a restarant have some form of dairy. I to am also Vitamin D and Iron deficant also low on testosterone. I have had most everything checked that my ENT and I could think of. The only thing that I haven't been checked for is Fungus, I did read that it could be that but that person wanted money for info...no deal. Good Luck I hope this will be helpful to you.

 

Mike

 

PS I have come to like rice milk, I get it at Costco by the case.

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JCB, Community Member
3/ 2/11 4:35pm

Mike,

Thanks so much for the helpful answer. Although I love coffee too, I'm going to give this a try. I too have been working on cutting out dairy (because I'm an asthmatic) and I have noticed a bit of a difference lately. Maybe that's why.

 

By the way, have you tried almond milk? It's better than rice milk in my opinion and really good for you too.

 

Is anyone else out there vitamin D deficient and/or iron deficient? I'm taking vitamin D lately and I have noticed a slight letup in the smell. I've only been taking it for a couple weeks. I'll keep you posted.

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oregon bob, Community Member
3/10/11 3:56pm

I was smelling phantom cigarette smoke for a few weeks, then got sick. I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in my airways.

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Chris H, Community Member
3/28/11 8:10pm

Thanks.

 

You mentioned coffee so I wonder if the stress factor may be important.  Coffee increases metabolism and alertness and can be seen as increasing stress. 

 

I just started with this smoke smell about a week ago.  It's barely noticeable first thing in the morning because I have had no caffeine yet and I'm not busy doing something.  Staying relaxed may be key. 

 

Actually, it sounds like phantosmia is the olfactory equivalent to tinnitus.  I now have both -- hurray for me.  Tinnitus is hearing ringing in your ears that isn't there, and phantosmia is smelling things that aren't there.  Both worsen when stress is increased. 

 

I wil try to eliminate tea and dairy and see what happens.

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megan82, Community Member
4/17/11 1:54pm

For me, I've found it to be dicalcium phosphate.  I've found it in vitamins and supplements, soy milk (I believe its also in the costco rice milk?  maybe I'm thinking costco soy milk...), whole wheat tortillas, and cereal.  It's easy to check if this would be it for you.  You would just need to stop eating or drinking anything with dicalcium phosphate in it and wait a few days.  It's about 4 days, for me, to notice the smoke smell going away.  I hope this is helpful, and I really hope its this easy for you too!  Good luck.

 

Here are some other names for dicalcium phosphate...

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

 

And related compounds...

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

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Isaiah52, Community Member
3/ 6/11 2:30pm

SO, I have been smelling the same thing for about a month. I got a harsh cold at first and then when the cold went away and I started realizing this smell when another girl started talking about it. I found all this out while going to a bible school in Kansas city. Me and this girl where discusing the times and the seasons and those of you who are bible alliterate know what I am talking about. So the next day I felt like my nose had been awoken to this disgusting overwhelming oder of sulfer. The smell was so horrible I had to cover my nose becuase it burnt my nose, eyes and throte and would also make me caugh really bad. People would walk by while in the prayer room or anywhere near the people involved with the school I would just about gag. Other people would have the same reactions to the smell, the only difference was they didn't acknowledge the smell of sulfer and smoke. I was confused. I had no idea what was going on and I was praying and seeking answers from GOD. Then I had this feeling I needed to read the book of revalations again... then, there was the answer plain and simple staring me in the face. I was dumb founded and totaly taken back.... I don't know if this person is me, but I don't think If I was I would notice this smell and only people that have been awoken to this sent are being awoken to the seasons and the times that I know of. SO my advice not as a person giving medical advice or what the world would say, but as a servant of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, I say if you are open and ready pray and ask CHRIST JESUS for the truth and re-read the book of Revelations again!

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chc, Community Member
3/28/11 1:55am

I was in agreement with his answer and wanted an answer. I thought I would get an answer for I too have been smelling a smoke smell. Mine's been going on for longer than a week. So where do we go for answers?

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Northwoodsman, Community Member
4/ 2/11 10:33pm

Try Talking to your Dentist. May be an abcessed tooth causing infection to exit through your sinuses leaving everything smelling burnt. Jesus bless you.

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razzle51, Community Member
4/ 8/11 10:14am

Smoke smeller here tooo . everyone thought I was nuts , but the way I descibe it is I am smelling burnt wood. only happens at allergy season.

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megan82, Community Member
4/17/11 1:39pm

I found the cause of my smelling smoke, maybe this can help you...

 

I found that, for me, its dicalcium phosphate.

 

I've smelled smoke off and on for about a year.  When it first started I got online and started reading about others, there seemed to be lots of people smelling smoke, but very little suggestions besides shelling out a lot of money for doctors and the various tests, which I can't afford.  Someone suggested something that was very easy and cost nothing, not even a doctors visit.

 

They suggested stopping any new or different vitamins. (even if this doesn't apply to you, please keep reading, vitamins and supplements aren't the only source of dicalcium phosphate) Since I'd recently (at the time) started taking a vitamin b complex, I stopped taking them.  The smoke smell went away.  Since that seemed too easy, I started taking them again and sure enough, the smell came back.  So I stopped them altogether and wrote down all the ingredients in the pills.

 

Months later the smoke smell came back, so I compared ingredients of stuff I'd been eating or drinking with those from the vitamin b complex.  Dicalcium phosphate was the only common ingredient.  So far, I've found it in soy milk, whole wheat tortillas, other supplements, and cereal.  I had no idea dicalcium phosphate was in all those things! (its not in every brand)  At first I watched out for it only in other supplements, not paying attention to food or drinks.  But the smoke smell came back, so I started checking ingredient lists of anything new or different I'd been eating or drinking, and its always been dicalcium phosphate. Now I check for it in everything.

 

I sure hope this help some of you!

 

Here are some dicalcium phosphate aka's...

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

 

And some related compounds...

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

 

GOOD LUCK!!

 

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Jazzy\J, Community Member
11/ 8/11 9:57pm

Thank you for taking the time to post this.  I am a "smoke smeller" too, and I noticed a lot of people have indicated that they had recently lost significant weight...as did I.  During my weight loss plan I have been drinking soy milk and eating a lot of whole wheat tortillas, etc.  This would make perfect sense!  I am going to watch for the dicalcium phosphate, etc and see what happens.  Thanks again.

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george, Community Member
3/ 9/12 7:47pm

I'm really curious if this helped you?  I've been wanting to write something up, and just post it all over these boards.

When I first researched, I read everything.  But I understand when people stop reading after maybe 20 or 30 posts.  It's frustrating to read so much and not find much help.  But so far, I seem to be the only one I can find where dicalcium phosphate was the cause.

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
3/14/12 8:40am

I found it was artificial sweeteners, specifically Splenda that caused me to smell smoke.  That would be in line with people who lost weight because they probably started using artificial sweeteners as part of their weight loss.

 

I cut out all of them and the smell went away.  It came back within hours when I tried them again.

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george, Community Member
3/14/12 6:29pm

This is interesting!  I saw in another post of yours that you found this out by some caramel flavoring for your coffee.   Was this a non-dairy coffee creamer, like Coffee-Mate, by any chance?

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
3/14/12 8:34pm

The Carmel Flavoring was sugarfree (Splenda) that I bought at Sam's Club.  When I switched to the regular (corn syrup) the smell went away.

 

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george, Community Member
3/14/12 6:29pm

This is interesting!  I saw in another post of yours that you found this out by some caramel flavoring for your coffee.   Was this a non-dairy coffee creamer, like Coffee-Mate, by any chance?  How else had you been using splenda?

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george, Community Member
3/14/12 6:30pm

This is interesting!  I saw in another post of yours that you found this out by some caramel flavoring for your coffee.   Was this a non-dairy coffee creamer, like Coffee-Mate, by any chance?  How else had you been using splenda?

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george, Community Member
3/14/12 6:30pm

This is interesting!  I saw in another post of yours that you found this out by some caramel flavoring for your coffee.   Was this a non-dairy coffee creamer, like Coffee-Mate, by any chance?  How else had you been using splenda?

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george, Community Member
3/ 9/12 7:48pm

I'm really curious if this helped you?  I've been wanting to write something up, and just post it all over these boards.

When I first researched, I read everything.  But I understand when people stop reading after maybe 20 or 30 posts.  It's frustrating to read so much and not find much help.  But so far, I seem to be the only one I can find where dicalcium phosphate was the cause.

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george, Community Member
3/ 9/12 8:02pm

This IS megan82, by the way, it wasn't signing me in, so...now george.

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kkkk, Community Member
4/23/11 7:08pm

I have the same problem..

 

Are you on any medications? Were you on any medications just before this started? 

 

I´m taking iron deficiency supplements, recently had antibiotics containing amoxicillin and clarithromycin.

 

 

Do you have any medical issues?

 

Migranes with aura, Iron deficiciency, Bacterial infection, IBS

 

What tests have you had and what were the results?

None yet.

 

Did anything else change when the symptoms first occured?

Not that I am aware of.

 

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veggiegirl35, Community Member
4/27/11 6:08pm

I've been smelling cigarette smoke since 2008.  It started while I was at work and the AC was blowing on my head.  I told my boss that someone was in the ducts smoking and it was making me sick.  We both knew that was not the case because there we no smoking allowed on the grounds PERIOD.  I left that job and moved to another state and smelled the smoke there. I'm now in another state and keep smelling cigarettes.  My son is tired of me asking him if he smells it.  I'm going to finally make an appointment to see the doctor.

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Lori, Community Member
4/29/11 1:09pm

Wow..I thought I was going crazy- smelling smoke like someone was blowing it in my face- at work, at home, etc... no smoke to be found.  Suffer from severe allergies/sinus problems-- could be the cause.

Would like to know if anyone has found a cause for their smoke-smell.

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M. Busits, Community Member
12/24/11 2:42pm

I experience this same sensation and have suffered from allergies and chronic sinusitis for years.  Just wonder if anyone only smells the smoke while in the house?

I do not smell the smoke when I'm outdoors.  However, my husband does not smell anything in the house either.

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AcidGirl, Community Member
5/11/11 10:58am

Just dropped 17 pounds and started smelling what I would characterize as more of a dryer lint or dusty smell. Through research, I am fairly convinced that this is caused by Acid Reflux. I have had problems with it on and off for years and since I've been dieting and exercising the reflux has been pretty intense. I believe the smoky strange smell is due to gases that are released from our stomachs due to the reflux. Have you noticed that the smell is more present when you are sitting? This is because of your stomach being compressed and exacerbating the reflux. And even if you havent noticed the common symptoms of reflux, such as burning sensation, etc, you can still have it - its known as A-symptomatic Acid Reflux, I believe.

 

For those saying things about brain tumors and such, I really wish you would stop. Yes, sometimes serious medical problems are present and if you are concerned you should always see your doctor, but seeing how many people have/are experiencing this weird symptom, what do you think is more likely - that we all have brain tumors or a much more common issue like acid reflux. When you consider a typical modern diet and stress levels we endure, it just makes sense.

 

I just started taking Prevacid on 5/11/11, which I was on a few years back and really helped with the reflux - so far the smell has been reduced, and I expect that as the medicine does its thing and the reflux disappates, so will the odd smell/taste. I will post an update and hopefully I can help everyone who has to deal with this very odd and annoying issue.

 

Hang in there guys...

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Terry, Community Member
5/12/11 11:18pm
I hope you have resolved your problem. I was experiencing the same symptoms. I had recently had a very bad respiratory infection. After getting well and feeling completely recovered I still had a lingering odor. It started as a "smoke" smell then changed to an " exhaust fume" or "gasoline" odor. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 weeks straight before I went to the doctor. (a visit motivated by all the scary things i read on the internet!) Turns out I still had a very serious sinus infection with no other obvious symptoms except the unexplained smells. The odor was actually coming from the infection in my sinus cavity. After using a sinus wash, taking a round of antibiotics, and a decongestant with guifenisen, I am back to normal. Everything smells great! My suggestion- before you get too worked up make a quick visit to a doctor you trust. It may be a simple cure. Reply
Jay, Community Member
5/13/11 10:40pm

I have been experiencing the smoke smell since February 2011.  Have read several posts with which I can relate.  The smell reminds me of an ashtray full of cigarette  butts.  Sometimes it seems as if it is coming from my throat area, other times it seems to be coming from something with the room.  This happens at home, at work, while driving, etc.  Others cannot smell the smoke on me or in the room.  I am having trouble dealing with this psychologically.  Maybe I should see a doctor, just unsure what kind.

 

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Jay, Community Member
5/13/11 10:40pm

I have been experiencing the smoke smell since February 2011.  Have read several posts with which I can relate.  The smell reminds me of an ashtray full of cigarette  butts.  Sometimes it seems as if it is coming from my throat area, other times it seems to be coming from something with the room.  This happens at home, at work, while driving, etc.  Others cannot smell the smoke on me or in the room.  I am having trouble dealing with this psychologically.  Maybe I should see a doctor, just unsure what kind.

 

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wheresthefire, Community Member
5/22/11 3:01pm

Sorry I don't have any answers but just wanted to say I am having a similar problem. It started a month or so ago and it took me a while to figure out what was happening.  At first I thought it was something my dog was producing LOL!  Then I realized I was smelling it everywhere I went, and then it seemed it was a burnt/smokey smell - kind of like burnted wood and coffee.  Thankfully mine is not cigarettes.  Sometimes it is so bad it feels choking and makes me feel panicky.  The Dr put me on Flonase and it started helping after a few days but I went to see an ENT anyway who said he saw a lot of inflamation which could explain it and he told me to conitnue the Flonase and switched my Clariinex to an antihistimine spray.  I was good for a couple of weeks. He told me to cut back to 1/2 the dose and immediately the smell returned full force.  I don't know if it could have happened that fast or if it was just a coincidence.  I am a migraine sufferer but there has been no relation and I previously had an MRI for that, all was OK.  I'm going back to the original dose of nasal sprays but will probably make the appt with my neurologist just in case.  I know I haven't said anything helpful except that if you are experiencing this you know what I'm talking about. My imaginary smells have nothing to do with smoke in the air. 
All I know is that I don't know what it is yet. BTW, I already take Nexium but I'll try taking it twice a day which my Dr had told me to do if needed.  Now I did start drinking Starbucks every day a few months ago and I don't know if that could have triggered something. I stopped a few days and no difference.  Those folks have me hooked! I have always been hypersensitive to all smells and my sense of smell is still very good, I just have the added smell of smoke. 

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Jay, Community Member
5/13/11 10:40pm

I have been experiencing the smoke smell since February 2011.  Have read several posts with which I can relate.  The smell reminds me of an ashtray full of cigarette  butts.  Sometimes it seems as if it is coming from my throat area, other times it seems to be coming from something with the room.  This happens at home, at work, while driving, etc.  Others cannot smell the smoke on me or in the room.  I am having trouble dealing with this psychologically.  Maybe I should see a doctor, just unsure what kind.

 

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AcidGirl, Community Member
5/14/11 3:03pm

Jay, please see my previous post regarding Acid Reflux - your symptoms sound identical to mine, except I would describe it as a wood burning/smoky smell. Each person will interpret the odor in their own way, lol.

 

I just wanted to update everyone regarding the Acid Reflux theory - went to my doctor on Thursday and she agreed that what I was experiencing was most likely caused by Acid Reflux. She advised me to double up on the over the counter Prevacid (so 30 milograms total). First day of doubling up, smell went from every minute or so, to maybe a dozen incidents all day and very faint smelling. Today, I have not had one incident yet.

 

Just wanted to point out some things - For those making the antiobiotic connection - Antibiotics can cause/increase acid reflux. For those making the weight loss connection which was where my issue stemmed from, dieting and exercise can cause/increase acid reflux.

 

From reading everyones posts, here are my theories:

 

If you are smelling the smell constantly with no difference in sitting or standing and no other symptoms, it may be a deep sinus infection, or acid reflux (even if you have symptoms of neither) - have your doctor check you out

 

If you are smelling it intermittently, with it more prominent after meals, when sitting, its most likely acid reflux. Try prevacid or any other similar med and see if there is an improvement.

 

Jay, I know just how you feel - this relatively harmless but annoying phenomenon brought on a wave of anxiety that I am still dealing with even now that my symptoms are gone, but its ok, and you are ok - the human body can be really weird sometimes! Like, I said, read my previous post and if you think it jives with what you're going through, try taking the 30 mil of Prevacid for 2 weeks and see if that helps - give it that long to kick in, and if you're really worried, go ahead and see a doctor.

 

I really hope that my personal break through can help people dealing with this as i know it can be really annoying and scary to deal with. BTW, If you dont want to use medication, try changing your diets. Look up Acid Reflux to get an idea of what foods help and what foods to avoid.

 

Please post and let me know if this helped anyone!

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Rae, Community Member
5/22/11 6:38pm

I have sinus problems ongoing.  I take prescribe medication and sometimes have to visit my doctor because it goes into asthma.  For about 6 months I have been experience a smell/scent that no one else detect.  I have ask my mother and aunt about it and they had no clue as to what it could be.  The smell that I am experience is very frequent and varies in strength.  One day I thought the lady next door may have left her coffee pot on the stove--because the scent is similar to that smell. Some times the smell is so strong that I am concern that there may be some one else present with me. So, I was enlighten to know that there is someone else that experience my condition. 

 

If you can tell me more, pleased so!

 

Thanks,

Rachel Kinsey

racqel545@yahoo.com

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Rae, Community Member
5/22/11 6:38pm

I have sinus problems ongoing.  I take prescribe medication and sometimes have to visit my doctor because it goes into asthma.  For about 6 months I have been experience a smell/scent that no one else detect.  I have ask my mother and aunt about it and they had no clue as to what it could be.  The smell that I am experience is very frequent and varies in strength.  One day I thought the lady next door may have left her coffee pot on the stove--because the scent is similar to that smell. Some times the smell is so strong that I am concern that there may be some one else present with me. So, I was enlighten to know that there is someone else that experience my condition. 

 

If you can tell me more, pleased so!

 

Thanks,

Rachel Kinsey

racqel545@yahoo.com

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Jeannie H, Community Member
6/ 2/11 1:16am

Most likely you are suffering from an acute sinus infection which has turned bacterial. See an ENT right away!

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Lesliesblog.com, Community Member
6/ 2/11 9:03pm

S.K.: You are quite right, zinc deficiency can cause loss of smell. But I haven't heard anything about it related to odd smells. Either way, it can't hurt to supplement with it. (Too much is not good though, but 30-45 mg/day has proven fine. According to my research, the best form is zinc monomethionine.) If nothing else, zinc is an excellent immunity booster and may help it this has a pathogenic cause.

 

Dede: Seizures? - No way! If this is so, then I am in a perpetual state of seizing because I smell smoke nearly it all the time. I think your doc is really stretching for an answer. But check it out if you think you should (my disclaimer.) Did you know that researchers examined 2002-08 data from a Colorado liability insurance company and learned that 56% of unacceptable surgical complications were due to errors in diagnosis? Most say that doctors make the wrong diagnosis 10-20% of the time, but  a recent episode of The Doctor's show said it could actually be as high as 70%. Nothing against our good and well-meaning docs, but even for them it's often a guessing game.

 

Acidgirl: I too have lost weight (17 pounds since Feb).  But I don't have any symptoms of acid reflux - no gas or burping or pain like my husband, who does have it - but I will pay attention next time I go off my diet for a couple of days to see if there is any relief.

 

JCB: I had both an iron and vitamin D deficiency due to an unexpected and serious illness that I have been in a long recovery from, so I am always getting my blood work done. I didn't have the problem with the smoke smell during the entire time I was deficient, but I have it now and my levels are on the low side of normal. I don't think it is caused by a deficiency per say, except perhaps to cause a weakened immune response leaving one open to viral, bacterial or fungal infections (see my last paragraph) so keep up the vitamin D - especially since low levels have been linked to cancer.

 

Megan 82: dicalcium phosphate sounds interesting. But I went off my vitamins (all of them) for a month and the problem persisted. My diet has not allowed any wheat or cereals, and I don't consume soy due to allergy. I am keeping a food journal now so I can check to see if I am getting it somewhere else. I will definitely follow up on this because if nothing else, it sounds fascinating.

 

Mike: I don't drink coffee and I have been on a dairy-free diet for several months so this is not the cause  -- for me anyway. I am beginning to believe the possibility of it being either fungal, viral or bacterial sounds the most feasible. It also started when I became slightly congested due to allergies. If it is fugally/virally/bacterially-related then there is a simple and natural way to deal with it. Try washing the nasal cavities using a neti pot or sinus irrigator. Your local drugstore sells plastic versions, but I prefer those made from a natural clay source as long the pottery is certified to be free of lead.

 

Here's a great solution I make at home: dissolve ¼ teaspoon (1.2 mL) of salt (not iodized - and preferably sea salt) into 8 ounces (237 ml) of bottled or distilled water (do not use tap water as the chlorine can damage the sinuses). You also add  ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) of xylitol if you have it on hand because it is very soothing to the membranes. (You can purchase very expensive xylitol nasal sprays instead- but an occasional "spray" doesn't do much in my opinion.) Adding an additional ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) of baking soda helps alkalize the PH of your water. In the past, as soon as I felt a virus coming on, I have also added 1-3 drops of grapefruit seed extract along with a dropper-full of colloidal silver (@500 ppm) and it has never failed to knock it out. Both have anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and might help in this case too. (You could also use tea tree oil in place of grapefruit seed extract or even thyme oil if it is Mediterranean, wild grown P73.)

 

But I do caution that the grapefruit seed extract could irritate your sensitive nasal membranes if used daily - and I always limit the use of colloidal silver to acute circumstances only - so I am going to try irrigating every day with saline/xylitol/baking soda, and alternate days with the added grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver for a week. After this, I will continue irrigating daily (it's good practice anyway - clears pollens and molds) and only add the grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver once a week if the problem with my olfactory receptors and sense of smell persists. It could take a month or more to see results.

 

Just a word of caution: the grapefruit seed extract can burn a bit so start with just a drop. Also, colloidal silver can be rather expensive so don't sweat it if you don't have any. (It's just throws a nice upper-cut at any unwanted organisms).

 

I will post a follow up. If anyone else tries this please post your results. Thanks!

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megan82, Community Member
6/10/11 6:13pm

Hi Leslie,

I'm glad you read different posts and are trying different things!  I just wanted to follow through with my post and say that the dicalcium phosphate isn't in every brand of the items I wrote.  And to also say that since I've written that first post, I've found its in many many more things!  I've looked at ingredient lists while shopping and can't even begin to remember how many things I've put back after seeing dicalcium phosphate or its aka's/related compounds on the label.

So I took a quick look through the fridge and cupboards here at my house (roomies foods, and yes, after asking! lol, since they know about my smoke smelling) and found it in fiber bars, salad dressing, bread/english muffins, cottage cheese, flavored creamer, tartar sauce and crackers.  This is just a small number, and I didn't look through everything.  I know when shopping there are many more things I've put back.

I've also found more aka's...I'll list all I've found together here, even though I listed a few in my first post:

 

-dibasic calcium phosphate

-calcium hydrogenphosphate

-calcium monohydrogen phosphate

-phosphoric acid

-calcium salt

 

-calcium pyrophosphate

-magnesium phosphate

-monocalcium phosphate

-tricalcium phosphate

-strontium phosphate

 

Another interesting thing I've learned is that dicalcium phosphate inhibits the body from absorbing zinc.  So, I'm not sure (I haven't had time to research this), but they sound (to me) linked somehow.  (dicalcium phosphate and zinc deficiency)   I found an article about this, and will get a link to it, to you, if you'd like.  Good luck, I really hope this helps!  And if this isn't it for you, I hope you find your cause/cure sooner than later!

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Sylvia Phillips, Community Member
6/ 6/11 12:58pm

The infection in your sinuses could have messed up your sense of smell.

I was getting that for weeks last year before I went into hospital for a major op on my spine. The consultant said it could be a sign that I was stressing about it. It had gone when I woke from the anesthetic and hasn't been back since. Are you stressed about anything?

Also the more serious side of this is a possible stroke. Don't ignore it.

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PH, Community Member
6/ 9/11 4:35am

I also smell smoke all the time, in the car, at home, at the office (where initially i was blaming smokers outside the building thinking it was getting in to the Air Con intake). In the car also, thought i needed the climate control cleaned out.

I now know it is me - not sure whethere that is a relief or not yet. Depends what the Doctor says. Meanwhile I will cut down on the teas and coffees, drink more water and get more sleep. Tiredness seems to be a factor?

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dms, Community Member
6/10/11 10:06pm

My wife has been smelling cigarrete smoke when there is none for a week.  My daughter and I do not smell anything.  It normally occurs at home.  She has had a cold for about a month where she coughs up stuff from her lungs regularly.  She doesn't take any medication fo this.  She has taken Synthroid for 20 years (Thyroid removed due to cancer).

 

I've read through all of the posts on this site and was curious as if anyone found a connection between this smelling smoke sympton and lung disease?  Any other thoughts?  Thank you for your help

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Sylvia Phillips, Community Member
6/12/11 3:26pm

I'd had no infections of any kind, lungs or ENT, my consultant, as I said put it down to stress which went as soon as I'd had my op and hasn't come back.

For those of you who are still suffering you have my heartfelt sympathies. It was horrible for me, especially as I'd given up smoking 4 years earlier and the smell of smoke made me feel constantly sick.

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Teresa B., Community Member
6/12/11 3:26am

Hello! I am so glad I read your post. Its exactly the same thing I have been experiencing since having an upper resp. infection a month ago. At night its particularly strong, my nose stings and I can smell smoke! Thought it was my air conditioner going out. I will let my physician know, maybe he will do a CT or something to rule out something brain wise. I hope you are well and get better! Thanks again for your timely post.

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Lily, Community Member
6/18/11 4:07pm

I'm reposting since I can't find my post. Same thing here. Since December. Tore up my place looking for the source of the smell.

 

I have Acid Reflux which I've recently stopped treating. I recently dropped 20 pounds.  I have unusually LIGHT allergy problems this year which is wierd. I had bronchitis right around the time it started.  So alot of what you all are saying are things I've also experienced.

 

I'm going to start my prevacid again and see if that helps. Oh, I also suffer from depression but I've always had that so I don't know if that is it or not.  I have ringing in the ears too (since I was a child).  I have fibromyalgia as well.

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mozart, Community Member
6/20/11 7:19pm

I have this problem as well.  I recently had a sinus infection, but did not take any antibiotics and it went away on it's own.  Since then, I smell a very heavy smoke smell almost all the time.  It's very irritating!  I smell it both at work and at home, so I know it's not attached to a person or location.  I doubt my issue is related to seizures or alzheimer's disease.  The wiki link someone provided was interesting. 

 

Not good to learn that this can go on for years as some of you have stated.   Anyway, just registering as yet another person with this issue.  Thanks everyone for sharing your stories so that I, too, know that I'm not alone. 

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olivia anne, Community Member
6/30/11 10:49am

You should all have your Thyroid levels checked. I was having all of the same kind of symptoms and the only thin that they found was a low thyroid. Im much better now but still smell smoke every now and again.

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Katrina, Community Member
7/ 7/11 3:12pm

Same symptoms here.  Sinus infection and an antibiotic, then a month later a severe respiratory infection and another antibiotic (z-pak).  Now I'm smelling cigarette smoke when there isn't any - at work, at home, on the train...  No one smokes in our house (I have asthma and other allergies).  This is so strange; I'm hoping it's a reaction to the antibiotics and will go away, but the notes here from people who've had the problem for years are ot encouraging!  Glad I'm not alone, anyway (though I wouldn't wish this on anyone, I feel less crazy)!

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Neil, Community Member
8/23/11 3:03am

I am not antibiotics an am expericeing these symptoms. I suspected asprine and excedrine for a while. I also read that it could be a prewarning for a heart attack. I have not lost any weight. This would be a plus for me. Still no answer in sight. I would assume we all must have something in common. A virus would make sense. I had even wondered if radiation poisoning could cause this with all that has happened in  Japan and all, however there are post here long before that event.

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PGVP, Community Member
7/17/11 9:53am

Daniel,

 

This just started for me about a week ago.  Did you find an answer to the problem?  Like you, I’ve had an upper respiratory infection within the past couple of weeks, and rather than the actual “smell” of smoke, I have the constant feeling of cool dryness and irritation in my nasal passages and throat that usually accompanies inhaling second-hand smoke.  I keep feeling like there is someone smoking nearby, but I am almost never exposed to cigarette smoke.  This is not an olfactory hallucination, but rather something associated with changes in the lining of my mucous membranes.  I just want to know if it’s going to go away by itself or if it needs treatment.  Thought I would start on the internet to see if this is common before I tried to explain it to my doctor.

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shopgrl728, Community Member
7/21/11 9:53am

Hi Everyone,

OMG I thought I was going crazy but now that I see everyone else has been having the same problems, I don't feel that bad.

 

So I do smoke cigs not a lot and very recent and every so often at home it's smells like something is burning.. Almost like burnt rubber. I have checked my room and it doesn't smell but in other rooms in the house it does smell.

 

It's weird because I will smell it then 5 minutes later it will go away. My parents recently painted the house and put in new flooring so I thought maybe it was due to that. I also suffer from Acid Reflx and do not take anything for it.

 

I really hope I do not have sever brain damage and yes I will stop smoking but everytime I lay down or walk into a certain room it smells like burnt rubber.

 

 

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Neil, Community Member
8/11/11 3:08am

Guess I am joining the club also. I thought the v-belt for the ac unit was burning up and coming through the ventilation ducts, or possibly an electronic circut board burning up. Yet I am the only one who can smell it. I can almost taste it. I can feel it irritating my lungs. Yet today, four of my friends could not smell what was quite strong at the time to me at all. This really concerned me. It is not a constant, but only an occational smell. Now I am here on this blog in amazement that I am far from alone on this one. Problem is, I still dont know what the problem is. I can smell it as I write this blog. I never have smoked, dont drink and dont drug. I thought in may have been chlorine from the pool causing it. But everyone on this blog would have to have a pool for that to be true.

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Neil, Community Member
8/11/11 9:20pm

Here is something you may want to try. After reading all the similar ailments everyone has posted here, I began to suspect stomach issues. I just took two table spoons of white vinagar. It burnt all the way down to my stomach. Funny thing is, the burning smell went away. Even as I sit under the AC vent on my PC. I suspect this remedy will only be temporary as the relief only lasted about an hour, but it made a very strong burning smell go away completley. I know the smell does not exist, because I was at the Pediatrican for my daughter this morning and I could smell the same burning smell in his office as well. This was over the strong smell of air freshners and cleaning agents as you enter the office. I tend to believe it is some sort of stomach virus or acid reflux. I have had stomach issues in the past and in the last year am unable to handle dairy products. Milk (an old favorite drink) will turn my stomach upside down. Anyways, I hope this offers some sort of relief both physically and psychologically. It's been driving me completely nuts!

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Annette b, Community Member
8/13/11 9:47pm
The same thing is happening to me and I cannot figure it out. Reply
California Deb, Community Member
8/16/11 3:19am

I know we are all not crazy!!!  Back in March 2011  I started a low dose Thyroxiane Synthoid for underactive Hypothyroid. 

 

About a week later I was extremely sick with a head cold for a week. 

 

My mom and I were shopping one day and we were smelling fragances. None of which I could smell.  this was about a month after taking the meds. 

 

Then I followed up with a thyroid blood test, went the other way now hyperthyroid and losing weight.   Dr.  cut dosage in half.  Still smell the smoke, Coke Cola taste horrible, and then ate at a restaraunt and got food poisoning.   Scarey,  went to the dr about this, was refered to a ENT  had the scope, no polyups (sp)  and given a steroid nasal spray.   My cologne smells horrible, and the smell of rubbing alcohol is wierd. Can hardly smell bleach.

 

I quit all the thyroid medicine, I did tell me dr. I quit as I was only taking 6.25 millgrams.

 

Just  Curious if anyone else is on Thyroid medicine.???????  

 

I has been two weeks since I quit, smell of smoke and thick post nasal drip is a little less.  Been doing the sinus rinse which helps. Hope to be able to taste the great taste of Coke Cola.   

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lightforhope, Community Member
8/25/11 2:08pm

If you are on a carb diet, in kitosis, using NTF alpha inhibitors o drinking excessive amounts of artificial sweetners you may be having this constant smell of smoke. It is usually less pronounced during the early morning hours. It often occurs on Psoriasis and arthitis patients using a TNF alpha therapy.

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cdcesario, Community Member
9/ 4/11 12:54am

I had the same thing happen to me too and it still happens here and there where I am smelling cigarette smoke but no one else (my husband and kids) can smell what I am smelling...Not sure if it's just how our brains work...where if we see something it is associated with the smell of cigarettes buring or what-not but

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mozart, Community Member
9/ 7/11 4:54pm

I originally posted that I was experiencing the same symptoms several months back.  Since then, I have been desparately trying to find an answer.  Some days, it's so bad I just don't want to breathe.  Since others weren't seeming to get relief from doctor visits, I used the internet to review as many conversations about this issue as I could find.  I began making note of when the smell was present and when it was not.  During a recent week long vacation, I realized I never once smelled smoke, which made me wonder if it was something at work.  Someone on one of the sites I visited mentioned laptop emissions.  I'm now trying to find a way to have the air in my office tested.  It appears that either the HVAC or my laptop may be the culprit.  While I do sometimes smell smoke when away from the office, I'm realizing it's only after I've been in my office working for extended periods of time, so I think it's residual.  Tomorrow I'm going to work from another office to see if that makes a difference.  It's a slow, frustrating process, but my advice is to do your homework, document when and where you have symptoms and try making different changes to isolate the cause.  Good luck to everyone who is suffering from this. 

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Smokie, Community Member
12/12/11 4:33pm

I am thinking to believe in this. Because the most common thing between all users is that they are either laptop, ipad or WiFi smartphone users. I work with a laptop about 12 hours a day. It could actually be the wifi radiation (SAR) making the nerves and receptors (micro nerves) act weirdly...

 

There is a lot of rowl going on about the severity of Wireless Networking signals (effects on little children are known)

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Smokie, Community Member
12/12/11 4:34pm

I am thinking to believe in this. Because the most common thing between all users is that they are either laptop, ipad or WiFi smartphone users. I work with a laptop about 12 hours a day. It could actually be the wifi radiation (SAR) making the nerves and receptors (micro nerves) act weirdly...

 

There is a lot of rowl going on about the severity of Wireless Networking signals (effects on little children are known)

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geoffrey, Community Member
9/13/11 1:31pm

it is somthing connected to voodoo. expecially for money rituals. sombody must have used you as a sacrifies for the ritual without you knowing it. anytime the person useis the charm to vock goodluck to himself it affects you. sometimes it could be the smell of fire and smock.

 

geoffrey   234-7032695720.

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clark, Community Member
9/14/11 5:12pm

Amazing...when I first started having this issue about 3 years ago, I couldn't find anyone else with similar symptoms...my docs all thought I was crazy! CT, sinus scope, MRI's have all been clear...smoke smell was almost constant for about a year, then tapered off and even disappeared for several month but has now returned but only occasionally.  Over the past few months, I think I've determined that the pattern has been related to dry eyes/contacts.   I wear leave-in/sleep-in contacts and the more days they are in or the closer to their month-long wearable life I am, the more frequently I smell smoke.  If I take them out as soon as I start smelling it, it seems to disappear by the next morning...If I keep wearing them, it gets worse to the point of nausea/headache and then sticks around a day or two even after I take the contacts out of my eyes.  I've gotten in the habit of only wearing my contacts for about a day and a half and then I rest my eyes in the evening and overnight one night...As I thought back to when I smelled smoke constantly, I was wearing my contacts for usually 30 days straight (as they are approved).  When the smell was gone entirely, I was out of contacts for a few months and was wearing only my glasses and am now back to wearing the contacts, but only on a limited basis.  It seems to fit and is the best I can come up with for a cause.

 

I noticed a lot of people posted that they had recently lost weight before experiencing the smoke smell but I can say that is not true for me. I wish.

 

It's terribly annoying, but I've learned to mostly ignore it and am getting some relief from taking out my contacts, so I'm just going to keep doing that! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

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clark, Community Member
9/14/11 5:17pm

Oh, also no reflux/ulcers or stomach issues of any kind

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GB, Community Member
9/15/11 6:50am

I have had this condition for at least 20 years and I have a theory on this. The smell you get "internally" is gut related. I'm not sure if it is a yeast such as Candida or a pathogen but I believe the "smell" is like a bi product of bacteria ferementing or a toxin released. I was getting the smoke smell about 12 months ago and did a magnesium colon cleanse. After about 7 days on this I felt a complete shift in my well being and the smoke smell went. Has only come back after 12 months. I have had gut issues for a long time and I think there is a connection. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had gut issues with the smoke smell.

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phyl, Community Member
9/15/11 4:23pm

Recently started smelling something burning (like neighbor's fireplaces in autumn) when no one else can smell it. And no one is using a fireplace in our 100 degree weather! Glad to find so much on the i'net about this condition. And glad to know none of us are crazy!
Found a few commonalities with others with this condition (allergies, anti-histamine use, history of sinus problems, severe acid reflux, Prilosec 40mg per day for years, sensitivity to perfume & mold smells, recent anti-depressant use), and can rule out a few others (it's been over 40 years since I smoked, history of migraine headaches from puberty to menopause --yes, I'm that old, and no, don't have Alzheimer's-- but no migraines for many years.

Was glad to see the reference to dry, watery eyes. Now I can tell my Dr. I'm not the only one whose eyes are both dry and watery at the same time!
One thing I've noticed for me, but not read about for others, this smell only occurs in 3 different locations, on sofa while reading and using a reading lamp, at computer desk (with either computer or desk lamp on), and while reading in bed with a reading lamp. Commonality? my head is very close to a bright light source. (of the 3 lamp bulbs, one is halogen, one is standard, and one is the curly-Q kind). No one else can smell anything burning. Anyone else notice a connection to being close to a bright light?
I will try the Saline nasal spray and the zinc tablets.

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Bebop, Community Member
9/22/11 11:23pm

I've had this issue for 3-4 years now.  At first I thought it was something coming from the baseboard heater in my apartment because I never had this problem before moving to that apartment.  Initially I thought it was just some weird odor that got onto my clothes, which explained (I thought) why I would also smell it when I was at work sometimes.

After about a year and a half I moved to a different apartment (completely different city) and the smell eventually came back - that's when I realized it's not the baseboard heaters.

It comes and goes, sometimes lasts a few days, sometimes a week or two.  I haven't seen any pattern as to time of year, it seems completely random.  I smell it everywhere when it comes, any room of my apartment, at work, in the car, other people's homes, etc.  It starts out as a light odor where at first I think someone nearby is smoking, then it gets stronger and I realize it's this super annoying weird issue.  It goes from being just a smoky smell to affecting my sense of taste, it tastes like I've licked out an ashtray and can't get the taste out of my mouth.  Sometimes chewing strong minty gum at least hides it for a little while but you can only chew gum for so long....  Eventually it goes away and life returns to normal until whenever it will randomly happen again.

 

I've read all the theories posted here, but I've had no recent/major weight loss, don't wear contacts, don't have gastro issues, don't get migraines.  I have allergies to all the regular stuff and I've taken allergy meds and used nasal spray for years.  I currently take Allegra D and use Nasacort or an equivalent nasal spray.  I also had sinus surgery about 10 years ago.  I've never been a smoker, I live in a smoke free apartment and I know it's not secondhand smoke from neighboring apartments because I never smell food odors from them, and this smell/taste issue stays with me at home, work, in the car, etc. when it's bothering me.  I talked to my ENT about this and of course he seemed to think I was crazy, but he did send me for a CT scan or MRI or something (I don't remember which, I was just glad he ordered something) and it showed nothing weird.

Reply
Bebop, Community Member
9/22/11 11:23pm

I've had this issue for 3-4 years now.  At first I thought it was something coming from the baseboard heater in my apartment because I never had this problem before moving to that apartment.  Initially I thought it was just some weird odor that got onto my clothes, which explained (I thought) why I would also smell it when I was at work sometimes.

After about a year and a half I moved to a different apartment (completely different city) and the smell eventually came back - that's when I realized it's not the baseboard heaters.

It comes and goes, sometimes lasts a few days, sometimes a week or two.  I haven't seen any pattern as to time of year, it seems completely random.  I smell it everywhere when it comes, any room of my apartment, at work, in the car, other people's homes, etc.  It starts out as a light odor where at first I think someone nearby is smoking, then it gets stronger and I realize it's this super annoying weird issue.  It goes from being just a smoky smell to affecting my sense of taste, it tastes like I've licked out an ashtray and can't get the taste out of my mouth.  Sometimes chewing strong minty gum at least hides it for a little while but you can only chew gum for so long....  Eventually it goes away and life returns to normal until whenever it will randomly happen again.

 

I've read all the theories posted here, but I've had no recent/major weight loss, don't wear contacts, don't have gastro issues, don't get migraines.  I have allergies to all the regular stuff and I've taken allergy meds and used nasal spray for years.  I currently take Allegra D and use Nasacort or an equivalent nasal spray.  I also had sinus surgery about 10 years ago.  I've never been a smoker, I live in a smoke free apartment and I know it's not secondhand smoke from neighboring apartments because I never smell food odors from them, and this smell/taste issue stays with me at home, work, in the car, etc. when it's bothering me.  I talked to my ENT about this and of course he seemed to think I was crazy, but he did send me for a CT scan or MRI or something (I don't remember which, I was just glad he ordered something) and it showed nothing weird.

Reply
Cujo, Community Member
9/25/11 7:33pm

Well...here is my story.  I first noticed an odor of burnt toast that no one else could smell.  That lasted a few weeks on and off.  Then it was a rotten egg smell. Now it is what I call the "dumped in the ocean" smell.  You know that smell you get when you have been knocked down by a big wave.   Even seem to have a salty taste in my mouth.  Also coffee smells awful, it is the "new smell" which is different from the ocean smell, Coffee and a few other foods now have this new odor.

tests   MRI  neg

          Sinus CT  neg

          EEG  "seizure tendencies'   Just got that result the other day   freaking out  the medicine made me so tired I stopped taking it

Now I need to have some blood work done.  I also recently lost about 12 lbs but it was intentional.  Had a bad cold in Jan and April of this year.  I think my symptoms started around the middle of July.  I still don't have an answer

 

Reply
SDM, Community Member
9/27/11 4:07pm

SDM

 

OK.. Everyone is so thrilled that we have found others have the same experience.   I have had this for like 2 or 3 weeks..

 

Anyone find a solution???

Reply
MB13, Community Member
9/29/11 1:45pm

Last year in October, I began smelling cigarette smoke in my house - no smokers there ever.  I smelled it only in the house-not a work or while I was outside.  It went away about 1 month later.  Just 2 weeks ago (mid-Sept) it started again, and again, only at home.

 

My daughter lives at home, but does not smell anything.  I have no other symptoms (no tumors, acid reflux, etc.).  I do have headaches, but not necessarily when this has occurred.

 

Could it be Chinese drywall? 

Reply
victoria, Community Member
10/ 4/11 1:27am

I have been dealing with the same issue for a few years now and have realized that for me, it appears to be directly correlated with being around smoke. If I happen to be in a home where there is a smoker, I know that I will be smelling smoke for the next 2 or 3 weeks, then it gradually dissipates (until the next time, unfortunately). I have been meaning to try a Neti Pot to clean out my nasal passages, try nasal steroids or see an ENT to see if there is anything else I can do to diminish the lasting effects of being around smoke.

Reply
victoria, Community Member
10/ 4/11 1:27am

I have been dealing with the same issue for a few years now and have realized that for me, it appears to be directly correlated with being around smoke. If I happen to be in a home where there is a smoker, I know that I will be smelling smoke for the next 2 or 3 weeks, then it gradually dissipates (until the next time, unfortunately). I have been meaning to try a Neti Pot to clean out my nasal passages, try nasal steroids or see an ENT to see if there is anything else I can do to diminish the lasting effects of being around smoke.

Reply
tnre, Community Member
10/12/11 7:43pm

I agree that we shouldn't automatically conclude that it's a tumor, acid reflux or other medical conditions. However, I will say that I have a pituitary tumor and I can smell smoke when none is around. There may be a relationship between the two, but it does not mean that the tumor causes it. Just see your doctor.

Reply
I8TX, Community Member
10/14/11 6:59pm

I have the same issue with smelling smoke on and off.

Seems to be when I have taken alergy meds for an extended amount of time.

My nose will dry out and the smoke smell will become intense, to the point where I do feel sick. I will stop all meds and the smell will disappear.

Time on meds will vary.

Hope that helps someone

Reply
Surfbirder, Community Member
10/16/11 4:56pm

10/16/11  I have "dry eye."  My opthamologist recently put me on a drop called Restasis to help create tears, along with steroid drops for the first few days to help alleviate the burning from this med.   The steroid drops did not help, but I stayed on Restasis for 28 days as directed by my doc despite the burning and stinging.  I thought "If he wants me on this any longer, I'm going to refuse," and I did.  During those 28 days I developed "phantosmia," the phantom smell discussed here.  Mine smells like fumes from an engine (sorta) and makes my eyes and back of my throat burn,  gives me a dull headache, and keeps me from falling asleep at night.  I thought it would go away when I finished the Restasis a few days ago, but it hasn't.  Just wondering if anyone else has made an association with their eyes.  Using eye drops of any kind?  It's a comfort to know I'm not alone and yet concerning to find so many others are having this symptom without any real help from a physician.  And to read that some have had it for 10 years!  OMG!  As all of you who have this symptom know, it permeates your every day and night and is a pretty gruesome thought to think it's forever and uncurable.  If anyone comes up with a solution prescribed by a doctor, I hope they will post it here, and I am not including surgery in this "hope."  Good luck to us all.


Reply
WWJ, Community Member
10/19/11 9:38am

Ever since we've been at the state fair two weeks ago where we were subjected to cigarette smoke I have been constantly smelling cigarette smoke.  No one in my family or work smoke.  It's good to know I am not the only one.  I hope this stops soon.  I hate cigarette smoke smell, now ever more!

Reply
Lynn, Community Member
10/21/11 9:04pm

I dont want to appear superstitious but all of you need to think about if someone had passed shortly before you began smelling this "smoke". I have heard that if a spirit is trying to tell you something this is something that may happen. Also do any of you have difficulty sleeping and can't figure out why? But you were sleeping fine before this began happening. Do a little research about spirits. This has happened to me the day after i found out my granmother had passed and I never had the opportunity to see her before she died. Just a theory but one worth thinking about. And your doctors will probably not be able to find anything medically wrong with you. I also had a recent infection but the "smell" was happening months prior.

 

Reply
Samairah, Community Member
11/19/11 2:43pm

Hi Guys,

 

I have been experiencing this lately and beleive me...i never had Migraine, no other serious illnesses.

 

But recently i have started getting a lots of tensions and headaches due the same. This was on a daily basis and finally led to severe cold, headaches and then smoke smell out of nose which i could feel coming down from my head to forhead and then via nose...

Cool

Its terrible!!!

 

beleive me....its only due to stress and tensions that i took. Stop getting over stressed and stay as away from tensions as can be and you will be fine!

Reply
Rooster, Community Member
11/29/11 9:16am

For 6 months now I too have had this smoke smell when no one else can smell it.  I have read all of the posts here and still do not know what causes it.  I am healthy, no allergies, no illnesses, no headaches, no stomach problems, no eye issues, nothing that has been posted as possibilities do I have or have had. Yet from time to time I smell a smoke smell kind of like stale cigarettes. It will last for a few minutes up to a couple of hours. It comes and goes no matter where I am, what I have eaten or what activity I may be doing, very random. I don't have ghosts in the closet or problems with spirits. I hope to figure it out someday. and if I don't so be it. God will let me know when I get to the other side.

Reply
TracyLynnS, Community Member
12/ 3/11 4:15pm

Thought I'd put my experience and medical background out there for anyone else who may be experiencing the phantom smoke, and to help us determine if it's related to these heath issues or not.

 

I'm 44 years old, have had lyme disease since 1986, and have had migraines for 20 years.  They started out being 3 to 6 days a week in the early 90s.  Now they are only 3 to 5 days a month.  I have regular headaches (not migraines) almost daily and take 1000 to 2000 mg ibuprofen for that (I know that dosage is way more than is healthy.)  I have environmental allergies and some food allergies.  I've had moderate sinus problems for about 10 years.

 

Off and on, I've been smelling smoke that isn't there for about 3 years.  The smell is similar to a damp ash tray, damp smoldering leaves, or damp fireplace.  It often wakes me up at night, and due to that, stress, and other health problems, I'm chronically sleep deprived.

 

I've lived in 2 different houses during the smoke smell problem, one that was 4 years old, and now, my parent's home that they built 20 years ago.  Both houses have fireplaces.  The first one was a regular fireplace that we used, burning wood during the winter.  This house has a gas fireplace (no ashes or wood), we don't ever use it, and the gas supply to is is shut off.)  

 

No one in the household smokes or has ever smoked, and everyone with a job works in 100% smoke-free environments, including no smoking allowed anywhere on the property, inside or out.  I lost my job in 2007, but it was in a medical office with no smoking coworkers and no smoking allowed inside.  Ironically, one reason I was hired was because I am an non-smoker.  My boss didn't want an employee who would be taking frequent smoke breaks and didn't want her patients to be exposed to someone who smelled like cigarette smoke.

 

In the last few months, the smell has become much more constant and is increasing.  For example, I can't even enjoy coffee anymore because it tastes like the grounds have been mixed with ashes.  (Coffee beans are roasted, so I'm not sure if I'm actually smelling that, but if this is an increase in the sense of smell and not a completely phantom smell, that would sort of make sense.)  I'm very sensitive to perfume and never wear it.  However, I've recently begun spraying the least offensive brand I could find onto one wrist so I can sniff it and over power the smoke smell temporarily.

 

Since losing my job, I don't have a car and only leave the house about once every 7 - 10 days.  I'm not being exposed to smoke anywhere in or outside the home, and I experience this smell everywhere... grocery store, doctor's office, outside in the yard, etc.  All the houses here are on an acre or more so no smoke from neighbors is getting into my house.

 

It's become debilitating.  I am nauseated so often that I can't function in day to day activities.  I'm often too nauseated to eat.  I have also lost a lot of weight, going from 162 lbs to 125 (due to a great deal of stress) in the last 5 months.  I weighed about 150/160lbs when this started, so I don't think it's related to the weight loss, but I thought I'd mention it since others have experienced the onset of symptoms with extreme weight loss.

 

I should also mention that I've always had an excellent sense of smell, but never to the point of smelling things that weren't there.  When I was pregnant 20 years ago, my sense of smell increased but then went away.  I supposed it's possible that this is hormonally induced or related to a chemical imbalance.  Anyway, if I wasn't crazy before... this thing sure is making me crazy now!  I have enough health issues with the migraines, lyme, and minor heart condition interrupting my life.  I don't need another incapacitating "illness".

Reply
TracyLynnS, Community Member
12/ 3/11 4:16pm

Thought I'd put my experience and medical background out there for anyone else who may be experiencing the phantom smoke, and to help us determine if it's related to these heath issues or not.

 

I'm 44 years old, have had lyme disease since 1986, and have had migraines for 20 years.  They started out being 3 to 6 days a week in the early 90s.  Now they are only 3 to 5 days a month.  I have regular headaches (not migraines) almost daily and take 1000 to 2000 mg ibuprofen for that (I know that dosage is way more than is healthy.)  I have environmental allergies and some food allergies.  I've had moderate sinus problems for about 10 years.

 

Off and on, I've been smelling smoke that isn't there for about 3 years.  The smell is similar to a damp ash tray, damp smoldering leaves, or damp fireplace.  It often wakes me up at night, and due to that, stress, and other health problems, I'm chronically sleep deprived.

 

I've lived in 2 different houses during the smoke smell problem, one that was 4 years old, and now, my parent's home that they built 20 years ago.  Both houses have fireplaces.  The first one was a regular fireplace that we used, burning wood during the winter.  This house has a gas fireplace (no ashes or wood), we don't ever use it, and the gas supply to is is shut off.)  

 

No one in the household smokes or has ever smoked, and everyone with a job works in 100% smoke-free environments, including no smoking allowed anywhere on the property, inside or out.  I lost my job in 2007, but it was in a medical office with no smoking coworkers and no smoking allowed inside.  Ironically, one reason I was hired was because I am an non-smoker.  My boss didn't want an employee who would be taking frequent smoke breaks and didn't want her patients to be exposed to someone who smelled like cigarette smoke.

 

In the last few months, the smell has become much more constant and is increasing.  For example, I can't even enjoy coffee anymore because it tastes like the grounds have been mixed with ashes.  (Coffee beans are roasted, so I'm not sure if I'm actually smelling that, but if this is an increase in the sense of smell and not a completely phantom smell, that would sort of make sense.)  I'm very sensitive to perfume and never wear it.  However, I've recently begun spraying the least offensive brand I could find onto one wrist so I can sniff it and over power the smoke smell temporarily.

 

Since losing my job, I don't have a car and only leave the house about once every 7 - 10 days.  I'm not being exposed to smoke anywhere in or outside the home, and I experience this smell everywhere... grocery store, doctor's office, outside in the yard, etc.  All the houses here are on an acre or more so no smoke from neighbors is getting into my house.

 

It's become debilitating.  I am nauseated so often that I can't function in day to day activities.  I'm often too nauseated to eat.  I have also lost a lot of weight, going from 162 lbs to 125 (due to a great deal of stress) in the last 5 months.  I weighed about 150/160lbs when this started, so I don't think it's related to the weight loss, but I thought I'd mention it since others have experienced the onset of symptoms with extreme weight loss.

 

I should also mention that I've always had an excellent sense of smell, but never to the point of smelling things that weren't there.  When I was pregnant 20 years ago, my sense of smell increased but then went away.  I supposed it's possible that this is hormonally induced or related to a chemical imbalance.  Anyway, if I wasn't crazy before... this thing sure is making me crazy now!  I have enough health issues with the migraines, lyme, and minor heart condition interrupting my life.  I don't need another incapacitating "illness".

Reply
TracyLynnS, Community Member
12/ 3/11 4:21pm

Thought I'd put my experience and medical background out there for anyone else who may be experiencing the phantom smoke, and to help us determine if it's related to these heath issues or not.

 

I'm 44 years old, have had lyme disease since 1986, and have had migraines for 20 years.  They started out being 3 to 6 days a week in the early 90s.  Now they are only 3 to 5 days a month.  I have regular headaches (not migraines) almost daily and take 1000 to 2000 mg ibuprofen for that (I know that dosage is way more than is healthy.)  I have environmental allergies and some food allergies.  I've had moderate sinus problems for about 10 years.

 

Off and on, I've been smelling smoke that isn't there for about 3 years.  The smell is similar to a damp ash tray, damp smoldering leaves, or damp fireplace.  It often wakes me up at night, and due to that, stress, and other health problems, I'm chronically sleep deprived.

 

I've lived in 2 different houses during the smoke smell problem, one that was 4 years old, and now, my parent's home that they built 20 years ago.  Both houses have fireplaces.  The first one was a regular fireplace that we used, burning wood during the winter.  This house has a gas fireplace (no ashes or wood), we don't ever use it, and the gas supply to is is shut off.)  

 

No one in the household smokes or has ever smoked, and everyone with a job works in 100% smoke-free environments, including no smoking allowed anywhere on the property, inside or out.  I lost my job in 2007, but it was in a medical office with no smoking coworkers and no smoking allowed inside.  Ironically, one reason I was hired was because I am an non-smoker.  My boss didn't want an employee who would be taking frequent smoke breaks and didn't want her patients to be exposed to someone who smelled like cigarette smoke.

 

In the last few months, the smell has become much more constant and is increasing.  For example, I can't even enjoy coffee anymore because it tastes like the grounds have been mixed with ashes.  (Coffee beans are roasted, so I'm not sure if I'm actually smelling that, but if this is an increase in the sense of smell and not a completely phantom smell, that would sort of make sense.)  I'm very sensitive to perfume and never wear it.  However, I've recently begun spraying the least offensive brand I could find onto one wrist so I can sniff it and over power the smoke smell temporarily.

 

Since losing my job, I don't have a car and only leave the house about once every 7 - 10 days.  I'm not being exposed to smoke anywhere in or outside the home, and I experience this smell everywhere... grocery store, doctor's office, outside in the yard, etc.  All the houses here are on an acre or more so no smoke from neighbors is getting into my house.

 

It's become debilitating.  I am nauseated so often that I can't function in day to day activities.  I'm often too nauseated to eat.  I have also lost a lot of weight, going from 162 lbs to 125 (due to a great deal of stress) in the last 5 months.  I weighed about 150/160lbs when this started, so I don't think it's related to the weight loss, but I thought I'd mention it since others have experienced the onset of symptoms with extreme weight loss.

 

I should also mention that I've always had an excellent sense of smell, but never to the point of smelling things that weren't there.  When I was pregnant 20 years ago, my sense of smell increased but then went away.  I supposed it's possible that this is hormonally induced or related to a chemical imbalance.  Anyway, if I wasn't crazy before... this thing sure is making me crazy now!  I have enough health issues with the migraines, lyme, and minor heart condition interrupting my life.  I don't need another incapacitating "illness".

Reply
debbiem, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:35am

I had the same problem back in June of this year turned out to be a sinus infection  put on antibiotic and antibiotic nasal sprays- cleared it up but it is back again-- so back to the doc I go but this time I am going to a head neck doc if I find out anything I will get back to you all

Reply
debbiem, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:36am

I had the same problem back in June of this year turned out to be a sinus infection  put on antibiotic and antibiotic nasal sprays- cleared it up but it is back again-- so back to the doc I go but this time I am going to a head neck doc if I find out anything I will get back to you all

Reply
Smokie, Community Member
12/12/11 4:21pm

I am a regular smoker, but the smell of carbon monoxide (coal, burnt plastic scent) has haunted me too. Its been about 2 months now. 

 

As you read along the 170 comments its quite easy to realize where it could be arising from:

 

1. Do you feel it only indoors: Warning! There may be mould or yeast in the room/house. 

 

2. Dry air can cause it by drying up the micro sensors up your sinuses.

 

3. It is regular symptom in cronic sinusitis patients (as they snort all the time, it does some damage to the nerves in the nose). Also if the sinus become infected.

 

4. It can be an after effect of lung infection (ie. virus or pneumonia).

 

5. Does it only happen after you come from the cold environment ? Do you only experience it in the winter ? 

 

6. There could be a persistent bacteria infection in the sinuses.

 

7. Are you using a laptop / mobile WiFi (Wireless Network) ? Although so called science denies it, there is alot of rowl going on about the side effects of Wireless Network SAR, of course as it is a money maker, science denys its existance.

 

In my case it could be all of above. I am sure many of you will agree with me that these are very common.

 

My solutions:

 

1. Keep your head warm. Cold and sinusitis/nose infections doesnt go well. 

 

2. Wash your teeth/mouth regularly. If needed use mouthwash.

 

3. Do not smoke.

 

4. Do not snort. If you feel the urge to snort, use a tissue and do it the proper way.

 

5. Do not use Nasal sprays...you could make the nerves or the sensors to go worse.

 

6. Try not to use WiFi for a while, laptop wireless or phone wireless...As the nerves and the receptors in your nose are very sensitive, there is a chance of the WiFi / 3G radiation (SAR) effecting them.

 

What do you think ?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
g808, Community Member
12/15/11 6:53am

Have you ever taken Zicam? I just read another persons answer on how this happens when you lose your ability to smell (through trauma)...and Zicam was recalled for that reason and I too have had that mind blowing smoke smell - after I started using Zicam. Hmmm. I wonder how many others with this problem have used Zicam?

Reply
Lynn, Community Member
12/15/11 6:00pm

I had the same problem for weeks.  I found out that my thyroid was overactive.  I've been on thyroid medicine and it was too strong for me.  It made me hyperthyroid.  I haven't smelled smoke since my levels have been back to normal.

Reply
Lynn, Community Member
12/15/11 6:00pm

I had the same problem for weeks.  I found out that my thyroid was overactive.  I've been on thyroid medicine and it was too strong for me.  It made me hyperthyroid.  I haven't smelled smoke since my levels have been back to normal.

Reply
Cujo, Community Member
12/27/11 6:25pm

Update on my earlier post a few months ago.

 

Saw 2 neurologists at at major medical center.  They cannot find anything wrong with me but believe that I am making this up..  They wanted to put me on some med to see if it could trick the central nervous system into working better.  Not up for the side effects so I am declining.   I am getting use to the awful smells and can now tolerate them.  Have learned to enjoy the new way coffee tastes.  Lately the smell has changed to a sweet chemical acetone like smell.   I still don' t know what is going on and there is essentially no research out there for people like us.  Just trying to cope with all this crap.   good luck     cujo

Reply
Cujo, Community Member
12/27/11 6:28pm

oops!!!  the above should say the neurologists believe that I am NOT making this up.  

Reply
Cujo, Community Member
12/27/11 6:29pm

oops!!!  the above should say the neurologists believe that I am NOT making this up.  

Reply
AKRON, Community Member
1/ 9/12 12:46am

Thanks to all of the above. I too have been going nuts and feeling very alone. I do not smell the smoke but I do smell other foul odors. It started about 3 yrs ago with a fecal odor. I thought it was BO for the longest time and would avoid standing near people when the smell occured. I would scrub frantically in the shower to no avail. (My wife verified that I do not have any bad odor , and that helped me a great deal socially.) 

 It started for just a few minutes a day and progressed to the majority of the time. The odor has changed 3 times since. It went to a burnt wire or electrical fire smell, then on to 2 new odors that I cannot relate to. All foul however. I would be extatic if it would change to a plesant ordo such as roses, pine or popcorn. I recently started seeing a neurologist and she ran me thru the gambet of tests. She discovered I have a problem with nerves dying off. Mostly with my lower extremities but she cannot pinpoint the odor problem. I am on a med called lamotrigine in hopes it will help. If it does I will let you all know. But in the meantime I feel much better just knowing I'm not in this alone. I will pray for all of you. There has to be a solution. 

Reply
rocknrickn, Community Member
1/13/12 2:40am

Here is an answer I discovered online from Dr. Andrew Weil.  Seems to make some sense.  Hope that it will shed some light on the topic for you, as well.

 

A

Answer (Published 2/5/2010)

You may be experiencing phantosmia or "phantom smell," also called "olfactory hallucination" and defined as smelling something that simply isn't there.

In August 2009, The New York Times published an article by a woman who smelled dirt all the time, which she at first attributed to her potted plants until she found that the smell followed her where ever she went, even when no dirt or potted plants were nearby. Once she learned that she suffered from phantosmia, she had a round of medical tests, including "an M.R.I. of my brain (ruling out a tumor), a CT scan of my sinuses (to check for infection), and finally an EEG," because olfactory hallucinations can occur with seizure disorders. She received a clean bill of health and about a year later realized that the smell was gone. But then the smell of burnt chili replaced the smell of dirt eventually to be replaced by the smell of lavender.

Phantosmia can be associated with certain illnesses - in addition to epilepsy, it has been seen in persons who eventually develop Parkinson's and in others with brain tumors. And it may occur in patients suffering from depression or schizophrenia and, sometimes, in those with Alzheimer's disease. But just because phantosmia happens in individuals with these disorders doesn't mean that all cases are related to serious illness. From what I've read, I understand that phantosmia often arises because of a loss of some of the ability to smell normally. The New York Times article quoted Donald Leopold, M.D., chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska, who has been studying olfactory disorders for 30 years. According to Dr. Leopold, with impairment of the ability to smell, the brain overcompensates by offering up odors, usually disagreeable ones. When this happens, certain neurons, which previously had blocked such odors, turn off.

The good news is that phantosmia often disappears without treatment. You might want to consult an ear, nose and throat specialist with experience in treating distortions in smell. Available treatments include nasal saline drops, antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and sedatives. If all else fails and patients can no longer deal with the unwelcome smell, surgery to sever a portion of olfactory connections can help resolve the problem.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

 

Reply
Sandra, Community Member
5/24/12 1:47pm

this is it- I have a sense of smoky, dusty almost metallic kind of smell that has been showing up for the last month.  I have recently finished antibiotics for a respiratory infection and sinus infection.  I have had antibotics maybe 5 times in my life- so you can assume this was a nasty infection.  I am iron deficient and taking supplements, but related to weight- I haven't had any big loss or need to lose it, so that is out.  I have stopped dairy in my diet a few months ago as it had a direct relationship to ongoing sinus congestion/ inflammation.  I'm assuming that this sudden sensitivity to smells is coming from my head finally clearing up and the sensory board in my sinus' are trying to reboot so to speak. Another thought is I may be dealing with finally clearing my system of built up toxins and this is the resulting smell sense I am picking up.  I'll give it some time and ask my NP doctor for some advice to settle it down.  Interesting that many people have listed a sinus or respiratory infection as a possible related condition that may have created some damage to the olfactory senses.

Good luck to everyone on their road to recovery from this pesky smelling condition.

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Heather, Community Member
1/15/12 5:53pm

I have been having the same symptoms and I am getting relief from the homeopathic medicine Sinusalia By Boiron. I started taking Coryzalia by Boiron when it first started just because I had it in the house. I didn't have the instructions for it so I took it once an hour under my tongue for about 8 hours a day. When I ran out I found the Sinus congestion one and got that. The instructions say 2 tablets under the tongue every 2 hours for up to 6 times a day. All I can say is that I don't have the "smell" all the time now. I hope this helps.

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Pathlore, Community Member
1/18/12 12:20am

I have the same. I am physically outgoing but experience the same. I don't know if this helps but found out last year my body was barely producing vitamin D and I cannot take it as a supplement, makes me sick.

 

No one in our family smokes but I smell it. My love to you all that experience this and I will share more and support as best I can.

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woopsy, Community Member
1/18/12 7:46pm

I am female - 49 years old - same as everyone else, I started smelling smoke about 3-6 months ago.  No one has mentioned their age in any messages, so its tough to find similarities.  I have been taking iron for the last 6 years for low iron - other than that, healthy.  Although in the last 6 months suffering from stiff neck and shoulders - I work too damn hard.  I'll definatly mention the smoke to my MD next time.

 

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
1/19/12 3:50pm

I found that artificial sweeteners caused my Phantosmia. 

 

After I experience this for about 6 months I went to several Doctors who ruled out seizures, migraines, sinus issues etc.  Since multiple Doctors were not able to come up with a solution I started tracking the smell based on severity three times a day: When I first got up; mid day; and at night.  They had install new brighter more efficient flourescent lighting at work and I was originally convinced that was the culprit.  I tracked what I ate, how much sleep, where I was, weather, lighting conditions trying to find a correlation.  I discovered that on days I used Carmel flavoring in my Coffee it was worse that other days.  I finally realized the Carmel flavor was artificially sweetened where other flavors I had used sugar.  Once I got rid of all artificial sweeteners it has gone way.

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
1/19/12 3:35pm

I found that artificial sweeteners caused my Phantosmia. 

 

After I experience this for about 6 months I went to several Doctors who ruled out seizures, migraines, sinus issues etc.  Since multiple Doctors were not able to come up with a solution I started tracking the smell based on severity three times a day: When I first got up; mid day; and at night.  They had install new brighter more efficient flourescent lighting at work and I was originally convinced that was the culprit.  I tracked what I ate, how much sleep, where I was, weather, lighting conditions trying to find a correlation.  I discovered that on days I used Carmel flavoring in my Coffee it was worse that other days.  I finally realized the Carmel flavor was artificially sweetened where other flavors I had used sugar.  Once I got rid of all artificial sweeteners it has gone way.

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Surfbirder, Community Member
1/19/12 8:34pm

I originally posted my "story" on Octber 16 under the name "surfbirder."  Just want to say that I am signing off of this website now because my phantosmia has disappeared just as mysteriously as it appeared.  I've made no changes to my meds, vitamins, or anything else.  It just got less and less each day and is now not at all!  I am one happy camper and hope the same for all of you.

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Nigel, Community Member
1/22/12 8:00am

FOR A FEW DAYS I CAN SMELL SMOKE AND THE BOTTOM OF AN ASHTRAY BUT NOBODY SMOKES IN THE HOUSEHOLD.

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metroccfd, Community Member
1/22/12 11:58am

FOR 3 YEARS.  After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES!  I smelled smoke for 3 years.  At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman.  So I discounted it.  Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires.  Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear?  Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again.  So off to specialists I go.  In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything!   I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec).  I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same".  Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke.  After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back.  In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes.  After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell.  After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away.  I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day.  DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff.  Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet.  However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting!  I hope this info helps someone.  I would try each med until I found the one that worked.  I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic.  Give it a shot!  I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Reply
metroccfd, Community Member
1/22/12 11:58am

FOR 3 YEARS.  After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES!  I smelled smoke for 3 years.  At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman.  So I discounted it.  Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires.  Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear?  Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again.  So off to specialists I go.  In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything!   I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec).  I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same".  Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke.  After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back.  In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes.  After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell.  After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away.  I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day.  DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff.  Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet.  However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting!  I hope this info helps someone.  I would try each med until I found the one that worked.  I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic.  Give it a shot!  I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Reply
metroccfd, Community Member
1/22/12 11:58am

FOR 3 YEARS.  After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES!  I smelled smoke for 3 years.  At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman.  So I discounted it.  Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires.  Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear?  Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again.  So off to specialists I go.  In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything!   I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec).  I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same".  Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke.  After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back.  In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes.  After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell.  After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away.  I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day.  DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff.  Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet.  However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting!  I hope this info helps someone.  I would try each med until I found the one that worked.  I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic.  Give it a shot!  I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Reply
metroccfd, Community Member
1/22/12 11:59am

FOR 3 YEARS.  After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES!  I smelled smoke for 3 years.  At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman.  So I discounted it.  Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires.  Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear?  Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again.  So off to specialists I go.  In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything!   I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec).  I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same".  Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke.  After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back.  In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes.  After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell.  After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away.  I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day.  DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff.  Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet.  However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting!  I hope this info helps someone.  I would try each med until I found the one that worked.  I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic.  Give it a shot!  I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Reply
LUIGI, Community Member
2/11/12 8:43am

I just started smelling this smoke about a week ago, i thought i was crazy, at home, at work, it is right now, i am not a smoker and i am pretty healthy and try eat right. I read the last post about allegra so i am going to give it a go, i have not told anyone yet as i was hoping it would go away but it has not yet.

Any other suggestions ??

Thanks

 

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Neil, Community Member
1/22/12 2:54pm

For me the culprit "appears" to be artificial sweetners ie. Spleda®. When I cut out this, the smell had gone away. When I started back up a few months later, it came back.

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kashay, Community Member
1/25/12 6:30am

I also have this cigarette smell that I can't get rid of. I had it around 8 or 9 months ago and now it's back! Just out of curiosity did any of you use qtips or anyother cotton swabs to clean the inside of your nose? The first time I smelled this I had used them and this time I used them and smell it again...just curious if it could be related.

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smelling smoke, Community Member
1/28/12 12:55am

Hi everyone! Same issue here. I am fifty, female and have not recently lost weight. I moved to a 20 yr old home. Being sensitive to smells anyway, I stripped carpets, painted the whole home. I also installed laminate wood floors. Because of the painting, dust, etc I ended up with allergic pneumonia. I was put on a z pack and I never felt 100 percent over it. 

 

I feel like I am starting pneumonia all over again. I have the sting in my nose and chect of smoke, or dust  or something. I just read that my laminate has formaldehyde in it and is outlawed in CA. I looked up symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning and they are all respiratory so I am wondering if any of you have laminate flooring? 

 

My other thought is my new latex paint? My adult children think its in my head. I was so relieved to have pneumonia just to say "see I was really being irritated by this" like I said. 

 

For the record, I am taking no vitamins or medications and it started before I was given the z pack antibiotics. I have always been low in iron though and I have seen that on here. I am living in a home that uses well water and my water is high in iron and manganese. Manganese can cause respiratory problems also. I also have some mold on my window sills, out side of my home and some in my attic where the inspector says I need attic vents.

 

It is a relief to know someone else smells smoke...

 

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
1/28/12 9:15am

I recommend trying to cut all artificial sweetners out of your diet for a week and see if it helps.  

 

I follow several "Smoke Smell" blogs and forums and a lot of people are finding relief by cutting out the sweetners.  It worked for me.  I think that one or more of the things you listed triggered the smell.

 

I hope you try cutting out sweetners and post back in a week or so if it helped or not.  Good Luck.

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
1/28/12 9:16am

I recommend trying to cut all artificial sweetners out of your diet for a week and see if it helps.  

 

I follow several "Smoke Smell" blogs and forums and a lot of people are finding relief by cutting out the sweetners.  It worked for me.  I think that one or more of the things you listed triggered the smell.

 

I hope you try cutting out sweetners and post back in a week or so if it helped or not.  Good Luck.

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
1/28/12 9:17am

I recommend trying to cut all artificial sweetners out of your diet for a week and see if it helps.  

 

I follow several "Smoke Smell" blogs and forums and a lot of people are finding relief by cutting out the sweetners.  It worked for me.  I think that one or more of the things you listed triggered the smell.

 

I hope you try cutting out sweetners and post back in a week or so if it helped or not.  Good Luck.

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Will, Community Member
1/29/12 6:36pm

Sorry - that mixture should be Hydrastis GLYCERITE (goldenseal and glycerine, I believe).

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Steph, Community Member
1/31/12 9:06pm

 I have experienced this. It is extremely bothersome and uncomfortable. A zinc suppliment dot rid of it for me.

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Steph, Community Member
1/31/12 9:06pm

 I have experienced this. It is extremely bothersome and uncomfortable. A zinc suppliment dot rid of it for me.

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Steph, Community Member
1/31/12 9:07pm

 I have experienced this. It is extremely bothersome and uncomfortable. A zinc suppliment got rid of it for me.

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Steph, Community Member
1/31/12 9:09pm

Try a zinc suppliment. I have had this and zinc works for me.

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Uli, Community Member
2/ 3/12 11:01pm

I have had the same crazy problem..smelling cigarette smoke..which makes me sick if I am really around it and so sometimes the smell of the "non existent" smoke lasts so long and gets so strong that I get sick. My nostrils get all irritated and sinus drain somewhat. I hate it. I thought to Google such a silly situation and have found all you guys who experience similiar things. Seeing what some of you have written here has caused me to think of things I have done in the past months concerning my nose and I realized I have been using a Netty Pot with a saline packet and very warm water. Now I wonder if it somehow damages or irritates in a different way the lining in your sinus passages/nostrils. Anyone else find the using of a netty pot to coincide with the strange smelling of cigarette smoke? Glad to know you guy are experiencing this strangeness as well.  UGH!! I smell it now and so almost constantly. I have also started exercising heavily in these past couple of weeks and wonder about that association .  Thanks =)

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Drillbit99, Community Member
2/ 9/12 5:31pm

  Funny enough I have been smelling smoke and my eye's are really sore like I had literally been in a smokey club.  I just started using a saline rinse which seemed to help short term but the sensation always returns. 

  Rewind 18 years ago and as silly as this may sound I was hypnotized to quit smoking the one suggestion that was part of the hypnosis was that when I am around a smokey environment I will have trouble breathing and will have to find a smoke free environment.  Well that is getting harder now!!!

I do know I just got over the flu and was not medicated I just let it run it's course, I did notice that I was blowing my nose more often than any other flu I had come in contact with.

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Drillbit99, Community Member
2/ 9/12 5:32pm

  Funny enough I have been smelling smoke and my eye's are really sore like I had literally been in a smokey club.  I just started using a saline rinse which seemed to help short term but the sensation always returns. 

  Rewind 18 years ago and as silly as this may sound I was hypnotized to quit smoking the one suggestion that was part of the hypnosis was that when I am around a smokey environment I will have trouble breathing and will have to find a smoke free environment.  Well that is getting harder now!!!

I do know I just got over the flu and was not medicated I just let it run it's course, I did notice that I was blowing my nose more often than any other flu I had come in contact with.

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Greg Shoop, Community Member
2/ 9/12 5:59pm

I don't know if you saw my post that I discovered artificial sweeteners caused my smoke smell but it's worth a try.  I've had several emails from people who said cutting out artificial sweeteners brought them relief in just a few days.  I haven't narrowed it down yet but I think Splenda is the worse one for me.

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Saylor, Community Member
2/11/12 11:57am

I had the same thing - started July 2011.  I now know it was when we started using the HE Tide w/Febreeze Spring & Renewal scent.  Took months to trace it back to this event and went through numerous doctor visits and MRI, neurologist in the meantime.  In December 2011 got a bottle of Gain, and the smell stopped.  In January I picked up another bottle of the Tide and it started right up again when folding the first load.  I used it off and on for a month to make sure that it was in fact the Tide and it was!  Don't know why it triggered the olfactory to think it was a smoke smell, but have stopped using that brand and the problem has gone.  Thank goodness it was environmental and not physical.

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Natilee, Community Member
2/14/12 8:41pm

I have run into the same thing.  Well, I smell smoke.  If I am around anyone that smokes - when I get home I throw my clothes in the wash and have a shower.  I still smell the smoke for days.  I am very sensitive to smells - but I find it weird that I actually notice that I smell.  I think it is related to the asthma - it takes a while for my body to recoperate from the insult.

 

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jenna, Community Member
2/16/12 10:13am

I had this problem for two weeks. A horrible cigarette smelling smoke sensation constantly sometimes so bad I'd be nauseous. I finally went to see a doctor today who told me it's an unusual symptom found in those who suffer from reoccurrent sinus infections and that I in fact have asinus infection and needed antibiotics and nasal sprays ASAP. I had no idea. I do suffer from a lot of sinus infections and the last one also had no symptoms other than a severe toothache. When my dentist could find nothing wrong with my tooth, he suggested I see my doctor and that's when I found out I had an infection that time.

So now my doctor is suggesting I see an ENT specialist to find out why I keep getting sinus infections and what can be done. The smell should go away when the infection clears (fingers crossed).

 

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tchrmommy, Community Member
2/21/12 9:14pm

I can't believe I found this site! I have this problem, too. In fact, today at work, my sweatshirt reeked of cig. smoke. Since this problem comes and goes, I didn't flinch that I didn't notice it earlier. When I smelled the cig. smoke, I assumed I had put on the same sweathshirt I wore when I went out a few days ago, forgetting to place it in the wash. Well, the smell was sooooo bad, I took of the sweatshirt and the smell had permeated my t-shirt. I was about to go nuts. About an hour or so later, I went to grab the sweathshirt and the smell was GONE! I asked my friend to smell my sweathshirt, explaining what had happened, she said, "Ohhh! That's a nice fabric softener you are using." !!!???

 

I am totally losing it!

 

Glad to see it isn't just me! 

 

Splenda.... hmmmm..... just started regularly using it this summer, and that is when the smell began.....

 

HE clothes washer detergent.....just changed my detergent this summer!!! 

 

Migraine connection???  ..... I suffer from migraines!

 

 

Thanks for the things to check.  I don't feel so out of it now!

 

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truk, Community Member
2/23/12 12:23am

I also have had this occurrence of smelling cigarette smoke (not other smoke) even though I have never smoked, am not losing weight, and am in good health and not around anyone who is smoking.   It started happening about two years ago when I moved to Alabama and got a sinus infection.

 

It went away for awhile but keeps reoccuring periodically.  I had another sinus infection recently and it came back.

 

I found spraying the nose periodically with a saline solution helps, but until the infection goes away completely, I keep getting that smokey smell.

 

glad to find out my issue is not unique- 

 

 

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janiemt, Community Member
3/ 8/12 5:27pm

So glad to see this seems to be a common problem.  I have been smelling cig smoke for two weeks. I have never smoked, but have had a lot of sinus infections.  I have not told anyone yet, cause I thought they would think I was really nuts!  I did make an appointment with my doctor though.  I guess see what happens.

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steve-o, Community Member
3/28/12 11:04pm

Experiencing the strange sense of smelling smoke, right now, it has been going on for a few weeks. No obvious medical problems as noted by others. The smell is so intense at times it's nauseating! Wish someone who has seen a doctor had some clear explanation, but it seems like it's still a mystery for many. I am going to send a link to this site to the medical team on Fox News and hopefully they might have some insight which they can provide to the public.

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The"Nose", Community Member
4/ 4/12 12:25am

Don't have a great answer as to what causes- have been living with strange "odors" that no one else smells for years and years. Found the only thing that helps me is so that does not keep me awake or drive me crazy when really bad odor- is put a little dab of vicks vapor rub just under my nostrils to block it out. Hope it helps someone else!

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steve-o, Community Member
3/28/12 11:04pm

Experiencing the strange sense of smelling smoke, right now, it has been going on for a few weeks. No obvious medical problems as noted by others. The smell is so intense at times it's nauseating! Wish someone who has seen a doctor had some clear explanation, but it seems like it's still a mystery for many. I am going to send a link to this site to the medical team on Fox News and hopefully they might have some insight which they can provide to the public.

Reply
Trudy, Community Member
4/19/12 12:38am

I got on line yesterday looking for info. on this smoke smell that I had been experiencing.  I fould lots of people are experiencing the samething, but no real answers.  Before I went to bed last night I drank an 8 oz glass of water with Metamucil in it.  To my suprise the smoke smell was gone this morning and has not returned, thus far.  The first smoke free (smell) day in weeks.

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Will, Community Member
4/15/12 12:45pm

Sorry - that mixture should be Hydrastis GLYCERITE (goldenseal and glycerine, I believe).

Reply
uticax, Community Member
6/10/12 7:58pm

Hi,everyone and I am so glad to hear I am not crazy! I just started smelling the  cigarette smoke smell today. I ran around the house trying to see if something was burning all the while my kids and husband think I am wierd because they smell nothing. I have a vitamin D level of 4 and I spent on a week on a supplements but that was over a month ago. I feel wierd because I cannot smell at all, I taste my smells. And this one is very strong and over powering. I wonder what I should do or if I should panic? My doctors and very unhelpful and I feel they use me like a giunea pig saying try this and see if it helps,oh it didn't well try this one,over and over. Would really like to hear from someone who has this and went to the doctor and got a straight answer where it comes from!!!

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uticax, Community Member
6/10/12 7:59pm

Hi,everyone and I am so glad to hear I am not crazy! I just started smelling the  cigarette smoke smell today. I ran around the house trying to see if something was burning all the while my kids and husband think I am wierd because they smell nothing. I have a vitamin D level of 4 and I spent on a week on a supplements but that was over a month ago. I feel wierd because I cannot smell at all, I taste my smells. And this one is very strong and over powering. I wonder what I should do or if I should panic? My doctors and very unhelpful and I feel they use me like a giunea pig saying try this and see if it helps,oh it didn't well try this one,over and over. Would really like to hear from someone who has this and went to the doctor and got a straight answer where it comes from!!!

Reply
Diana, Community Member
7/ 7/12 6:22pm

My phanton smell is dope smoke. I live in a city where it's not unusual to be walking past someone smoking a fragrant cigarette, at first I thought how surprising it was that so many people were so open about it.  Then I realised that I could smell it really strongly sitting at my desk at work, in my car, at home, definate no smoking zones.  I've never bothered trying to find out why it happens, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and have lots of odd symptoms, I've given up going to the Dr's and just wait to see what might trigger new symptoms and then try to make more lifestyle adjustments to minimise them. I gave up smoking cigarettes when I was 19 and haven't smoked any dope for at least 35 years.  I'm very intolerant of cigarette smoke, even the faintest whiff.   In some odd and very safe way I'm reliving my youth.  Mind you, I was never stupid enough to smoke it at work!

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squallseeker, Community Member
9/11/12 11:25pm

I've got it too.  Here is what I know.  I'm in FL, and it is most notable a day or so after a rain and may last several days.  It's stongest when A/C is on and I'm near the ducts.  I keep the bedroom door closed and 1 window (always) open, and it is not as noticable there.  I run a dehumidifier in the rest of the house so I bump the temperature higher while I'm at work and yet keep the humidity at a lower level to help inhibit molds, etc.  So far it sounds like something in the attic I know, but I can also get the scent in the car with A/C on as well... granted that is parked in the garage and with no ceiling / open to attic.  I've never smoked or had smokers in the house and it started this year.  I think it is probably related to the mositure buildup in the closed AC... some bacteria or mold I can smell (or have been sensitized to) but others might not.  I started using a CPAP machine in Dec of last year -- that caused some weird sore throats (at certain spoken frequencies) till I figured out I needed to totally turn off its humidity feature.  I typically am pretty susceptible to sinus issues, but the pressure from the CPAP tends to reduce mucus and keep the passages open.  So I have no answer yet, but if we can correlate factors that may be in common maybe we'll find an alternate cause.

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yallen72, Community Member
9/12/12 1:00am

These episodes of "olfactory hallucinations" started for me about a year ago, coupled with debilitating migraine headaches. Since it was evident my preventive migraine meds weren't working anymore, I scheduled an appt with my neurologist. In the waiting room was a copy of Neurology Now (Feb/Mar issue) with the following article:

Departments: Ask the Experts i have "olfactory hallucinations" in which i smell smoke. what could be causing this?. - DeVere, Ronald

 

I talked to the neurologist, and he confirmed that SOMETIMES, olfactory hallucinations can be internal seizures. From that point, we ran EEGs and consulted an epilepsy specialist after I started having mild, conscious seizures. When the dust cleared, I was given the diagnosis of Pseudotumor Cerebri (increased intracranial pressure), which completely explains the severe head pain, the seizures, and the smells.

 

I still have the hallucinations, though not as frequent, and I just ride them out. My suggestion to ANYONE having this sensation frequently is to see a neurologist! Pseudotumor Cerebri presses on the optic nerve and can cause blindness, so it is a very serious condition. This doesn't mean you suffer from it. This is just my personal experience. Good luck!

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yallen72, Community Member
9/12/12 1:01am

These episodes of "olfactory hallucinations" started for me about a year ago, coupled with debilitating migraine headaches. Since it was evident my preventive migraine meds weren't working anymore, I scheduled an appt with my neurologist. In the waiting room was a copy of Neurology Now (Feb/Mar issue) with the following article:

Departments: Ask the Experts i have "olfactory hallucinations" in which i smell smoke. what could be causing this?. - DeVere, Ronald

 

I talked to the neurologist, and he confirmed that SOMETIMES, olfactory hallucinations can be internal seizures. From that point, we ran EEGs and consulted an epilepsy specialist after I started having mild, conscious seizures. When the dust cleared, I was given the diagnosis of Pseudotumor Cerebri (increased intracranial pressure), which completely explains the severe head pain, the seizures, and the smells.

 

I still have the hallucinations, though not as frequent, and I just ride them out. My suggestion to ANYONE having this sensation frequently is to see a neurologist! Pseudotumor Cerebri presses on the optic nerve and can cause blindness, so it is a very serious condition. This doesn't mean you suffer from it. This is just my personal experience. Good luck!

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damar, Community Member
9/27/12 4:27am

i just knew something like this

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VegasGirl, Community Member
1/ 6/13 2:01am

I think I am experiencing this same problem.  In the past week it has gotten so bad especially in my apartment that I went down stairs to ask my neighbor if someone was smoking.  Thinking it is coming up through the floors.  I have diffusers, candles and air freshner and it is so strong I feel like I am sufficating.  I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and now I am wondering if the problem is with me.  While it is very strong in my apartment I have smelled it in other places.  I am going to ask if others are smelling it at the same time I am, if not I guess I'd better schedule an appointment with my doctor.

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