For About A Week, I've Been "Smelling" Smoke When Nobody Else Does-at Work, Home, Non-smoking Places

Question

Asked by Daniel

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?

Answer

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.