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Inhaling ammonia causing tastelessness and short of breath - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: General Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   I inhaled bleach or ammonia in my company it was not mixed together but the company produces ammonia. It was inhaled in a very large hall It was not a very strong smell but after 1 minutes it got strong and I covered up my mouth and went outside, usually we put on masks but I was in a hurry adn forgot to put it on. I did not have any coughing or burning eyes and I did not feel lightheaded but since then, now past 2 weeks almost, I still can taste some of the chemicals when breathing out sometimes. It has this awkward bleach taste , like the smell from coloring/bleaching your hair, in my mouth, it is a very light taste coming from my lungs still, and only when vibrate my voice " like making a deep monster sound with your lung" . My question is how long does bleach or ammonia stay in your lungs before this totally dissapears ? I dont feel bad or anything and I also did not suffer any shortness of breath but the smell sometimes comes from my lungs. I am Not sure or could it be in my head ? Is there anything to speed up the cleaning process for my lungs, will this stay in my lungs ? I appreciate any answer.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Pls. give me few secs. to go through
User :   Ok
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   I have gone through your query.
User :   Yes
Doctor :   I will answer your questions one after the other.
I would say that Ammonia stays for not more than one hour , its half life is very less.
User :   So what is the taste still in comming from my breath
Doctor :   So there is absolutely no need to worry.
User :   it is only when I grump
Doctor :   The only thing was concerned is did it affect your eyes ?
User :   No
User :   But I sometimes have slight breathing changes
User :   but that went away
Doctor :   What other changes?
User :   I am not exactly sure what I breathed in but it was not chlorine gas
User :   it is was the same smell as hair bleach mixed with color when coloring the hair
User :   just stronger
Doctor :   Ok
User :   I am just concerned about the taste
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   after 1. 5 weeks after that
Doctor :   After One and a half weeks , I dont think the inhalation is a reason.
Doctor :   It might be a totally diferent etiology.
User :   its not directly comming from my mouth but more when I cough or let air out from the lungs into my mouth
User :   but keep the mouth closed then i get the sensation that there is still some smell or taste of this left
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   Well, I feel fine but will this be goeing away ?
Doctor :   Did you have anything of this sort previously ?
User :   No
Doctor :   In the past ?
User :   this was the first time I was exposed to this smell
User :   I would describe it as if you whiff on the hair color bottle which you put on your hair. It had the same smell
User :   I am drinking alot of water
Doctor :   Do you have any oral infections ?
User :   No nothing
Doctor :   Or any Sinusitis ?
User :   The smell comes only when I sort of exhalte the air from my lungs into my mouth like making a monster sound
User :   Anyway
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   By breathing in this bleach hair mixture in a large hall for 1-2 minutes would that have damaged any thing permanent ?
User :   seriously ?
Doctor :   Uasually in some Liver infections or Hepatitis we see strange sensations ?
Doctor :   How is your liver , do oyu have nay jaundice ?
User :   I dont think so
User :   the smell started after I was exposed to these fumes
User :   It has been two weeks allmost
User :   there is no change that anything is left in my lungs which got absorbed form these fumes ?
Doctor :   In that case I would suggest , no major somatic cause, sometimes it can psychological.
Doctor :   No, it would stay so long , if it is either ammonia or chlorine .
User :   So it is psychological
User :   ?
User :   becaue I havve been thinking about this alot
User :   Do the lungs fully recover from chlorine or ammonia or bleach inhalment if it was not too long and strong ?
Doctor :   I strongly feel that ammonia unless breathed in ver extensilvely where in cases the pateints faint and land up in emergency, even they would be cleared in 3 days
User :   ok thank you
User :   that helped
User :   so I will be fine
User :   regarding this
Doctor :   Lots of water, fersh air
Doctor :   breathing exercises and physical exrecise
Doctor :   Thank you for ocnsulting me
Doctor :   take care
Doctor :   bye fo enough
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