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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Can someone with sinusitis have breath that smells like ammonia?

Answered by
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4240 Questions

Posted on Fri, 11 Jan 2019 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I just recently had an ammonia smell in one of my nostrils but it’s off and on. Could it be from sinusitis? Im stuffy in the mornings? My doctor also put me on a new diuretic and now I’m having to go frequently at night. Is that fairly common? Trying to keep the two separate but reads about renal failure. Yikes! I’m 49. I have a doctors appt tomorrow. Freaked out.
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please do not worry.

Detailed Answer:


I have gone through your question and understand your concern. Let me assure you and insist you not to panic. I do not suppose that you need to worry about renal failure.

Sinusitis is an infection of sinuses, the air pockets contained in our skull. It is most often caused due to viral although occasionally there is a superadded bacterial infection present. Antibiotics or any other medicines cannot reach the sinuses properly and sinuses have a poor blood supply. Antibiotics may relieve the superadded bacterial infections, but the unresolved underlying infection may flare up subsequently. Taking steam inhalation can provide relief as it helps in opening up the openings of the sinuses that have been blocked by thickened mucus. Water in form of vapour will reach deep inside and will help in dilute the thickened mucus.

Take rest and plenty of fluids to drink. I hope that your appointment tomorrow would be rather reassuring.

Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

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