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Smelling burnt toast when going to sleep or early in the morning, headaches.

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
For the past 6 years I have episodes of smelling burnt toast. Usually during while I'm about to go to sleep or in the early morning. So strong that last night I actually asked my husband if he was earting toast. I have also been getting numerous headaches approx 4-5 per week usually before bed.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.

You are experiencing the smell of burnt toast when you are about to sleep or early morning.

Normally Smelling burnt toast or other strange, random odors that are not actually present can in fact point to a medical issue, perhaps occurring as the body's way of telling a person that something is wrong. These phantom smells, also known as olfactory hallucinations or phantosmia, can result from a wide variety of conditions, many of which affect the brain, specifically the area of the brain that processes smells.

People with seizure disorders such as epilepsy or temporal lobe seizures have reported instances of phantosmia prior to the onset of an event, and migraine sufferers may experience these phantom spells during the XXXXXXX phase, which is a stage that precedes the actual headache.

Since there are so many potential causes of olfactory hallucinations, it is a good idea to treat phantosmia as a warning of a potential problem and contact a physician if you often smells things that are not actually present, including burnt toast or other unpleasant odors.

Your physician may order tests such as an MRI or CT scan to check for tumors or other causes of the hallucinations, so do not worry about it, it may be even nothing.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.

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