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What causes increased sensitivity to smell?

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Posted on Mon, 28 Jul 2014
Question: my husband developed a highly sensitivity to smells, osmophobia? we threw out hundreds of dollars worth of soap,detergents, body washes,hair schampoos, and so on
we wash our hands with a neutral and oat soap, for washing clothes we use Avveno hair schampoo,and other Aveno products,body wash,hair schampoo,face cream etc
but my husband is still edgy, especially in the evening,what else can we do,tks RH
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Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Consult an ENT spec to look for organic cause.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query on HealthcareMagic.

Increased sensitivity to smell can be due to dysfunction of smell organs. The smell organs include the smell receptors in nose, the nerves carrying the smell sensations to brain, smell or olfactory area in brain and the nerves carrying them back. Dysfunction of any of the above mentioned links can lead to altered sensations.

The other cause for the altered sensation could be psychological or they could be hallucinations.

Sometimes smell sensitivity presents with associated nasal and oral symptoms which helps us arrive at a diagnosis. In the absence of associated complaints, I am unable to come to a diagnosis. Therefore a visit to ENT specialist is recommended. Complete examination and tests to assess the smell organs is required.

However, if no organic cause is found to these symptoms, I would suggest you to consult a psychiatrist.

If you have more queries, will be glad t answer.
Dr Shailja P Wahal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Shailja Puri

Pathologist and Microbiologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 8659 Questions

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What causes increased sensitivity to smell?

Brief Answer: Consult an ENT spec to look for organic cause. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query on HealthcareMagic. Increased sensitivity to smell can be due to dysfunction of smell organs. The smell organs include the smell receptors in nose, the nerves carrying the smell sensations to brain, smell or olfactory area in brain and the nerves carrying them back. Dysfunction of any of the above mentioned links can lead to altered sensations. The other cause for the altered sensation could be psychological or they could be hallucinations. Sometimes smell sensitivity presents with associated nasal and oral symptoms which helps us arrive at a diagnosis. In the absence of associated complaints, I am unable to come to a diagnosis. Therefore a visit to ENT specialist is recommended. Complete examination and tests to assess the smell organs is required. However, if no organic cause is found to these symptoms, I would suggest you to consult a psychiatrist. If you have more queries, will be glad t answer. Dr Shailja P Wahal