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What Does A Phantom Pepper Odor Indicate?

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Posted on Thu, 26 Oct 2017
Question: About 45 days ago, I started to notice an extreme smell of "pepper" at all times.. It has become increasingly stronger day by day. No matter what other odors or scents might be prevalent, I am overwhelmed by a "pepper" smell. It has become nauseating. The smell is with me at all waking hours and I can't smell any other scent, even if I try (example....flowers or foods).
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (38 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Several possibilities as follows...

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

There can be several possible causes to that smell dysfunction. The most common possibility is an upper respiratory tract infection like a sinusitis or rhinitis. Nasal polyps are also an upper respiratory tract issue possibly related. So an examination of the nasal cavity would be the initial step.

If nothing is found a neurological cause should be considered. It may be an early symptom of Parkinson disease, so an examination for other Parkinson signs is advised. If there was any head trauma that would be a possible cause as well.

If you have been taking antibiotics (for a long period) or have been exposed to any toxic solvent that would also be a potential cause. Long term heavy smoking is also a possibility (though usually would lead to loss of smell).

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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What Does A Phantom Pepper Odor Indicate?

Brief Answer: Several possibilities as follows... Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. There can be several possible causes to that smell dysfunction. The most common possibility is an upper respiratory tract infection like a sinusitis or rhinitis. Nasal polyps are also an upper respiratory tract issue possibly related. So an examination of the nasal cavity would be the initial step. If nothing is found a neurological cause should be considered. It may be an early symptom of Parkinson disease, so an examination for other Parkinson signs is advised. If there was any head trauma that would be a possible cause as well. If you have been taking antibiotics (for a long period) or have been exposed to any toxic solvent that would also be a potential cause. Long term heavy smoking is also a possibility (though usually would lead to loss of smell). I remain at your disposal for other questions.