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What is the recurring chemical smell in my nose?

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Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 2770 Questions
Hi Dr., for the past 2 weeks, I have had the strangest recurring smell in my nose. It is sweet chemically kinda sorta. It happens around 3-5 times a day. I can pick up a freshly cut piece of garlic and still only smell the chemically smell. Should I worry? And of course...I read on the internet that some people can actually smell their own cancer prior to being diagnosed. Thank you, Polly
Posted Thu, 6 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 1 hour later
Brief Answer: No need to.worry but be cautious Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query. I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through. The symptoms that you are having is called olfactory hallucinations. The most common reason for such a symptom is nasal pathology like infection or scab or an ulcer. This causes altered smell.perception as in your case. This requires careful nasal examination. The next possibility is a seizure disorder. The siezures arising from the brain from the region of brain which perceives smell can lead to such episodic strange smells. This can be diagnosed by getting an EEG done. The third cause, the reason for which I use the word caution is, intracranial malignancies/ tumors. You are right about the saying yhat some people smell cancer before it comes. Intracranial tumors compress the areas of brain as they grow leading to these symptoms. But at this stage there is no need to panic. Just respond appropriately. You need to get a 1. ENT consultation. 2. EEG TEST 3. CT / MRI of the brain. Hope I am able to answer your concerns. If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you. If not, you may close the discussion and if possible you may rate the answer for me, so that I get a good feedback. In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link: Wish you good health, Kind regards Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.
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