I am a non-smoker. We are a non-smoking family. I am not around smokers at all. Why do I have the constant smell of smoke in my nose. It used to be just an occasional thing, but lately it seems to be all the time. I am concerned that this is a symptom of something I don't know about. The smell is strong. I used to notice it about a half hour after taking my Allegra-D 12 hr. tablets, but now I smell it much more often. Am I going crazy or is there something to this I'm not aware of. Has anyone else experienced this? Please help?
My mom had this same issue, she used to smell smoke all the time when she was still married, my dad was abusive also... It seems to be linked to stress. I have it now too, recently a lot of things have been going on. Whenever I go for a nice relaxing walk by myself in the park with no people or cars it goes away. I have experienced this about a year ago and it lasted for a few days, everytime I get anxiety and feel scared or stressed I smell this disgusting cigar smoke. My dad smoked and I just HATED the smell, linked somehow? I think so.
I have had the smell of exhaust/gas for the past few weeks. It drives me nuts and it won't go away. Sometimes it is strong than others but I've only noticed it gone for minutes at a time. Anyone been to the dr?
As I reported back in August - I'm sure that the element I had introduced into my environment that was causing the smoke smell I was experiencing is Ultra Downey fabric softener. I have been smoke-smell-free for 9 weeks or so now - after re-washing all of my clothing without using the fabric softener.
I hope that this may help some of you. I'm sure that not all instances of this are caused by the introduction of something new into one's environment - but mine was. You might just have to figure out what is affecting you.
I'm so glad to find this thread. I have been having this problem for really a long long long time! (I think more than 6 years) and I think they're absolutely from allergy. I am 19 and I don't wanna die because of brain tumor. :(
Anyway it's been like that on and off and two years ago I just realized this thing actually gets worse or better some time. Two years ago when I bought my after shave, I can use it without problems, but right now when I sue the exact same after shave, I would smell smoke for the next 3 days. It's really annoying.
Certain softeners and perfume make me smell this smoke too. I would like to know the solution if possible. I managed to live with it... but it would be like going to heaven if there is the way to avoid or solve it!
I have searched for others with this problem (phantom smoke smell) to no avail until tonight. HELLO! I'm sorry you struggle with this and glad to find someone else who knows what I'm talking about.
I don't know what causes it but it comes on suddenly and lasts a day to 3 weeks. It can definitely be triggered by smelling smoke, especially cigarette smoke. But then it disappears just as suddenly as it came when it gets good and ready to go. I was diagnosed today with massive candida growth in my intestines. I know candida can also affect the sinuses so as I address healing I hope it helps this too. I just wanted you all to know so maybe you can get checked out. Have your doctor do a stool sample check and also blood work to look for yeast.
This has severly compromised my immune system so yeast is nothing to disregard. (I know because I kept thinking it couldn't be THAT.) I didn't even know my doctor was testing for it and now find out a lot of doctors won't even check so I know I was lucky. You HAVE to be your own advocate. My son also has this massive yeast thing so our family will be on a very controlled diet and that's rough. But you must recover from yeast or it can cause a myriad of serious diseases.
I can't actually believe that I have found that others suffer from this most annoying "condition" . The past couple of days have been unbearable, as all I can smell is stale cigarette smoke...all the time....and nobody smokes around here. I thought I was loosing my mind...now I'm not sure, and a little relieved that at least others have experienced this.!
I am not sure what to do about it but funny enough, I also thought (separate from the smoke thing) that the fabric softener in our wash is too strong and likely somewhat hazardous...funny the other posters mentioned this connection...
I suppose I should see a Dr. to rule out anything, but I'll definately loose the fabric softener to see if this helps.
I too have been smelling smoke. I am never around cigarette smoke & can't stand it. The smell that I smell is like a wood burning stove. But there is no smoke anywhere nearby. My husband tells me that some people with brain tumors have an overactive sense of smell. I usually enjoy smelling the smell of a fire in a fireplace or wood stove, but this is very annoying. Any suggestions?
Isn't the internet a wonderful thing?
I complained to my family a couple of weeks ago that I could smell smoke in Costco and we debated if someone was smoking in the store before they opened. Since then I realize, I smell smoke at home, in the car, at my children's school, etc. (Nobody close to me has ever smoked) It's clearly ME. It's very reassuring to read these posts and I look forward to eliminating my softener first (it's the easiest thing to try) and go from there. (I had recently started using Ultra Downey) I don't want to ask the doctor to take a stool sample... AWKWARD! I'll let you all know if I find anything out.
I am so relieved to read all of your comments. I was anxious to google this subject as I felt "crazy" for doing so. This "smoke smell" got to the point where I felt I was going crazy. I went to the doctor and she was quite confident that this sensation was related to allergies of the nasel area. This seems to make sense as when I sense it (or smell it) my throat becomes irritated, my nose burns some and my eyes become puffy. I find so much comfort knowing I am not alone. Thank you!
I used to smell something else entirely. I was embarassed to say anything about it at all, because people will think I'm nuts. But, it was my awful allergies all along.
I noticed that everyone is talking about those awful dryer sheets. And, there is a very good reason for you to be having a reaction to those things: They are full of petro-chemicals. They also build up a waxy film on your dryer's lint trap that you can't see or necessarily feel. I wouldn't just change brands, I would stop using ALL fabric softeners altogether, whether they're liquid or dryer sheets, because you're going to come across the same problem regardless of which brands you use. And, they're all full of synthetic fragrances that make people sick, too.
Be sure to wash the screen to your dryer's lint trap. A friend of mine sent me an article about this build up being a cause for dryers catching on fire, and thus the cause of many house fires. I strongly suggest buying and using a natural soap, like castile soap for this, because your commercial dish detergents are also petroleum based. So, I would suggest using natural dish liquids from now on because of this, too. Now, since this stuff is petroleum based, do you really want it on your clothes?
All of that stuff is full of neuro toxins and hormone disruptors. It's not healthy for you or anyone else, and it's harmful to the environment.
After going through the medical tests and ruling out tumors, seizures, etc., I am now investigating thiols.
Thiols are sulfur-related alcohols that smell very bad and only take a small amount to be noticed. They are used in natural gas and propane to make them detectable by odor. They are also emitted by burning some fuels, and they also seem to have some function in some electronics.
Thiols can smell good like grapefruit or really bad like poop, smoke, skunk, or rot. They are considered to make the "worst smells on earth." Before I read about this, I told my doctors that the smoke smell sometimes had a sulfur-like quality to it.
I don't know enough about chemistry to say, but maybe thiols could be emitted by driers and bond with certain fabric softener chemicals. Maybe they could be in an aftershave (since it has alchohol) and could combine with a persons skin to put off the smell.
Some perfumes turn skunky on some people. Maybe it's related.
Lately, I've noticed the smells more around the computer, in the car (which I used to think was someone around smoking, but now think maybe it's from truck emissions,) and when my furnace kicks on. I tried to think of what these things had in common and looked for information on emissions and found out about thiols.
I am thinking maybe we are sensitive to thiols and can smell them at smaller amounts than the typical person. What triggers this may have something to do with our body chemistry, like low immunity, allergies, medications. I've always thought my sense of smell was better than the average person. Maybe sense of smell gets better with age for some people.
The source of the smell coming from the environment would explain how some of us can breath through a mask or cover our noses to breath and get rid of the smell.
This is good information. It sounds like you did your homework. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), so I can use this information. If nothing else, it can help me give useful information to my friends about what they can do to help me, which turns out to help themselves, too. Many things in the environment make me feel sick, too. And, I do know all too well about these phantom smells that people are talking about here. They're not really phantom smells at all. We just happen to be able to smell them more acutely than others can, much to our dismay.
I find that this phantom smell happens a lot less wearing the filtration mask when I go out of my apartment. And, is it ever helpful when walking near the busy roads and highways that I have to walk by! It helps a lot when I'm near gas stations, too.
Everything you've mentioned about this thiol makes sense, as does low immunities and allergies. I have both of those issues. I do notice what I would call a note or accent to strong smells that I know other people don't smell, so they think I'm nuts about that, too. The only thing that reasonable people have said is that I am sensitive to smells. Well, yes, I am, because I have MCS. At least those people aren't calling me crazy! It's annoying when otherwise reasonable people try to say that any of us is crazy or psychologically imbalanced just because they don't smell something themselves. That reminds me of doctors who used to want to send me to see a shrink when they couldn't find a cause for my belly pain. It turned out to be IBS, which is actually a lot more serious than many are led to believe, and is incredibly painful.
I forgot to mention something that goes along with what 1Robbie was talking about with Candidas. There is some very good information about this in the latest newsletter from mercola.com. Candidas is linked to many serious illnesses, including cancers. You don't even have to be subscribed to this newsletter in order to be able to read this and check it out for yourself. Just go to the website and look for an article called "How Yeast Can Wreak Havoc on Your Life and How to Address it" . It may not be that exact title, but you'll find something close enough to that and have no trouble finding it. It is chock full of valuable information, including how to kill the Candidas. I am going to reread it myself. I have several of the conditions mentioned that have to do with this Candidas connection. This article just came out. I think you'll be really glad that you checked this article out, too.
Well, I am one of you guys! Sometimes without any reason I can smell the smoke in my nose too. What is interesting here is that I'm on the other continent..than you are..in Europe. So it couldn't be from one type of softeners..because for sure I'm using different than you are. I think it has to do something with the allergies or immune system because I know that mine is down. What I would like to know is there any doctor here who can from the medical point of view talk about this problem??
Check out the information I mentioned on mercola.com about Candidas. It's full of very good information. He puts out three newsletters a week, so by now it will be a recent archive. No problem. You don't have to subscribe in order to view the newsletter. Just go to the website and look for the article I mentioned. You can use the search bar and type in the key words to find the article. He has a lot of good information on just about everything you can think of.
It really doesn't matter what brand or kind of fabric softener you use, even if it's some European brand. They're all made with the same basic concept. The dryer sheets are still made with petroleum based waxes and who knows what cocktail of chemicals that wreak havoc on the nervous system. This chemical cocktail is in the liquid ones that go in the washing machines, too.
I don't use ANY fabric softeners at all. Guess what? I don't have any issues with static cling at all. The trick? Hang up your really light weight items that always tend to collect static cling in your shower to dry. They dry so quickly anyway that it shouldn't really be a big issue. These are those items that don't tend to wrinkle, too. Everything else goes into the dryer as usual. Just don't leave too long in the dryer, because that will cause static cling, regardless of what the material is made from. Drying just long enough doesn't cause me any static cling issues whatsoever. And, I have a lot of cotton and cotton blends, too.
You are right that it is related to your allergies and the immune system. Allergies are caused by an overreactive immune system to things that are not harmful. Once I was able to avoid certain chemical substances that were allergens for me, I stopped smelling whatever that worst smell is. Only rarely do I smell it, and that's if I'm with someone in one of those big warehouse stores. They are full of a lot of the things that I'm sensitive and allergic to.
One other thing that helps me a lot is the filtration mask I wear every time I leave my apartment. I saw a woman wearing one at the supplement store. I knew what it was for, so I asked her where she got it. She showed me the name of the website. It's icanbreathe.com. The woman who designed these masks has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) herself, so she would understand these phantom smells only too well.
I got rid of ALL chemical cleaners and make homemade recipes that are inexpensive to make. They are less expensive than all those chemical cleaners that we've been so conditioned to using. And, they won't make us sick. Once I got rid of all the chemical cleaners, the phantom smell went away for me, except for those rare occasions where I'm in one of those warehouse stores. I don't shop at those shopping mall stores either, because they're so full of perfumes and fragrances that no amount of personal filtration will work to protect me. Perfume exposure will also bring on this phantom smell. These homemade recipes can be found on care2.com under healthy living. The woman who writes most of the articles with these recipes has MCS herself, and she uses these things herself. She even explains the science behind why they work. For most household cleaning you really only need three basic ingredients: baking soda, white vinegar, and castile soap. You can also use your natural dish soap. Look for natural cleaning or green cleaning and you'll find these wonderful cleaners that work great.
Oh, by the way, the window washing recipe will work, but you'll need to use it a few times before the streaks from using the commercial petroleum based products completely disappear. They use petroleum based waxes, which is actually puzzling, since glass doesn't need this at all.
My husband was complaining of smelling "phantom" smoke for the past few months. I read a lot of blogs and some mentioned a correlation with taking ambien. He has stopped taking it and has not smelled smoke for past 3 weeks. Hope this helps some of you. Good luck to all!
I had this smelling smoke everywhere a couple of weeks ago, and it really was getting pretty bad. I am happy to report; I am now cured. I traced it to one of my computers. Even though I didn't use this computer much, it was still plugged in, I unplugged it and the smells went away.
That sounds like off-gassing or something related to computer components. I'm not sure which component would be doing this, but there are toxins inside of computers, which is why one should never mess with the insides of the computer. It makes sense that unplugging the computer helped, because that computer would still have been drawing in electricity even when turned off. I know that if I get up close to some electrical cords, I will notice weird smells, so what you said actually makes sense to me.
I am so happy I found out that this happens to other people too - I thought I was gong crazy. I recently had a really lingering cold which centered in my head and have been smelling cigarette smoke all the time. I just made an appointment with an ENT for next week because it is such a disgusting smell and I can't stand it any longer? Does this ever go away or will I be like this the rest of my life??? Not to gross any one out, but when I blow my nose, I had some bloody mucus blobs (which prompted me to also make the appointment with the ENT. ) I also use the dryer sheets (and have for more years than I care to count) but this just started after this cold. I have on a blouse that is new today and has been nowhere near a dryer sheet and I smell it really strongly. Any comments from anyone about this will be quite comforting. am I ever gonna get my normal sense of smell back?
I don't get the phantom smell nearly so often since removing chemicals in my home and living environment. I don't use any fabric softeners whatsoever. One really doesn't need them. I'm not having any problems with static cling or stiff clothes or anything of that nature. Getting rid of the chemicals in my personal world has made a huge difference. If you go to Care2.com and type in fabric softener or vinegar, you'll find information about using vinegar as a fabric softener in the rinse cycle of the washing machine. As strange as this sounds, it works great. Clothes do not end up smelling like vinegar at all. Vinegar doesn't linger. I don't even do this step, but I do know that vinegar doesn't linger, since I use it for much of my house cleaning. I'll use vinegar to clean out the dryers in my apartment building's common laundry room, so that residue from other peoples' dryer sheets doesn't get on my clothes. The vinegar doesn't cling or linger to my clothes at all.
AS LIKE YOU ALL I'M SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND THIS FORUM. I PRINTED OUT ALL THE PAGES ON EVERYONES FINDINGS AND THEY ARE WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS TO ME CAUSE OTHER PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU LIKE YOU HAVE 2 HEADS WHEN YOU TRY TO EXPLAIN THE FEELING YOUR HAVING. WELL ANYWAY MY NAME IS DEBBY AND I TOO SUFFER FROM SMELLING THINGS SO KEEN IT MAKES ME VERY UN COMFORTABLE I AM 49 YRS OLD IN MENOPAUSE HYPOTHYROID AND STOPPED SMOKING LAST FEB AFTER 30 YRS. I AM DEFINETLEY GOING TO GET RID OF THE ULTRA DOWNY I USE AND ALSO THE DRYER SHEETS. I FOUND WHEN I GET " THE SMELL" I PUT PURE TEA TREE OIL ALONG THE OUTLINE OF MY NOSTRILS AND UNDERNEATH MY NOSTRILS AND THAT IS SUCH A STRONG SMELL THAT I CAN KINDA COPE WITH THE BAD SMELL. I TOO HAVE APROBLEM GOING TO CERTAIN STORE LIKE TARGET A&P I THINK THEIR VENTS ARE BLOWING AIR I CAN'T DEAL WITH WHEN I PUT MY OVEN ON THE FUMES ARE SO BAD FOR ME I GET IT IMMEDIATLEY. ( THIS TOO IS DUE TO THE FACT MY HOOD IS NOT VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE) IN THE WARM WEATHER THAT WILL BE FIXED. ALSO WHEN I PUT THE STOVE BURNERS ON THAT BOTHERS ME TOO MY EYES WATER MY NOSE RUNS AND MY THROAT GETS SCRATCHY AND HENCE THE SMELL COMES. SO IF I PUT MY AIR CLEANER IN THE KITCHEN WHILE COOKING ON THE STOVE ON TURBO THIS HELPS SOMEWHAT AND ALSO OPEN THE WINDOW. BUT I FEEL IF WE KEEP GIVING EACH OTHER ALL THIS INFO I THINK WE CAN AT LEAST MAKE OURSELVES MORE COMFORTABLE. I KNOW FOR ME WHEN I GO OUTSIDE IT REALLY DISAPPEARS.SO I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE WARMER WEATHER TO COME BECAUSE HERE IN JERSEY ITS VERY COLD RIGHT NOW. THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH THIS
I first got the smell of smoke new years eve this year. It was bad the first week then started to slowly go away. I took advise from another site i was on that said to stop using saline. Saline drys out sinus passages. I did not have a cold or sinus problems and haven't for years. I started to sniff warm water while in the shower and the smell started to go away after about 4 days. I have not smelled smoke for a week now,yeah! I hope it doesn't come back. God bless all of you, i pray for relief for all.
Isn''t the internet great!!! Just went to dr. for this problem, smelled the smoke in his office in front of him and have a hard time breathing when it happens. He ordered a pulmonary function test.
I do not use dryer sheets, so that rules that out, If anyone wants an alternative to softener, I use vinegar (about 1/2 cup) in normal load in final load. If you want to recondition your clothes and get rid of all residues of soaps, and , softeners, use TSP. Wash load with 1 cup of TSP let it go through normal cycle, then wash normally using vinegar in rinse cycle, You would be amazed how much schmutz comes out of your clothes.
Will let you know results of test.
I have had this cigarrett smoke smell on and off for a few months now. It makes me so nautious that I can't even eat. I usually try to go to bed and sleep it off because it makes me feel so bad. I'm 29 and I have had severe migraines for years now. I have had a smell of burning paper before and I still have it but I have become custom to that smell now and that doesn't bother me so much now. I told my Dr. about that smell and she suggested that it was related to my migrains. But the smoke smell is so sickening that I'm not settling for the diagnosis that it's related to my migraines. So, I made another app. to see my Dr. to discuss some of the information I have found on this forum. I also felt like I was going crazy and am relieved to find others having this same problem. I experienced this smell yesterday and was very nautious and dizzy and felt a little off. I ended up going to bed and woke up this morning without the smell. But it comes and goes like that often. I'm going to tell the Dr. to look into this more agressivley to find the cause so I can have peace of mind and hopefully figure out what I can do to cure it. I will keep you all posted of my Dr.s findings.
Wow.....about 7 or 8 months ago I found several forums where others talked of this problem...I too thought I was going nuts, as did those around me that don't smell the smoke.
In my case, it's cigarette smoke, which I hate. I have never smoked but lived with a smoker for about 20 years. I have no clue how THAT didn't bother me:-)
Anyway, I first noticed 'the smell' about 8 or 9 years ago when we had a different house. I was sure that it was our neighbors because I knew that they all smoked, even though all our doors and windows were closed.
Then we moved and it happened again. Not always though, but it lasts for anywhere from a few hours to several days, if not weeks.
Now here's the thing I realized. For me, it's ALWAYS extremely strong when I'm at my computer. Thinking back to the first place I noticed it at, I was always in our guest room at the computer. We moved and the computer was now on the second floor. I could smell cigarette smoke and would think it was the neighbor, who smoked just outside her back door, which was just below our 'computer room'. But....it continued months after she moved and the property was vacant.
Then I put a computer in my studio which is behind the house. Now I smell it more often. And I'm at the computer constantly.
So in reading all these posts, the one thing that seems to be constant is that someone is at or near a computer, whether it be at home or in an office, or in a car, where there are electronic circuits.
So maybe as someone mentioned previously, (shortcircuited) it could very well be electronics related. At least for some of us...
One thing that I found interesting was that if I apply pressure on both sides of my face near the nostrils, kinda like if I sort of open the airways by pushing out on my cheeks, the smell goes away. Same thing if I apply pressure just above my lip and sort of pull down. I can breath better and no smoke smell. Not very easy to do if you're trying to get anything done though:-)
I'll be interested to see what others discover. Could it be that all of our electronics are poisoning us?
This kind of smell is NOT an electrical smoke smell, but the smell of smoke that cigarette's give off. I didn't start having this sensation until I started using fluticasone propionate (Flonase nasal spray) as well as Saline Solution to keep the sinus infections down etc..
Well, i woke up last night with the STRONG smell of smoke. It has been 3 weeks since i smelled smoke. I used bath and body works product before going to bed. I realized the first time i smelled smoke on new years i used bath and body works product. It might be a chemical reaction and or hormonal. I have been looking at alot of blogs on this and chemical reaction might be it. If anyone has advice please feel free. T
I've had this smell of car exhaust fumes, brain fog and exhaustion for about three weeks. I’ve had it before but it always went away within a week. After trying a lot of things, I ended up using a nasal syringe to irrigate my nasal passages with warm salt water. It helped, but the smell was still there. Next, I started using a Vicks personal nasal steamer. Within a few treatments, the smell diminished greatly. I am hoping it will go away entirely with the treatment. The brain fog and exhaustion have greatly diminished also.
I believe I’ve had a sinus infection for a while, but my doctor will not give antibiotics unless there is a fever – sort of makes sense.
I hope this suggestion can bring some relief to some of you. I haven’t read all the posts, so it may have been offered already. Like you, I thought I was the only one suffering with this oddity. I’ve been reading all the posts but had nothing to add until now.
Also, prior to using the nasal syringe and steamer, I began to notice that the smell was gone when I got up in the morning but came back within thirty minutes to an hour. Did any of you have that experience?
OMG... I can't believe my eyes!! For over a week now I've had the smell of stale smoke my nostrils!! I first noticed it after seeing a pt (i'm a home health nurse) that smokes constantly in a lil bitty room... I came home, took a shower... and then a bath... and blowed my nose... and then the next day... another shower... another bath... washing my hair each time, etc... it's driving me NUTSSS!!! It finally hit me today that HEYYY... this isn't normal!! I'm overdosing on perfume... I ask everyone if I stink.. lol... then this week my eyes started burning, so did my nostrils... and wow... i think one side of my face is a lil swollen? Maybe sinus infection? Hoping so... :)
I know the smell in the oven you're talking about. It really helps when you stop using those commercial oven cleaners. Here is something you can try: Go to http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-non-toxic-cleaning-kit.html. You'll notice the lady's picture. She, too, has chemical sensitivity. She does research on why the natural cleaners work. The great thing about not buying the chemical cleaners is that it's better for your health, better for your home, and better for the environment, and best of all it's better for your pocket book. The natural oven cleaner does work. I have learned from trial and error how much water to use. There is an additional article written by a woman who swears by this oven cleaner, because she says that she is a "lazy housecleaner". She explains that she will come back with a spray bottle and spray the baking soda again with water if it seems like it is too dry. There are loads of comments on the article. Some people will write in tips of their own, so it will be worth it to you.
I do my best to keep the oven from getting very dirty in the first place, because I can't use the chemical cleaners myself. So, that is actually better, because it's not so much work to keep it up once the oven is sufficiently clean. I use a heavy cookie sheet under my roasting pans to catch the spills, because it's a lot easier to clean the cookie sheet than it is the oven. Then, I keep an eye on the walls of the oven in particular, because I still end up using steel wool on the walls of the oven. Honestly, I hardly ever have to touch the oven at all because I do this.
I noticed a remarkable difference in that smell you're talking about. Yes, I still smell that oven smell when I first turn on the cold oven, but it's not as intense when I follow these steps. I follow the same principle in regards to the drip pans on the stovetop. Keeping those very clean really helps a lot. I know many people don't do this, then there is a lot of smoke because of the charred drip pans that haven't been cleaned. Not only that, I live in a rental and I have had to move enough times to know that it's very important to keep these drip pans sufficiently clean, in order to pass inspections when turning the apartment over. In regards to your drip pans, steel wool is your best friend, after following other steps you'll read about in that link I pasted. Following these steps has greatly reduced that smell you're talking about. I definitely know that smell. I'm not sure exactly what that smell is, but I do know what you're talking about. I am sure that if you try these steps that you'll find less distress, because the chemicals will be gone. I believe that the food tastes better, too.
Another thing you can do is preheat your oven, go outside in the fresh air for those ten minutes, then come back in and put your food in the oven. I have found that it's only worst during those first few minutes. It's particularly bad when you've just cleaned your oven with those chemical cleaners. It's so difficult to get all that residue out of the oven. There really is a marked difference in that smell once you don't use the chemical cleaners anymore. I believe it's worth the extra work. I noticed, too, that now when I roast a chicken in my oven that the bad smell you're talking about soon disappears when the smell of the food overwhelms the bad smell of the oven. I know it has something to do with the electrical elements or something, but getting rid of the chemical cleaners really does make a big difference in reducing that retched smell you're talking about.
Oh, yes, you're right that it's the chemicals in the fancy bath products you mentioned. I have chemical sensitivities, so I know very well about this issue. Commercial personal care products, particularly the scented ones, are everywhere around us. Some people think that it's only things that are called "perfume" that bother people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), but this is far from the reality of the situation. Consider those of us with MCS as canaries in a coal mine. And, already there are more and more of us getting this illness, because more and more products have this toxic soup added to them. I have had comments such as "I only used a body spray." Okay, so where do they think that fragrance for their body spray comes from anyway?" It comes from the same toxic soup that comes in the things that are called "perfume" or called "cologne".
I understand that people want pleasant smelling things. Okay, that's certainly reasonable, because I used to be able to wear some colognes until I got this illness. Now, I get really sick around those chemicals. But, now I know why. There are vast amounts of synthetic chemicals in any cologne or perfume. The ones with the lowest numbers of chemicals still had 400 different synthetic chemicals in them! That's still an extraordinary number of synthetic chemicals in one fragrance! What most people don't even know about is that these are extremely toxic chemicals, they're not required to have any kind of regulations to keep people safe. These chemicals are also full of hormone disruptors. So, when you mentioned hormones, you were right, but it's because of these hormone disruptors.
Along these same lines is something that too many people don't even know about. Check your antibacterial products and disinfecting products, because this is still actually the same issue of toxic chemicals that make you sick. You will see on the list of ingredients of your antibacterial hand soap and other such products the name of a chemical called Triclosan. This chemical is so pervasive in our environment that it is even put into peoples' sports clothes. It is in a lot of commercial dish sponges, too. If you use sponges for washing dishes and cleaning in your kitchen, beware, because the majority of the commercial sponges are impregnated with Triclosan as well. Here is an article about that as well: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/safer-sponges.html
Triclosan is EVERYWHERE. It is likely actually contributing to antibiotic resistance in the environment. It is also a well-known hormone disruptor as well.
I recommend that you throw out all the commercial cleaners and get yourself a green cleaning kit: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-non-toxic-cleaning-kit.html You collect the items yourself. They're all natural items. The three most used items are baking soda, white vinegar, and castile soap with essential oils already in it. Trader Joe's has their own brand of castile soap for people on a budget. The most well-known castile soap brand is Dr. Bronner's, which is also well-known for being an environmentally responsible company. They even offer tips for how to use their castile soaps on their website. Some of them sound really far fetched. But, they actually do work. Something to keep in mind, though, is don't worry that it doesn't produce the suds you're used to with your commercial dish detergents. The reason the commercial products are so sudsy is because of Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate (SLS), which is another chemical to avoid, unless it is derived from natural sources. You'll learn about this in time as you get used to using natural products. It has enough cleaning power to do the job, and that's all that is really necessary.
Okay, so you've ditched the chemicals. So, now, how do you still have a pleasant and relaxing and nice smelling bath? First, forget about the suds. That comes from SLS. All that is necessary if you want something like an aromatherapy bath is a natural essential oil that you like and that you're not allergic to. I still have trouble with a lot of these, because I really have serious allergies, but if you don't have such allergies, essential oils of your choice in the bath water will give you that pleasant experience you were seeking with that expensive stuff you bought in the mall that made you feel sick and made you start smelling the smoke. What I like about this idea is that essential oils don't linger for an over-extended period of time, so people don't usually end up being smelly around me if they're using this in their baths. Be sure to buy your natural and essential oils at a place like a health food store. WHY? Because you want to make sure you're getting the kind of essential oils that are natural and SAFE. Don't buy those phony baloney oils that smell like various incenses, because those are NOT SAFE and they're NOT NATURAL. Get something like a pleasant smelling herb or flower that is actually made from that herb or flower. A popular one is lavender. Not popular with me, because of my allergies. There are citrus oils, there are various mint oils, like peppermint. Anyway, find something you really like. This is so much safer, because you can be assured that you're not adding those awful toxins to your bath water.
Anyone who has this, LISTEN UP! About a week ago I started smelling cigarette smoke when there wasn't any smoke odors around. The strange thing was that although I am prone to sinus infections, this was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. My sinusses weren't blocked and didn't feel inflammed, only a slight dryness. The odor gradually got worse until I decided to 'Google' it. I found forums (including this one) full of people all experiencing the same problem. Although it was reassuring that I wasn't alone, no one could offer any kind of solid information regarding a successful cure. A few people mentioned that they'd derived some short term relief via saline nasel washes, so off to CVS I went. I purchased and used a 'Neti-pot' saline sinus cleanser and some moisturizing nasel spray. Unfortunately it didn't really work, if anything it seemed to make the smell worse. At my wits end and resigned to going to the walk in clinic my wife suggested I try a steam inhaler. I used it morning and night for two days still without success. Then this morning (shortly after using the inhaler) I felt a strange sensation in my nose and a small piece of mucus dropped in to my lower nostil cavity. Without trying to sound gross, it was semi hard with a little trace of blood. Ever since then I have not smelled smoke. Fingers (and everything else) crossed it wont come back. I'm not sure if it was all down to the inhaler or a combination of all the things I tried but I wanted to let everyone know what worked for me (so far). I have decided to carry on using the inhaler just in case there is any further 'stuff' that needs to be dislodged, and because it is quite calming to use, especially at night before bed. I hope this information is of some help to others. I will post back in a few days with a progress update.
Living in an apartment, I signed a lease here and there were no smokers and this is why I leased. The landlord has 2 newer renters who smoke and told me he forgot to tell them not to smoke, ha ha, yeah and risk loosing 1200$ a month just for me so as not to smell smoke, sure. Anyways I now have a cigarette smoke problem and try everything from sealling doors etc. Now I am starting to smell something sweet and making me sick in the stomach smell, always very late and never past 3am, I believe it is crack or meth being smoked. But sometimes I get up and go outside and smell it outside, some say it is woodstoves, but I think it is chemical labs making meth. I am on the southshore of Montreal. I have asked the cigarette smokers if they could be careful, please please just for me, sure that's gonna work. Smokers don't care abou their health do you think they care about my sons' and my health, sure. About the meth, luckily here we have a hotline about drugs, and gangs, so of course I called. But personally I now believe that you must fight fire with fire, and I'm gonna make myself some skunk smell, so here we go, You want me to smell your cigarette shitt, well smell my shitt as well. I hate cigarette smokers, really.
Here, here! I live in a public housing rental that is supposed to be smoke-free myself. It is the ONLY one in the entire housing authority in my city that is supposed to be smoke-free. I have serious health issues and can't be around that poison. Do you think the managers that work this property care? NO!!! They definitely don't care and they don't enforce it. The staff is a mix of smokers and non-smokers.
Get this: There are plenty of other high rises belonging to this housing authority right within this very section of our city. The other complexes in this area all still allow people to go ahead and puff away all they want to, even though a number of years ago, some fool with his cigarettes caused a fire in one of the complexes, which in turn caused a lot of other people to be displaced and have to move to other complexes while the housing authority repaired all the damage from the fire. And, many of those other high rises have BIGGER apartments than these little sardine cans. So, what did the smokers who were living in this place do when it was rennovated and they had to sign an addendum on their lease with their rent reviews that says that they can't smoke on the property at all? Complain bloody murder! They have all these other places that they can move to that are bigger and still in the same region, but they think they have to stand up for smokers' rights? Very selfish indeed.
Now, the housing authority did tell the smokers who were still here that they would pay for their moving expenses to move to another complex, if they wanted to still be allowed to smoke within their units. The majority of them took this opportunity to move where they could smoke up their lungs and all their neighbors' lungs in their own units all they wanted to and moved out. There is one woman who made a big stink who still lives here, but at least she does comply and goes out to her car, which is not on the property, and smokes in her car. She is still being snotty, though, because where she parks is actually city property, even though it is for our complex, and there are signs requesting that people not smoke in that parking area out of consideration of other people. So, while she is not technically breaking the letter of the law, she is clearly violating the spirit of the law. The disgusting part of something like this is that everyone knows that what I just said is true, but people like her want to argue about it.
Okay, so if it's such a big deal for her, why didn't she take the opportunity to just move to nearby complex that allows her to smoke all she wants to in her own unit? This is the ONLY smoke-free complex owned and operated by the housing authority and smokers want to ruin this one, too.
What's more is that the managers claim that they're not supposed to "discriminate" and they're supposed to keep the smokers out of this place, because what has been happening is that smokers move in, claiming that they'll follow the rule about going off the property every time they want to smoke, but too many of them only say that they'll follow the rules only to flagrantly violate the rules all they want to. The managers claim that they can't smell the cigarette smoke on the smokers and they "don't know" who smokes and who doesn't smoke. I know that's a bald-faced lie, because smokers smell like smokers, because it reeks and it gets into every fiber of their clothes, it's in their system, so they sweat out the smoke, and it's all in their hair.
I used to have a downstairs neighbor who flagrantly smoked all the cigarettes and dope he wanted to. He would simply close up the apartment, smoke up his lungs, then wait 'til the smoke died down, then open up his apartment again. Then, he would use air fresheners of every sort to try to cover it up. The air freshener was a dead give away, but the management claimed they didn't know what I was talking about and claimed that they couldn't smell his "air freshener" all the way out to the entrance of the courtyard. There is definitely something wrong with this picture here if the management is playing the ignorance card. I couldn't have my apartment open, because of his toxic chemical soup. I'm certain that he used more than one can of air freshener a day. I'm also sure that he wasn't just smoking cigarettes.
The person living in the apartment now says that he is STILL washing nicotine tears off of the walls all the time, because of the previous tenant that the management let get away with this. There are other people playing this game in this complex, too. Thankfully, they're not in close proximity to me, because the management isn't taking this seriously. Smoke-free is something people like me really need, then smokers and bad management want to take the one and only place away from the people who really need it. The smokers have other places to move to, even in the same area that have bigger and nicer apartments than these ones, but they want to ruin this place for the people who really need it. And, the management isn't doing its job to correct the situation. There is something very wrong with this picture.
Most people posting here are talking about having the sense of the smell of cigarette smoke...NOT about ACTUAL cigarette smokers smoking around your area so that you are smelling their smoke.
This is about people having the sense of smell of cigarette smoke in their nose and there is NO actual cigarettes or smoking in the area around them.
Yes, I know, both things you're talking about apply to me. I just had to vent, because smokers do tend to be downright rude. I wear a filtration mask when I leave my apartment, because I have severe allergies to a lot of things. I still have a problem with rude people and their cigarettes. Some are actually nicer because of the mask, but that's the exception.
At home, I used to have a strange phatntom smell of some sort, so I've offered some tips that have helped me a lot with the phantom smell that I was having. I now only get that really weird smell in my nasal passages when I go into the big warehouse type stores, because they have so many chemical things in them. Fortunately, once I'm away from the warehouse store that I've been in (usually when with someone else) I only smell those weird smells for a short period of time afterward and not for days and weeks, like some of the unfortunate people have had to endure. I avoid the big warehouse stores like the plague. Less than once a year I may end up going into one of those stores, if I'm with someone else. I avoid them, because I get sick with more than that weird smell in my nasal passages. The weird smell still applies, because some of the people in a similar forum were talking about some weird phantom smell that just happens to be something other than cigarette smoke smell that other people don't smell. It's miserable smelling something that other people don't smell, and I have smelled smoke when others claimed that they didn't smell the smoke before, too. When I'm around real cigarette smoke I really get sick.
I have this false sensation of smell of smoke too. It comes and goes. I find that it is somehow related to picking of my nose (and I am not kidding about this). If I stop myself from nose-picking for a day or two, the false smell gradually goes away.
A bit embarassing to admit this :-)
But I am hoping that perhaps my story could help somebody else on this list!
I may have a solution for some of you. I had an inner ear problem with clogged eustachian tubes (they run from your inner ear down to the back of your throat) for over a month. Then I started smelling that awful smoke! A few days later, I received a newsletter from a health food store - Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers - which had an article about inner ear health, mostly related to children, since their eustachian tubes are smaller and, therefore, more likely to have inner ear infections. The article spoke of a probiotic called S.salivarius K12, which I believe is like a good kind of bacteria, that attacks the bad bacteria in your nose and throat. This probiotic is similar to what they use in producing yogurt. At any rate, they advertised this probiotic for sale and I bought the product. Because it's directed toward children, it's in a pink box that says Nature's Plus, Animal Parade, Children's Chewable INNER EAR Support, on sale for $10.49 for 90 tablets. The directions call for children to chew 2 tablets per day. Although it doesn't have directions for adults, I chewed 4 tablets after my first meal of the day, and 2 more right before going to bed at night. I also purchased Acai Juice (a Brazilian berry very high in antioxidents), and take 2 tablespoons per day. In less than 2 weeks, the smoke smell was completely gone - YEAH!!! Hope this is helpful. I am extremely happy with the results!
I started having the smoke smell about November 2008 when we started using our fire place. A few times the house got really smoked out so I thought that was the cause. I also blamed my husband for not cleaning out the fireplace frequently enough, then I thought it was him sneaking cigarettes or a ghost haunting me, lol. I don’t use fabric softener but I do have a hyperthyroid and horrible migraines. I had a head MRI 2 years ago because of the bad migraines and nothing showed up. I do take a low dose of ambien but the smell started before that. I am also taking Vitamin D high potency which seems to help my migraines for whatever reasons. I am on my laptop constantly but no more then I have been in the past. I am going to try the warm water rinse, saline and tea tree oils before I start ridding my home of chemicals. I am so thankful that I am not alone with this bizarre symptom. I have not told anyone (not even my husband) about this strange symptom because I didn’t think anyone would ever believe it.
Don't be surprised if chemicals do bother you. You're on the right track, since you're not using fabric softeners. That seems to be a big one for those of us with the phantom smells problem(s). I can sure understand your hesitance for telling your own husband about the issue.
When you find that you do need to rid your home of chemicals, start with the things that you're exposed to the most, like certain cleaning products. Do you use a lot of glass cleaner? That can be a big one for a lot of people, too. Care2.com has loads of natural cleaning recipes that are quick and simple to make. Once you get the waxy build-up off of your glass, especially the glass that is inside of the home, since you clean it the most often, you can simply use a spray bottle full of either undiluted white vinegar or you can dilute it, if you wish to. I don't bother, since I use undiluted white vinegar as a disinfectant elsewhere and I'm used to the vinegar. The smell doesn't linger all that long. I would rather smell the vinegar than overpowering fabric softeners or bleach any day.
I can relate to the migraines. I have that same problem myself. I found that I can no longer use commercial brands of dish detergent. They ALL make me nauseous and trigger my migraines. Lovely how allergies and migraines are often connected, right? Well, now I use natural dish liquids that can be bought at co-ops and other natural food markets, such as Seventh Generation and other brands. I am thrilled that they make an unscented one, but if the NATURAL fragrances don't bother you, there are several natural brands that use natural fragrances that I'm sure you would really like, such as green apple, pear and almond. Those natural ones didn't bother me as much as the commercial products do, but since my allergies are extensive, I do better with the unscented Seventh Generation. And, the natural stuff doesn't cost any more than the commercial stuff, so I think it's a bargain, since it doesn't make me feel so sick. Keep in mind that you won't get as many suds with the natural stuff. The same is true of castile soaps, too. This is due to a lack of a man-made carcinogen called sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate (SLS). There is a certain amount of plant derived SLS in Seventh Generation, but as it's the only product in my household with this substance in it, I don't feel too badly about it, since it doesn't make me feel so sick. And, it doesn't have the extensive list of chemicals that the petroleum based commercial products are made of. Check it out, we've been deceived into believing these commercial products were cleaning our dishes, but they're made from petroleum based chemicals. So, it's no wonder people get sick or start smelling weird things in their nasal passages!
It's just some food for thought. When you go to clear out the chemical based products, these are the things I would change first. You may have to change slowly, because of budget concerns, which is why I brought these things up. I would next move on to scent-free laundry products. You already said that fabric softener isn't an issue, so the next big step would be your laundry detergent. At the very least, I would switch to unscented products.
You guys are GREAT! I was convinced I had a brain tumor and just tonight got up the courage to google "imagined smoke smell" when this site popped up and I am most relieved to find out I am guilty of using dryer sheets (cheap ones from the dollar store!) AND chemical cleaners, AND I eat too much sugar (candida possibility on Mercola's site) ... and so on. Pushing on my cheeks under the eyes does indeed help make the smoke smell go away, thanks! And cupping my hand over my mouth and nose also makes it go away. My phantom smoke smell comes and goes. It started a few months ago. Sometimes it's cigarettes, sometime cigars which I especially hate. I also occasionally smell a cooking chicken ... but in the early stages of cooking before it starts to smell good ... like a wet chicken that is just heating up. Not a good smell! Needless to say there is no chicken or burning cigarette or stinking cigar anywhere within sniffing range when this happens. So tomorrow I cease and desist from use of chemicals and ingestion of sugar. This smoke smell just started up again yesterday when it just so happens I ate a bunch of coffee cake and marshmellow peeps! Sugar overload, no doubt. Great site, great information, thank you!!!
This is a brilliant site.
After suffering the same symptoms as most of you people I was convinced I had a brain tumour. Head ache, cigarette smell that comes and goes, fuzzy head feeling, watering eyes etc. Even lack of concentration and tiredness.
After reading all the comments it is very reassuring to know I'm not alone.
However, to be on the safe side, I saw a neurologist and had a MRI scan yesterday where my earlier fears were dispelled. Nothing in there except what you would expect to see. Interestingly though my neurologist could offer no explanation other than 'phantom hallucinations' and suggested a visit to an ENT specialist.
Next step for me though is to start trying to identify any of the ingredients identified by you guys since I am now convinced it must be an allergy. The proximity to PCs and Laptop computers completely baffles me, but the smell is definitely more persistent when I am next to one. Time for a Michael Jackson mask perhaps?
Whatever, I am a much relieved visitor to this site and extremely grateful for the comfort that reading all your comments gave me through my 'apprehensive time'. God bless you all.
Well, I thought there would be an answer on this for me. But I'm left with questions, not answers.
My fantom smell started more than a year ago and was "wet cigar left overnight in a beer can" smell. Now it's a vinegar smell. I had polyps removed about 5 years ago but none have returned. What caught my eye on this thread was a) using a laptop and b) ambien.
I work in tech and with Asia based companies who design/manuf computers. It turns out that it's very possible that there's a compound in the ingredients in the laptop that could be causing it. I put tape on the laptop where my hands rest to see if the cigar smell would go away. I didnt notice anything substantial. I was thinking that maybe it was a skin reaction to an ingredient due to the hours of leaning on the laptop. But I can't rule out the laptop as it does seem to come and go with my usage. It's a great laptop but for anyone who cares, it's a T61.
As far as ambien/generic ambien...when I travel to Asia I bring some along with me but I don't experience the smell. From time to time I take 1/4 of a generic ambien (~2.5mg) just to help calm down. I havent ruled that out yet either but am stopping the usage to see if it affects it.
I've had my house checked for mold and I'm having my air ducts cleaned tomorrow. I would say that around 80% of the time I smell it, I've been near or working on the laptop and in my homeoffice. I don't suspect any electrical burning but it could be a compound being slightly heated in the system that is causing a reaction within my sinuses - either directly or indirectly through skin. I'm also planning to exchange my laptop with another one soon.
Also, due to my polyp removal I have a cavity in my sinuses that retains water when I swim. The water drains a couple hours to days after being submerged. The water is gone after that and there's no infection. Many weeks to months later the smell is still there even though the water is gone and there's no infection. I do not think this has anything to do with the smell. I am one who believes this is not caused by any physical nature of the sinuses or eustacian tubes. "This" = long term mystery smell without infection.
Also, when the smell persists my heartbeat can be elevated...which is also why I take 2.5mg of generic ambien to sleep. It has dawned on me that taking this may actually be causing it, but it seems to have less cause/effect than the laptop.
Without positive tests I really have no answers. I believe this is due to a strange allergic reaction to something environmental. But I am not a person with even mild allergies and I do not smoke nor am I around people who smoke. I do not have alot of stress and I can't positively relate the smell to any stressful periods - that is, it happens when there is mild stress and when there isnt any stress at all. The smell and lack of stress is most common.
I'm open minded about the dryer sheets but am not hopeful in my case. In fact, I use Vicks petroleum jelly in my nose to overcome the smell and it's about the only thing that works for me. I realize that Vicks may have a similar compound as in the laptop but it helps distracts me from the primary cigar or vinegar smell - and I use it rarely.
What might help me are answers to the following questions:
a) What manuf and model laptop are you using, and
b) In the case of Ambein. Is it generic ambien or actual Ambein?
Thanks. I wish I could prove something positive but all I have been able to do is rule things out. The two primary, remaining things are listed above and I'm hopeful that the airduct cleaning tomorrow will help.
It seems like the cigarette smell is the most common, so I was happy to see at least one fellow suffer (Razdaz) of car exhaust fumes. Ugh! I've had it for about a week now. It started when I was in my car, so I didn't think anything of it -- just that the fumes were pretty strong. But then once home, it didn't go away...and I smelled it non-stop the next day....at work...at a school...at church...everywhere!
It is so frustrating, but I felt like I couldn't even make a doctor's appointment because - what would I say? I smell car exhaust, but there is nothing really there? Part of me wanted to get some other symptoms...a sore throat, a cough, a runny nose - but nothing. Just yesterday, I started thinking about allergies. The smell is so strong, I do feel like my throat is dry and burning a bit. Today, I was even paranoid that I was possibly putting off a car exhaust odor to others.
It has been very helpful reading everyone's comments about harsh chemicals. I will really have to start being aware of what I'm using. There have only been a few times I don't smell car exhaust in the last few days: 1) obviously when I'm sleeping, 2) in the shower, 3) less outside. I'm *always* at a computer, so will have to test that one out a bit.
I am curious as to whether this is truly a phantom smell - which then means our brains are actually encoding stuff incorrectly somehow. Or, are we actually just hypersensitive to a scent/odor that is actually there (even faintly, somewhere) - but most others cannot pick up?
My laptop is an ACER and I take a 1/2 of Zolpidem each night but trying to wean myself off of it. The cigarette smell started before taking Zolpidem and when I don't use my laptop the smell does go away. So I am trying to cut down on my laptop use as much as possible. I did mention this problem to my primary doctor who is very intelligent and he said he had heard of this but said it was nothing to worry about. Nothing for him to worry about since he doesn't have to smell cigarette smoke constantly. lol
I'm so glad to have found this site! My sister has been having that smoke smell over the past few months and she also has sensitivity to smells and such. We are eliminating all chemicals in our home to try to help her feel better. I have a question regarding laundry detergent. Currently, we are using Tide He - fragrance free. Is that a good brand - is there something else that would be better for her. We want her to be completely comfortable - and the rest of us in the house are glad to use whatever works for her.
hi i have just got this awful smell of smoke in my nostrals a week ago,its there all the time,thought i was going mad too.I have not long got over a very bad cold wich left me with a blocked ear,blocked nose, no taste,they have since gone but now i am left with this smoke smell constantly in my nostrals and this burning like sensation. i thought i try and find out whats wrong with me,then i found this site, what worries me that its going to stay with me.. its driving me mad..got to find away to stop this. IS THERE A CURE ! Ihpoe so...
I started smelling smoke a few weeks ago almost like I was suffocating. i would cough and cough. As if my body was trying to get rid of something trapped in my lungs. Like smoke.
The doctor put me on Nasonex and loradine (allergy medication). She said the burning and smoke smelling is from allergies and people smell different things. Some of us smell smoke others smell raw onions, etc. Everybody is different but it is a sinus infection. It is not normal.
She also gave me antibotics. She gave me amoxcillin/clauvulanic 875/125 mg. twice a day for ten days. You guys need to go to the doctor and have them check out for possible bronchits, pneumonia, ear infection, sinus infection or strep throat. The symptoms could be low but you could have them. Also she said that tooth infections can cause different smells too. Also after the antibotics you need to take diflucan to get rid of the candidas that you will get. This can also cause problems if you let it grow.
Please go to the doctor. It is not normal.
I am taking the medications right now and I do feel better. Good luck. Keep me posted. I will keep everyone posted as i just started the medication yesterday.
I've also been having a problem with this weird smelling problem. Sometimes I'll smell sulfur or some weird smokey smell I can't explain. And when I start smelling it, it makes me feel different, it makes me feel like I'm around a different atmosphere and I just don't feel like myself. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going crazy or I wonder if I have a brain tumor. I went to an ears nose and throat doctor today, he said he wanted to give me a CAT scan in a week from now because he said it's not normal to be smelling that smell. I also have sinusitis as my last ears nose and throat doctor said so. I've been dealing with this problem for about a couple years now and I can't explain what it could be. Also, sometimes I'll have pressure on my forehead like my forehead is swelling up. Sometimes it smells like someone is cooking out, the smell alternates to different smells.
Here's the medicine I take:
- Cimitidene (Tagament/Heartburn)
- Singulere (Allergies)
- fluticasone propionate (Flonase)
- Inhaler (Asthma)
Here's what I'm allergic to:
- Cat dander
It's weird, but when I start smelling this weird smell I just feel really different like I'm not myself, I can't explain it any other way, lol.
I asked my doctor about brain tumors and the symptoms are very different than smelling smoke. You have to have other more severe symptms for it to be a brain tumor. These are some of the symptoms for a brain tumor:
The most frequent symptoms of brain tumors include:
Headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day
Seizures or convulsions
Nausea or vomiting
Weakness or loss of feeling in the arms or legs
Stumbling or lack of coordination in walking
Abnormal eye movements or changes in vision
Changes in personality or memory
Changes in speech
Either way, everybody needs to go to the doctor and demand that we get every test done. GERD, sinus infection, asthma, lung problems, ear infection, cat scan of the brain just to rule all of them out.
I am taking antibotics, nasonex and loradatine for ten days. I feel better but not completely. I have an appt on monday and I will keep everybody posted.
I've been calling around different pharmacists and asking lots of questions since this is a very disturbing condition for me. I feel smoke in my throat and nose. I can smell it. Mostly when i am near dust or my computer.
I also read many people's postings. Most of us with this condition spend a lot of time on the computer and we tend to smell it when we are near a computer or television. I was diagnosed with chronic dry eye and I was given Bauch and Lombs soothe eye drops over the counter and it helped but now I have the dry eye again. Maybe we need to see an eye doctor instead of a medical doctor because we need prescription medication. Since one of the symptoms is that we feel that we have smoke in our eyes and they burn when we smell this smoke.
Another thing I was told by a pharmacy is to get checked for GERD (acid reflux) because it could be going up and burning our throat and pipe. This could cause the tissue to become damage and it could be the smell/taste we are having. This makes sense.
We need to have our eyes checked. And we need to be checked for acid reflux. We don't have anything to lose but to get better.
So let's all do that. I wish everyone luck. I will definitely let everyone know what happened when I get back from the doctor on Monday.
I have not been using my laptop much lately and the smoke smell is gone for now. I am going to wear a face mask when on my laptop from now on to see if that helps. I also am wandering if any of you have cats? I'm glad that their are other people who understand how frustrating this smell is. My husband laughs at me but I can understand how strange it must sound to him.
Interesting note about the sinus infection AND neti pot use, because I have had a sinus infection and began using a neti pot to help relieve the constant mucus problems... almost a day and a half after starting to use the neti pot.... I started to smell cigarette smoke all the time. The neti pot comes with a little packet of what seems like Sodium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate (Salt and Soda)... but now that folks here have warned me off saline I'm going to hold off on the neti pot for a while and see if the smell sensation goes away. Wow... Great to see so many informative posts.
I have been keeping up with the post on here for quiet a while. I have had the same problem as all of you. As of Monday the 18th, I started using a generic for of Allegra and A music wash called NeilMed Sinus Rinse daily, and as of today, no cigarette smell. Stopped smelling it yesterday and still cig smell free. Give it a shot, what do you have to loose, but the smell lol.
:Sorry about the speIling, this looks better lol:" I have been keeping up with the post on here for quiet a while. I have had the same problem as all of you. As of Monday the 18th, I started using a generic form of Allegra and A mucus wash called NeilMed Sinus Rinse daily, and as of today, no cigarette smell. Stopped smelling it yesterday and still cig smell free. Give it a shot, what do you have to loose, but the smell lol.
Here it is the 25th of May, 2009, and still............no cig smell. You guys should really try the NeilMed Nasal Rinse. I am so satisfied. I am not going to push and push this. Just let the product speak for itself. I went to Wal-Mart, spent $10 and some change, and use it once a day, no more cig smell. Fantastic.
I thought I was going crazy. Noticed cigarette smoke once I got into bed during a time when at work there was an increase in cigarette smokers around the area so just thought my nostrils were I guess hanging onto the smell - somehow. In retrospect I could have just been hallucinating that (doubt it though - I wish they would stop)! I got a new latex bed recently, new bed sheets so i'm wondering if that's the cause. I use a dryer for the sheets but no other detergents or dryer sheets than ones I use with my clothes as well and haven't drastically altered the detergent except maybe started using liquid instead of powder. Also had a sinus infection around the same time that I didn't treat - it went away. I usually have a wonderful and accurate sense of smell but this happening every night is getting annoying. Maybe i'm just sensitive to all the smoking. Are many of you exposed to much passive smoking?
PLT I am not nuts. My husband always said I could smell a nat fart 2 states away. Nothing has changed in my life that I can pin point this occurence of constant smoke smell, raw throat, coughing. I don't smoke, I am not around smokers. I did have a bad winter with a lot of colds and sinus problems. My ammune system was down, got everything the grandkids got. I am surrounded by chemicals, I work in a factory that makes fiberglass showers. I use dryer sheets. Just had hard wood floors put in. BUT none of that has every bothered me. I really dont have any faith in Doctors, they done seem to have a passion for finding out what's wrong with people, just write a perscription and see ya. The Acupuncturist has helped me more than the doctors. I hope someone comes up with the answer. This is very stressfull.
I have seen an ENT about my constant smelling of smoke. It seems that the sinus infections I had over the past couple of winters have irritated my olfactory nerve. I had the CT scan and all was well, just showing some sinusitis.
I am up tonight, not able to sleep, because I smell the cigarette smoke very strongly tonight. My allergies have been acting up and thus re-irritated the nerve.
The only solution for me was prednisone -- two courses -- but this was a temporary fix. I can't keep taking prednison, obviously, but boy, was it a relief!!
Now I also rinse out my sinus passages with a Neti Pot, twice a day, with warm water. Guess what I have not been doing recently? You guessed it. And now I can't sleep.
I wish all of us luck. It's a horrible affliction and others don't understand. The smoke is SO REAL, you can sometimes feel like you're going to choke! I even cough!
I finally got a netti pot. My allergist gave it to me. I have found that it is better for me than what I was doing before. It uses gravity, so it is much gentler. Saline washes did work well to wash out sinus infections I had before, and I was able to get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics. I noticed how much better my nose feels after using the netti pot only a few times. As someone had mentioned, getting rid of the sinus infection did make a difference in what I was smelling. I had to mention the netti pot, because I have already had good results from it. I think it's worth using for anyone who hasn't tried a netti pot yet.
I know that there are other reasons for some of us smelling strange smells, such as cigarette smoke in the nasal passages, but I'm sure the saline wash will help others who are affected by allergies and sinus infections. The good thing is that if you use the right saline wash method for your own sinuses that you at least aren't hurting anything by giving it a try. I now know that the netti pot is the best method for me.
Why will you guys not listen and at least try Neilmed Nasal Rinse, the bottle squirt, not the pot. Please try it, its cheap and IT WORKS!!!!!! Shhhheeeeezzzzz, I mean what do you have to loose, but the SMELL. Just try it. Here it is June 11, and I still do not have the smell back.
The constant thread I see, is recent sinus infections. Thank you muzuki65 I will definitly try the Neilmed Nasal Rinse. So far the Neti pot has not helped me. I find that I wake up and for about an hour I don't smell smoke, then it starts and gets more intense as the day goes on. Watery eyes, sore throat, cough.
Well that wasnt very nice was it? What do I care? Im just trying to be helpful, no need to be so crappy. Come on man, if something works, why not share it? And you're right, its the same formula just a different approach, but i tried both, and one helps and the other doesnt. So, whatever floats your boat I guess. But really, is there any need to be ugly? Whatever has made you so grouchy, I wish you the best and hope you feel better soon.
So thankful I found you all! I too have been dealing with this constant smell of cigarette smoke...been about a month now.
I've been on the Z-pack, flonase, clariton D, NetiPot, Saline Spray, cipro...was also given an inhaler as lung capacity test warranted it.
I've seen an ENT (waiting on the results of a sinus ct scan; 1 primary care doctor; 1 cardiologist; have an appointment with an allergist on Tuesday.
What I find the most troubling of all this, is that not ONE doctor seemed to be aware of this condition! Each dr seemed to not give much credence to this horrible sensation and acted like they never heard of it. Yet, google it and here we are....suffering with a zillion unanswered questions!
I tried pressing down on my cheeks as someone here mentioned and it truly worked....not that one can go around pressing their cheeks, a little difficult to perform normal tasks while applying pressure to your face...but certainly that proves that something is happening in that area of the face/nasal passage.
Don't know where to start..... I have a relatively new laptop, a Gateway. I use softener. I use chemicals. I eat chemicals...... I just want to be 'normal' again. Of course, there are those who know me who might argue the fact of normalcy ;o)....but I want to go back to MY normal, ya know!!!!!
I'm hoping the allergy dr will offer some insight....I will let you all know what his take is.
After reading everything that has been posted thus far, I feel that what has been posted about the the different stuff/things that we all use to help relieve our sinus conditions etc. I believe possibly there is something that might have been omitted...I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but it could be why we have the sensation of smelling cigarette smoke.
Ever since I was a small kid I have always picked my nose, I know I picked up the habit believe it or not by seeing my mother do this...but anyway it has always been apart of my life. Sometimes I have picked my nose to where it bleeds and scabs, I started using Flonase, Saline Solution and a few other nasal sprays to help relieve sinus infections a few years ago and to help me be able to breath at night when I sleep.
So my theory is when I spray and introduce these different products into my nose where the skin has been broken the chemicals in these sprays enter the blood vessels in my nose and has someway created this sensation of cigarette smoke.
So I'm curious to see how many on this forum will be willing to admit if they too pick their nose and this could be the reason why this is happening.
Another thing...Just yesterday it was reported:
Consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell, federal health regulators said.
The over-the-counter products contain zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell. The other products affected by the Food and Drug Administration's announcement Tuesday are adult and kid-size Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs. The link to read this article is below.
I posted on another couple of forums yesterday but this one has the most recent posts and the ability to send messages to people so I'm happy I've found this site.
I started smelling cigarette smoke on Saturday night. It's now driving me insane. I went to see my doctor today and he's sending me for an MRI on Friday. I follow up with a neurologist on Tuesday next week.
I will MOST DEFINITELY get back here with results as I've been frustrated with a lot of people saying they will post back and don't. I think it's really important to share what's going on. This is such a weird and awful thing. I actually cried in the doctor's office today. :(
Meantime I'm off tomorrow to buy the nasal rinse mentioned by muzuki65.
Here's what I posted on the other sites...................
I just read another forum and I'm posting here too.
I read this.........
To all of those who suffer from "smelling" cigarette smoke that is not present:
I believe I have figured out what might be going on, from personal experience coupled with deep knowledge of medical science. First, I believe only individuals hypersensistive to mold spores will experience this, and the anecdote that follows provides the rationale. I became quite ill, as others have reported, including the mother of all sinus infections, where I completely lost my senses of taste of smell for more than one month. This was merely a coincidence, as many others who report these phantom odors or olfactory hallucinations, as I like to refer to them, were not previously ill. At around the same time, my dehumidifier in the basement was failing, which I eventually replaced. This odor of cigarette smoke just would not go away. It seemed to be worse in the rooms of the house that were located in the rear portion, but that said, the odor would follow me everywhere I went - in the car, the gym, even outside, although to a much lesser extent. I did, however, notice that it was absolutely worse in my home. I also went the route everyone else did - set up an appointment with the ENT guy, who, of course, immediately moves to rule out a brain tumor and orders an MRI. He looked up in the sinus cavity, and saw that there was some mild inflammation, but needed the MRI. A few days later, the ENT guy calls me up on the phone, and says the good news is that there is no brain tumor, but the bad news is that he has no clue what to do to alleviate the phantom odor. Aaaahhhhh...the science of modern medicine. We might as well be back in Hippocrates times...at least they would have attempted trephination or something. Anyway, I'm downstairs in the basement last night finishing up some laundry, and I just happened to look up in a corner (in the REAR of the basement), and low and behold, there was a fairly significant patch of mold growth on the wall adjacent to a bend in the clothes dryer vent pipe. I bleached the **** out of it, cleaned it up, and the next morning (today), I no longer "smelled" cigarette smoke anywhere in the house.
OK - so here's the theory: The mold spores spewing forth from this undetected patch of mold in the basement, to which I am hypersensitive already, was causing my olfactory epithelium, as well as the remainder of my sinuses, to become inflamed and irritated. This irritation of the olfactory epithelium (which is at the very top of the sinus cavity) was simply being interpreted by the brain as cigarette smoke, since smoke is an irritant to this epithelium, and I am also hypersensitive to cigarette smoke in particular. The watering eyes and irritated throat are also the result of irritation of these mucous membranes by the allergen. The reason the phantom odor travels with you wherever you go is because these mucous membranes have become chronically irritated and inflamed over time, and that does not subside in a matter of a few hours while temporarily away from the source. Now, not everyone experiencing these phantom odors and irritation will be due to mold spores, but I guarantee you that it is due to something in your home or work space to which you are hypersensitive. You must find the source, remove it, and you will be cured.
AND MY POST IS THIS>>>>>>
Hello. Like almost everyone here I'm surprised and relieved to know I'm not alone. I googled 'smelling cigarette smoke' 'altered sense' and couldn't believe how many websites and forums there are. Of course I'm EXTREMELY disappointed not to read of a solution to the problem. I started smelling smoke 4 days ago. I had just laid a lot of 'mulch' outside in my garden and though I must be smelling that. Then I decide it was definitely cigarette smoke and went outside to see if it was coming form my neighbor's. It wasn't and my husband couldn't smell any smoke at all. It's been driving me crazy and I actually got a bit upset and cried today. I have a 5 month old baby and I feel as if her room smells of smoke. It's awful. I've got myself all worried about it being something wrong with my brain as I had a sharp pain on the front right side of my head yesterday. Please, I'd love to hear more stories of people with this problem going for scans and getting the 'all-clear'. I've made an appointment with an ENT specialist for next week. I will definitely post the results here as I know that answers are really important to people like me searching with this strange condition. I saw a lot of posts with people saying they would report back but didn't. I'm hoping it's for a 'good' reason because the problem just went away and they forgot about it....
Anyway, I'm slightly intrigued by the last post about the mould!! It certainly has a connection to me now I think about it and as soon as I finish typing I'm off to deal with what I think may by my source. I've been going crazy lately with my towels never smelling clean no matter how many times I wash them and dry them, as soon as they become wet after one use they have an awful 'damp' smell. I googled the problem yesterday and found the reason is bacteria that regular detergent can't remove and it was suggested to use white vinegar in the wash. It also said to clean the washing machine and look under the rubber boot in the door for mould. (I have a front loader) I looked last night and it needed cleaning....meant to do it today but I forgot (too bust worrying about why I'm smelling cigarette smoke all day). Point is I've been jamming my nose into and inhaling deeply my towels regularly to see if they still smell and I'm wondering now because of the last post if I've inhaled some kind of mould bacteria and that has cause this 'smoke smelling problem'??? I'm excited to go and clean my washing machine with bleach to see if it helps.... By the way, washing towels in vinegar certainly worked, if you're having the problem!! So, it's trying to find a link here for everyone suffering this....I'm clutching at straws because I SO DON'T want to believe there's anything wrong with my brain.....Do your towels have a weird 'damp' smell??? I know it's a common problem......other things that are a bit out of the ordinary for me to see if anyone finds a link are:
* I'm breastfeeding.
* I'm on a very restricted diet because my baby has 'sensitivities' No wheat and no dairy for the last four months.
* I've recently laid a LOT of mulch in the garden.
* I'm tired becasue of not getting enough sleep.
* I don't have allergies that I'm aware of.
* I consider myself to be a bit of an anxious type, I'm claustrophobic.
* I've just had an 8x10 wool rug professionally cleaned. They took it away.
* I've just bought a new box spring for the bed.
I can't think of anything else worth mentioning but if I do I'll certainly be back.
I'd love to hear if anyone else has 'musty' smelling towels though....wouldn't it be fantastic if THAT was the problem......
I posted a couple of days ago. I have an MRI appointment tomorrow.
In the meantime I've been reading more and I'm convinced this isn't anything to do with the brain although now I'm worried so I'm going ahead with the MRI to rule it out.....
I just bought a neti pot to try as a few people seemed to have had success...I've used one before many years ago so I'm not new to it and I know how to do it. I can NOT get the water to come out of my other nostril!!! I've tried many different head angles and even just watched a 'how to' video on youtube. I'm relaxed, I'm not afraid (as I said, I've done it before) I'm doing it RIGHT and the water will not come. All I'm getting is a pain in my forehead.
Is it possible to have blocked sinuses without even knowing it??? I can breathe fine.....
Well, after a day of horrible anxiety because I'm claustrophobic, I went for the MRI on my brain at 5.15pm. I got through it with the help of two lovely receptionists!! One held my hand and the other watched my baby!
The technician isn't allowed to tell you any results but the lovely receptionist told me there was 'nothing'!! I can't tell you how relived I am after reading a few posts here about brain issues. I still have an appointment with a neurologist next week so we'll see what he says. Maybe he'll suggest an EEG because I know some people mention un-known seizures? Who knows? I also have an appointment with an ENT specialist and an allergist.
My gut feeling at the moment is that this is an allergy matter. AS I mentioned earlier I laid a TON of mulch the day this started. I looked up 'mulch and allergies' and there's a big connection because of possible mould and spores that lie in mulch......
I'm still smelling cigarette smoke really strongly and it's been almost a week now. I have a mild headache but that's probably due stress worrying about the MRI. I do however also have a bit of earache in my left ear which may suggest an ear problem which hopefully the ENT guy would detect......Maybe it's all sinus related.
I'm absolutely determined to get to the bottom of this. I'm 38 years old and have never experienced anything like this before. I have good health insurance so I'm going to ask for ALL the tests and I'll let you know what I find....
I have a mild inflammation on my sinuses. I checked out 100% with the neurologist.
It was recommended I use a saline rinse twice a day. Take a zinc supplement. He also suggested a steroid nasal spray and maybe anti-biotics but because I'm nursing I'm not able to take these.
I still have an appointment with an allergist and then I'm at a loss.
The second last post, ashgar30 seems to be in exactly the same situation as I am.
The neurologist thinks this will resolve itself soon enough, but because of all the posts I've read here I have my doubts!!
I'm going to the UK for 5 weeks in 2 weeks time. If I still smell smoke I'll be interested to see if it goes away when I'm in the UK. If it does, and it returns when I come home, I'll maybe assume it's something in my house causing an irritation.....
Also, I suppose this COULD be a stress related thing. I have a 5 and a half month old baby, I have no help and I'm pretty tired....
If I can't get to the bottom of this I'll try acupuncture, Chinese medicine, hypnotism, ANYTHING to get rid of the smell. It's awful and I do NOT want to think I have to live like this permanently.
I have not had the smell smoke for weeks but went to ENT and I am having a MRI tomorrow. The doc called my problem Phantosmia. I'll keep you posted on my MRI results.
The dictionary says Phantosmia is an olfactory hallucination--specifically, the phenomenon of smelling odors that aren't really present. The most common odors are unpleasant smells such as rotting flesh, vomit, urine, feces, smoke, etc. Phantosmia often results from damage to the nervous tissue in the olfactory system. The damage can be caused by viral infection, brain tumor, trauma, surgery, and possibly exposure to toxins or drugs. Phantosmia can also be induced by epilepsy affecting the olfactory cortex and is also thought to possibly have psychiatric origins. Phantosmia is different from parosmia, in which a smell is actually present, but perceived differently from its usual smell.
I thought I was going crazy. I have been asking everyone around me if they smell smoke. I even accused the people in the office next door of smoking in a no-smoking building. This is ridiculous. Interesting that someone mentioned dry eye syndrom. I too have that, but mine is caused from taking Accutane (acne medication) when I was in my early twenties. Boy, this sounds like an extensive diagnostic regimen is in my future.
My results from the MRI showed nothing, so the mystery continues. The ENT did give me some samples for Neilmed sinus rinse to try. I have noticed also that I start smelling the smoke AFTER eating at restaurants or shopping at Walmart.
Since you mention that you are affected after eating at restaurants and shopping at Walmart it makes me think that this is some kind of common "everyday" chemical that we're exposed to. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), so I know very well that I am affected in many ways to these so-called common everyday chemicals that we're bombarded with in the modern-day environment. It could even be a common food additive, like MSG, that triggers a reaction in some people. I know I am adversely affected by things in the environment that don't affect most people and will cause me to sometimes smell things that other people don't smell, like phantom smoke. There are so many NEUROTOXINS in the majority of personal care products that people use everyday and don't even realize that adversely affect other people and are even silently affecting them in some way they're unaware of.
People here have already mentioned laundry products, like dryer sheets, but there are so many other things to watch out for in your personal environment that may affect you, too. I am very mindful of every personal care product and items used for household cleaning, which has helped immensely.
I to have smelled smoke since 2006 and have done the neil med, ent route, mri route, allergist route etc. etc. after a few months of smelling smoke with burning eyes, going to bed with this awful smell that would sometimes even last in to the next day, I finally decided to pursue the possibility of chemicals.
To make a long story short I have since been assessed by a chemical specialist who has forwarded me to an allergist who deals with skin. I don't know about anybody else who complains of smoke but do any of you get a red and burning face like i do? How many of you get stuffed up?
This allergist will be doing some testing for fragrance as she seems to think stronly that it is something that I am inhaling ie: fragrance!!!! I had gotten rid of anything fragrant in my home including laundry items...what a difference!!!! I use to even get light headed and very fatigues! The chemical allergist has mentioned that there is a skin test for fragrance...I am waiting on this and recommend you all to go this route as well.
I am one of those curious posters who do get frustrated when you don't hear back from those who say they will. Once I have my test, you will hear back from me. PS: there is fragrance in all cleaners so go green as furball mom has suggested...try the neil med and the removal of everything fragrant and see results!!!!!!!!!!!!!
( My Solution )My neighbor smokes. He smokes at the same time I water my outdoor plants. Then the smell of smoke linger on no matter where I go. That happened several times and I thought that the cigarette scent triggered something in my brain to cause that constant smoke scent.
Being a curious person that I am, I search and found this forum. After reading some of the posts, I decided to try simply cleaning the "filter". Water and wet wipes in the nostrils.
That's how I got rid of the smell.
Hope it helps.
About two weeks ago I started smelling smoke....sort of like having a fireplace that leaks smoke into the room. At times I could feel it in my eyes, too. I finally googled "I always smell smoke" and found this and other forums.
I was amazed to find so many people experiencing something I had never heard of before. Certainly there was comfort in that, although I was feeling scared, defeated and depressed.
I went to a physician in my area (Fairfax, Va) who is an MD and practices many "alternative" techniques. Based on the results of the extensive muscle-testing she did on me, she put me on a pro-biotic and 4 homeopathic solutions. I started this regimen on Fri July 10, and the last week has been very encouraging. I have entire days of little-to-no smoke smell. Even when I have some smoki-ness it seems to fade after a while...especially if I go outside.
I can't say for certain that the medical intervention is what has caused the smell to diminish. Maybe it would have faded if I had done nothing. After all, it just started with no precipitating event or trauma (that I know of).
What I do know is that I am grateful that I'm not smelling smoke with every breath like I was there for a while!
1st to LRCA...what you are commenting about is NOT what MOST people on this forum are experiencing, there is NO ONE around me in my neighborhood that smokes or in my family so I am NOT smelling the remains of someone's cigarette smoke, using wet wipes in the nostrils is not going to take away this smell from someones nostrils, I believe it is a neurological problem myself...
As to muzuki65 comment...that's GREAT for you that you don't smell the smoke anymore because of rinsing your nose using the Neilmed sinus rinse, BUT I too rinse my sinuses out using Neilmed sinus rinse at least 2 times a week but I STILL have the sensation of smelling smoke...
And to johnnypete...my sensation of smelling smoke comes and goes as well sometimes days between but it ALWAYS comes back.
As I stated in another Post above:
Another thing...Just yesterday it was reported:
Consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell, federal health regulators said.
The over-the-counter products contain zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell. The other products affected by the Food and Drug Administration's announcement Tuesday are adult and kid-size Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs. The link to read this article is below.
My bad. I switched my nickname from Foofymax (stupid inside joke with my spouse) to smokeypokey. So foofymax did have the MRI and it showed nothing. It has been a month since I have not had any smoke smell and it is so nice. I have not used the Neil med rinse yet just out of plain laziness but if the smoke smell comes back I certainly will give it a try. This symptom is really a mystery and none of my Doctor's have an answer. I will tell you that I appreciate my sense of smell (when it's not smoky) more then ever and now I really do stop and smell the roses. lol
I can't believe others are suffering with this same affliction as I am. I thought I was going crazy! My husband cannot smell the exaust fumes I am smelling, along with having burning eyes and nostrils. It started three days ago. My neighbor couldn't smell it in my home either. My friend couldn't either. I went so far as to have a HVAC man come and check my A/C, thinking it may be leaking freon...on a Saturday, oy vey! No such luck...no leaks, and he did not smell the exhaust fumes either. The first few times it happened I went to the window to see if someone had backed their car up to my door, and they were killing me with the fumes. I do notice that I smell the odor ALOT more at my computer, which is about five feet from the laundry room, which is where I have used many a dryer sheet. So, is it my computer emitting an awful exhaust odor, or are the dryer sheets the culprit? I don't know, but am willing to give up the dryer sheets. What do I do about giving up an $800 year old computer, though? I am SO perplexed and frustrated that I have cried at least five times in three days. I am really glad to find this forum. I am grateful to everyone who has given their pearls of wisdom here, and am willing to try many of the suggestions. Thank you one and all, and I feel better knowing I am not alone in this affliction...misery loves company. I'd have laughed if someone told me that everywhere they go they smell exhaust fumes before three days ago. Now I just want to cry.
Bless you all, and I am seriously praying for everyone who suffers here in this forum.
Same problem for me, started last year. What are the common denominators for most of us? Are we all non or ex-smokers? Have we all used Zicam? How many lost their sense of taste before this happened? Does the same thing trigger the smell? We all have allery and sinus problems, that's a given! I noticed that being around smokers flares up the smell for me. Last night I was at an outdoor concert around many smokers (cigarette and "other") and today I just can't get the odor out of my nose. The microwave also seems to get it started. I've tried the nasal wash, but it didn't help, although I like to use it just to get the pollens and dust out once in a while. I'm going to try giving up my fabric softener to see if that helps. It's been a little humid, hopefully I won't notice much! Thank you all for your posts! It is great to know I'm not alone in this!
Being around smokers has flared up smell for me too a lot of times. Other times I haven't been around anyone for two days and it seemed to start up. I smoked 20 years ago for about 5 years and then started up again 5 years ago for 6 months. I may have had a sinus infection years ago which showed up on a MRI but nothing was done for it and I had no symptoms. I have never used Zicam or dryer sheets. I use to feel like crying many times myself until I found out that I was not alone and NOT crazy.
here's an interesting fact... I only use natural laundry soaps and no dryer sheets. Last night i was at the ball park and one of my team mates was wearing a shirt with quite the dryer sheet smell...i began to smell smoke and did whenever she came close to me. When I avoided being beside her it went away! Generally the smell of smoke can last even into the next day for me...I am thinking that an over exposure (constantly breathing it in) will do that. My specialist thinks that I may have an allergy to "fragrance" and that I do believe. My question when I see her again is this...if I am overly sensitive to fragrance smells, can this stick to the mucous membranes in my nasal area until I rid of it with a rinse over and over. Also and if this happens, can itmake me more sensitive to other smells (exhaust) because I to can get that smoke smell when in my car only after being exposed! I am an x smoker and have never used Zicam. will keep you posted and know that there is hope for all of us..there are enough of us testing the wits of many doctors...someone will stumble along the cause:))))
If I can help ONE person by coming back and posting my solution, then I will be happy. On Saturday I posted that I was experiencing an exhaust type smell constantly. It was virtually ruining my health, and weighing very heavy on my mind. I had called a HVAC man, and he checked all my AC/Furnace (combo) lines, ducts, etc. He said he found N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I was literally getting sick...burning eyes, headache, and even tasting the smell. On Monday, I called him back to come and clean everything, and bring a CO detector to make sure I was not sucking in carbon monoxide. He checked, and the meter read ZERO! So, why was I still smelling exhaust fumes every minute of the day I was in my home? My husband could not smell it. Neither could several other people I had check for a smell. So, after the HVAC man left on the notion that I had a sinus problem or was imagining the smell, I promptly called the local gas company. They check for free, but even if it had cost me a pretty penny, it would have been worth it. Come to find out, I had a 'small' leak in a valve in my AC/Furnace unit, that ordinary visual checks will not discover. A gas leak is a gas leak, no matter how small. Here's the deal folks: Just because MANY others do not smell the same thing you are smelling, does NOT mean the smell is not there. We may just be way more sensetive to smells than others. Thank the Lord that I smelled it before it got to dangerous levels, and was able to keep my wits about me when every one else doubted me and said I was imagining the smell. Even the two gas company employees could not smell the exhaust smell I was smelling...sad. My point is that there is help for us when everyone else doubts us. The gas company had someone out here in 30 minutes...WOW! Within an hour the problem was corrected. Of course, that's after we sucked down gas fumes from Friday until Tuesday. But hey, I am living 'exhaust/gas' fume free now. My headache is gone. My eyes no longer burn. I have my life back. And NEVER let anyone tell you that a gas leak will not cause headaches, because that's what the two gas company employees and the HVAC man both told me. It does indeed cause headaches, whether they believe it or not. Please follow through and explore every avenue when it comes to this problem. It may be that someone reading this today will be as lucky as I am to have pushed everyone to the extreme to rectify this situation.
I had this same problem last fall, again in Jan/Feb and it recently began again. My family Doctor laughed at me and told me I was imagining it. I thought I would go out of my mind. Recently, my eyes started watering and itching and the smoke smell started again. I spoke with a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and she told me this is not an allergy. It is caused from sinus blockages and infection. The hairs in your nostrils and sinus passages trap pollen, dust and dirt. Combine that with the unusually humid and damp weather this summer and basically fungus and mold starts to grow and you are actually smelling what is growing there. She treated my sinuses with accupuncture and I could literally feel them draining during the treatment. And I also use the NeilMed Nasal Rinse which she has recommended. The smoke smell was gone when I left her office. Yahoo! She told me some people smell smoke, others smell rotting food smells. One would be as bad as another, I suppose. I was just happy to find someone who made sense.
Nothing super intelligent to add here. I'm 47 and never smoked. I've experienced the "ash tray smell" a few times at work recently, then this past week, it has seemed stronger, and more constant. One of my coworkers figured out that no one else was smelling it except me. I didn't really believe her until I began smelling it at home too. I haven't tried the nasal spray suggestion, but I'm about to.
Having skimmed through the earlier posts, the things that resonate are:
1. I work at a Dell computer, so maybe that has something to do with it? (However my work situation has been the same for several years and the "smell" has just started.)
2. I exercise in a gym that has cardio machines in a fairly small confined room. Frequently people spray cleanser onto paper towels to clean their machines and they are not always courteous about doing it outside. (There is an adjacent outdoor patio.) I've often wondered if breathing that stuff in is harmful; perhaps this is the cause?
3. Recently I've noticed a burning smell in my car (corroborated by others) which I believe is from the muffler. Don't know if this is related.
4. I've started taking glucosamine/condroitin tablets a week or so ago hoping it will help with a back problem. I'm considering going off them to see if anything changes.
I now suspect that my problem is related to the burning smell in my car, which I now know is burning plastic. It turns out that I ran over a plastic bag or something, which stuck to my muffler, and has been melting for the past couple of months. My muffler is now encased in melted plastic. I've been breathing the fumes from it, but didn't think much of it until I realized last week that I now smell smoke everywhere, all the time. SohHopefully taking care of that muffler will solve the problem ...
I got the muffler taken care of. I no longer think that's the problem. Went to a GP yesterday, he knew nothing, had never encountered the problem, and couldn't help but referred me to an ENT. Interestingly when I called to make the appointment with the ENT, the receptionist thought I had already called so obviously someone else has called recently with the same problem. ENT appointment on Monday. We shall see ...
I think I finally figured out what is causing the smoke smell!!! Tonsil stones!
I have had this smoke smell in my nose for a couple years. I was at the dentist and commented about a funny taste in my mouth. They told me it looked like I had tonsil stones. So, I went digging around in my tonsils and you would not believe the stuff that came out. I know - gross - and I wouldn't be telling you this if it weren't for the mysterious smoke smell.
Anyway, after a couple days of poking around (those suckers like to hide between your tonsil and that webbed area right in front of them) I got a bunch out and I noticed that not only did the bad taste go away but, the smoke smell disappeared too!
Now, I routinely check for tonsil stones - here is what to look for although they might not be this obvious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsillolith
Sometimes I have to take a large bobby pin and sort of pull the webbed area away from the tonsil to see the stones and get them out. Sometimes, I also have to push on the webbed area with my finger and they'll pop out.
Anyway, yes, I know this is super gross but, it's completely cured the smoke smell for me.
I would just like to say i also suffered from sever cigarette smoke in my nose, for days i was wandering around the house checking to see if something was burning, as no one in my house smokes, but at the exact same time i had just split from my partner and to say i was suffering from Severe Depression and Stress is an understatement, these are defo 2 of the symptoms which cause this phantom smell, i did have this almost all day every day for almost a month, till i read up a little about it and realised i was completely stressed out...So i realised when i was outside and not thinking about things that would upset me and my mind was on something else it would go away, but as soon as i walked through the front door, and that would give me time to sit down, think about things, get myself worked up again, stressed out, it would come back within minute.....What i decided to do was try and stop worrying as much, when i could start to smell the smoke i would try and focus, take deep breaths, relax myself, try and stop stressing and strangely enough it would go away, it did take a while for the smoke smell to go away for good and not come back, i mean about 2 weeks, but i have to say, its gone for the moment, and i have only had 1 day i got very badly worked up, and before i knew it the smell came back, but i did what i done before, calmed myself down, relaxed and focused on something else, and it disappeared.
SO first of all please please calm down, as worrying about the smell alone will make the smell be there, now you know what "could" be the cause if this weird smell it might help you relax more, knowing that really its not as serious as you think it might be. I hope this has helped to put your mind at ease a little, and fingers crossed it will go away for you too like it did for me.
I've been to the ENT doc but she couldn't find anything. She invited me to wait a few weeks and then return for a CT scan if the smell persists. I am her first case of this, though to be sure, she is quite young. (My GP is quite a bit older but he has never experienced this either.) As I write, I don't smell "the smell," which is encouraging, and possibly it's diminished over the past week. We shall see ...
For all of us 'smoke' smellers: For me, it was more of a car exhaust type smell. It was like someone had backed their car up to my window, and left it running 24/7. The gas company had maintenance fix a 'leaky valve' in the A/C lines, but after my last post, the odor still lingered, though not quite as bad. I finally did alot of research, and found a tiny leak myself. Please, check your A/C lines in your home (can be the same with the car's A/C). Get a spray bottle, put a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to a couple of cups of water. Spray all the connections, lines, etc, and if you see tiny white bubbles of ANY kind, you have a leak in your freon line. It's an elusive leak when it's small like mine was, but thank the Lord I found it. I could not get anyone else to smell it, nor believe I was smelling it. Freon leaks tend to emit an exhaust, or a smoky type smell, as verified by the A/C tech who actually fixed my leak. The A/C was still cooling well because it was a very small leak, but it was enough of a leak for me to smell the chemicals in the freon. If you can afford it, please, I implore everyone here to fix this problem, which is rampant in the summer, as we use the A/C so much now. My leak was at the copper connector on one particular line's connection. Sometimes we just have to diagnose these problems ourselves. Amazingly, the smell is totally gone now (was gone within an hour of the repair), and I am SO relieved, as it was driving me batty! Good luck to everyone here.
I have been up since 3am (it is now almost 4:30am) and couldn't sleep due to the smoke smell. I just finished reading all the comments in this forum. Thank you for sharing your problems and experiences. The smoke smell started for me about a month or so ago. Can't figure out what triggered it. Driving me nuts.
No clue as to why it comes and goes. I hope that it is nothing more serious than a sinus infection of some sort. Will try some of the recommendations and see what happens.
I have my annual doctors visit next week and will be curious to see what he thinks of my smoke smell. See if he has even heard of such a thing.
Thanks to all for your posts and stories - some of which hit the nail on the head that I could relate to. Will let you know what works for me, if anything, and what the doctor has to say about this.
Well I have now been free of the smoke smell for about a week. It seems to have vanished as mysteriously as it first occurred about three weeks ago. I'm no closer to solving the mystery but very thankful that it's gone now. I'll post again if it comes back.
Hi All, Like all of you I'm so happy that I know I'm not crazy and not alone in this world who smell this weird cigarette smell. I start smelling this weird cigarette smell from 2 weeks ago. I remember I have a hair dye (same brand as usual every month) the night before and next morning when I was sitting in my office, I thought somebody smoked in the office and made a complaint to the office building management company (L0L). Next day I started to think may be it is not cigarette but the bad air conditioner smell (you know some time you can smell it from a car air con). Like all of you when I know no one around smells the same smell, I thought I was either crazy of having a brain tumor or something. I'm recently planning for a move and selling the house I'm living and you know, of course, STRESS is another big word that I think might be related.
Thanks God that you all dear people sharing your experiences and by concluding all your suggestions, I'm going to:
1) Use nasal spray in the morning to cure/prevent sinus infection;
2) Nose rinse every night after work as a clean up;
3) Take inner ear supplement (as I just have a ear tubes removed a week before I started smelling it);
4) Use steam inhaler.
I'll try it for a week and come back to let all of you know how my progress is. Hope it works. Wish me luck!!!
I try my own remedy as above and guess what, I'm totally healed. Guess it is definitely related to sinus infection. After using my nasal spray daily and nose rinse every night, plus 500 mg vitamin C, I don't smell that smell that often in the first few days and after a week it's totally gone. Frankly when I smell it I just hold my breath for a few seconds and tell myself it is not real, then I'm fine. Now I'm free from it.
May be you can try it too. Good luck!
Wow -- when I did the internet search I thought this is kind of crazy but come to find out there are many people having the same issue. The kind of smoke smell I have is more akin to someone burning something (like trash or something) but it all seems to be kind of sinus related and I just got over having a cold & bronchitis. I'm going to try using Ocean for a few days and see if that clears it up. Any other thoughts?
I started having the cigarette thing about a month ago and came on here and it was very helpful... I think. I'm actually not sure if the smell is gone or not because I think sometimes you just get used to bad smells and don't even notice them. I keep telling myself I'm going to pay attention today and see if it's gone. But either way, this discuss has given me great peace of mind... just knowing there's so many affected by the same thing make me feel better.
I tried the nasal rinse and took some alka seltzer (for sinus). Like I said, I'm pretty sure it's working.
I am experiencing the smoke smell as well. Have had chronic sinus problems all my life. I'm 39 now, had my tonsils/adenoids out at 21. I also have a weird clicking noise in my ear. Like someone is clicking their fingernails together. Has anyone else had this?? I'm going to get in to the Dr. to make sure nothing else is going on, but definitely glad I found you guys because I thought I was nuts!! Oh, and my towels are musty too, bumptybrown. Thanks for the vinegar tip!
The smoke smell is intermittent for me and most times I can find somebody in the car in front of me smoking a cigarette but at home, I can't find the neighbor who smokes. I can smell scents in the air about 5 minutes before the odor has intensified enough for the other people to smell them. By that time, I'm nearly gagging it's so strong. 95% of the time I can confirm and find the source of the smoke odor.
I don't use fabric softener sheets and haven't for over 9 years. I have used Febreze fabric on the living room furniture and the air deodorizer in the air.
I have a desktop and a laptop computer that sometimes gives off an odor but it isn't the smokey cigarette odor I smell.
Nasocort nasal spray
I haven't had a sinus infection since 1996.
I am sensitive to yeast and allergic to penicillin.
I am under a lot of stress.
I suggest we find the common denominator.
We are ALL using computers.
I suggest keeping a log of:
when the smoke smell occurs
what you're doing at the time
is it in both nostrils or just one?
are you alone? Do others smell anything?
is it in certain rooms, places, times of day
frequency of smell, duration of smell
Record this information and then look for patterns.
Try different treatments one at a time for at least a week each and record if there is any improvement.
Good luck! I've started the log and will be getting a neti pot to flush out the sinuses. I've got 4 Vornado air purifiers running starting tonight. No change yet after an hour of operation. Argh!!!
I'm so relieved to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. I don't feel so crazy anymore. I've been experiencing this smell of stale cigarette smoke for the past 3 days. Why? I have no clue. All I can do is back track and see if there was anything I've done differently.
Vomer makes a great point by taking notes, comparing and seeing what the common denominator is as to why we're all suffering from this odd condition.
I don't take any long-term medication but I did take a Claritin-D three days ago because I had a runny nose that wouldn't stop and itchy eyes. I felt so much better a few hours later. I have no clue whether this could be related but it makes the most sense to me. And as far as Claritin-D being a nasal decongestant, I have to assume that there is a connection -- especially when Vomer takes Claritin as well.
I just want this smell to go away -- hoping it does soon because I can't stand it.
For a couple weeks, I too have been smelling the smell of exhaust fumes like from a car...for a few days or week before that I smelled smoke as though wood was burning! I wondered why no one else complained! This whole past summer, I had allergies/sinus stuffiness and pressure! The weather this summer has been soooooooooo rainy! The only thing different that I am doing lately is making Green Smoothies..where I blend raw kale,spinach, collards...blueberries, strawberries, whole apple, banana, peaches maybe mellon or pineapple if I have it, advocodo..I may use raspberries/blackberries on occasion, too!..I drink this in 1qt morning and 1 qt evening..and do a healthy meal between! I dont know if this has anything to do with it or not..I havent irrigated my sinuses yet, but Im tempted to do so!!.........I was surprised to find this forum..when I googled this subject!
I understand, I too hate this ..whatever it is called..the exhaust fumes smell that arising off and on allday! I thought that it may be my central air condioning too!! Then I thought that , where I live high upon a hill that all of the automobile exhaust fumes were rising up into the air and seeping into my home! No one else complains in my family!! Some days it is so strong..it smells like someone hooked their exhaust into my vents or windows! This is strange! I pray that God heals me, I know that He can!!
I have had the strange smell for several years now. It comes for a few days and then goes away for a while. It was getting even more frequent a while back, right around when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I noticed right before I was diagnosed that it was coming more than once a month, and it was alot stronger. When i was told I had breast cancer I was convinced I must have had a brian tumor becuase of all the time with the phantom smell, which is a sure sign. Well after all the test and