My husband thinks I'm crazy because I keep on insisting that I can smell something funny. I can't describe the smell well, but let me tell you a bit more of my history. I am 28 and had a septoplasty and recission of my lower turbinates almost 4 weeks ago. I have always had very bad allergies and chronic sinus infections. I got really sick after the surgery (body aches, chills, numbness in hands) and my Doctor told me I probably caught something while my body was week from the surgery. I've had one follow up appointment with the next one scheduled for the end of February. My nose has not stopped running since the surgery. It's still tinged with red but is mostly green now and i swear that i smell something bad all the time. It doesn't matter where I am (home, work, car) I can still smell it and after many many showers the smell is still present. However when I wash my hands (for instance) in nice smelling soap and stick them to my nose i can smell the soap over the bad smell. Am I crazy, is my sense of smell messed up, or is it possible that I could be smelling something bad in my nose?
What you are experiencing is well documented in the medical literature. It is usually associated with some loss and/or distortion of the sense of smell. In most instances, it is deemed to be a nuisance and not a disease.
The following is from Cummings: Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery, 4th ed. about parosmia, which is a distortion of the smell of odors, and phantosmia, which is the perception of smell without an odor being present in the environment:
Distortion of the sense of smell clearly bothers patients more than the loss of the sense of smell. It is difficult for patients with parosmia to learn new names for the smells of familiar items. They are disturbed that nothing smells normal. On the other hand, patients with phantosmia might continuously perceive an unpleasant odor, such as rotten eggs or feces. Both these distortions can be intermittent or continuous and can be brought on by specific triggers, such as strong odors, loud sounds, or stress. The etiology of phantosmias and parosmias is most often associated with a specific upper respiratory infection (URI), head trauma, or the aging process. Other investigators also have noted it in patients with nasal disease. Patients with these distortions of odor quality are more likely to be women and generally will have decreased olfactory ability when tested.
Routine use of a nasal steroid spray can be very effective in the treatment of a constant runny nose and postnasal drip. It decreases inflammation in the nose and sinuses along with mucus production. When a nasal steroid spray is used regularly it can prevent postnasal drip. However it does not provide immediate relief of symptoms. It may need to be used every day for several weeks to months to notice improvement in the symptoms. To get the most help from any nasal spray first do a nasal wash to remove mucus from the nose and sinuses. To learn more about this technique please read our nasal wash treatment information by copying and pasting this address
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