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Smelling smoke and burning eyes
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Smelling smoke and burning eyes

I can see from other viewers that many people apparently have the exact same thing that I am just recently experiencing for the first time, which is constantly smelling smoke.  It has gotten so bad at times, that my eyes feel like they are "burning" because of smoke sensation.  Of course, there is no real smoke present nor anywhere around me, but it truly feels like I'm sitting in a room filled with smoke, enough to think that I will have watery eyes any second.  Does ANYONE else have this sensation with the eyes as well as the smoke smell?  It's very annoying.  Has anyone ever found anything to do in order to get these feelings to subside or go away?
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What you are experiencing, that is the perception of an odor (in your case smoke) that is not physically present and/or not perceived by others in your presence.  Such odors generally fall into two categories, Parosmia and Phantosmia (see section below).  The distortion of one’s sense of smell may include an exaggerated sensitivity to one specific odor or aroma, such as cigarette smoke.  In that circumstance, the sensation is real and not imaginary; you are just smelling what others are not, for example tiny amounts of cigarette smoke coming from outside or from another apartment within your building.

Your condition usually is a benign occurence, albeit a major nuisance.  However, it can also be a sign of more serious disease and so further investigation is definitely warranted.  The following are two experts in this field.  I suggest that you contact one or the other and arrange for consultation.  If that is not convenient, ask if they can recommend a specialist, with this expertise, in your part of the country.

Good luck

Abstract from an article by Eric H. Holbrook, M.D., M.S.(Anat.), Assistant Professor, Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Associate Surgeon, Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts
and
Donald A. Leopold, M.D., M.S.(Bus.), Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Nebraska School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska

Parosmia and Phantosmia

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 (distortion of inhaled odorants) to learn new names for the smells of familiar items. They are disturbed that nothing smells normal. On the other hand, patients with phantosmia (perception of smell without an odorant present in the environment) 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, and stress. The distortions can also be present in only one nostril, and simple nostril blockage can diagnose this situation. Parosmias and phantosmias have been reported to accompany many disorders. They have been believed to be of central nervous system origin. Studies by Leopold and colleagues[ suggest that some individuals with phantosmia may have diseased neurons in the peripheral olfactory system that are amenable to management. The etiology of phantosmias and parosmias is most often associated with a specific URI, head trauma, or the aging process. Other investigators also have noted the disorders in patients with nasal disease. Patients with these distortions of odor quality are more likely to be women and generally have decreased olfactory ability when tested.
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