I am a woman in my early 40s, and I have been suffering from a rare disease/infection, which is hard to describe. One year ago I lost my sense of smell and taste after a bad cold or flu.I can smell and taste things, but everything smells and taste like chemicals. I have ... [More] tried several doctors and dentits, but none of them can help me find a cure or any medicine which helps. If any one has the same symptoms or any information, please be kind and contact me ! Thanks!
I am also in my 40's and have the same problem as you. I started with a head cold in early May. I finally went to the ENT doctor in Early Aug. (this month). He put me on prednisone, for six days, and a cortisone nose spray. I was afraid to do the prednisone so I started with the nose spray. It did not help actually made the smell more chemical. So then I decided to do the prednisone which helped to flare up a different condition I have. My regular dr. told me to stop taking it immediately. (My husband is actually a physician as well and was in agreement). I was almost done with the prednisone anyway. It did not help my nose either. I am currently taking Amoxicillin and Flagyl for the condition the prednisone helped flare up on me. These antibiotics don't seem to be having any effect on the nose either. I was supposed to go back to the ENT this week but was to sick from the other condition to go. I will reschedule. His recommendation next will be to have CT scan. Probably to rule out a tumor.
At my original appt. with the ENT, he told me he was sure, (before looking in my nose/sinuses), that I had polyps and/or infection. I had neither.
Most things I cannot smell at all. However any change my surrounding area triggers this chemical smell. Like if someone walks by with perfume, the whole shower routine, shampoo, conditioners, soaps, toothpaste, the air conditioner kicking on, enter another building etc.. My sense of taste is also effected. Cola tastes especially bad. However, taste is not near as effected as my sense of smell. Too bad, I'd love to loose a few pounds!
Just wanted to let you know your not alone...there is some comfort in that. I also wanted to let you know what treatments I have tried that did not work. I know this post is quite awhile since yours. I do hope you are better.
I am a 24 year old female and I have been dealing with a similar issue for about a year and a half. Certain foods or products seem to trip this for me and then this gross smell will just linger in my nose for however long it decides to stay there. It is a slightly chemical smell...very strange and affects the taste of my food and has diminished the quality of my life. I too was given prednisone and nasal spray by an ENT and they did nothing. The only thing I have found to be helpful is sinus/nasal irrigation, I would recommend you try it!
I also am a 36 yr old female, and having all the same symptoms you all are talking about it. I had a cold 4 months ago and lost my taste and smell. I took some afrin to get my senses back. They started to come back very slowly. In the past few weeks have noticed strange smell, and taste with everything. Thought it was just in my house until I noticed it was everywhere I went..work..grocery store..etc.
If any of you can give advice on what to do?? Or something that has worked for you or been diagnosed?? I greatly appreciate it! thanks!
I frequently have something similar to what it sounds like you have. Something seems to "trip" mine too and it just messes up. Everything then has the same smell and taste, which is really hard to describe. It's very annoying and actually puts me in a bad mood. Mine doesn't seem to happen from certain foods or anything though. It sometimes just happens out of the blue, and then other times it happens if I breathe in or out a little harder than usual. I haven't went to the doctor about it because it's so hard to describe. Once it messes up, it usually lasts 2-4 hours...sometimes more, sometimes less. It is occurring more often and I don't know what to do or what it could be. My friends and family know that if I say that my nose is messed up, I probably won't be eating because nothing is going to taste right. It was triggered about an hour ago, so I finally decided to try to search for answers, which is why I'm writing this. Any information anyone could provide would be helpful. -And for the record, I've never had any sort of allergies, asthma, or any nose problems...except that I was hit with a softball about 20 years ago.
This is an update from tlj429: It's been a year now and I am no better with my sense of smell and taste. The CT scan, as mentioned above, came back negative, no tumors. The smell has changed a bit now in addition to the sweet sickening chemical smell, I smell a garlicy chemical smell a lot. Sometimes I even vomit in the shower because of the shampoo and soap smells being so sickeningly sweet and strong. I really have given up treatments and just hope it will go away. Have not being able to smell nice things. On the up side though, I cannot smell really bad smells like bad breath, bathroom odors etc...
My daughter gave me some hope recently. She read an article in a magazine a few months back, (don't know which one), that a lady had this for four years and woke up one morning and it was completely gone.
Hang in there, that's about all I know to do at this point :)
I'm so happy that I found this! I think its from afrin. Its been about 8 months and I can't smell anything. Used afrin for a few weeks. Then developed a little sore in the tip of my nose. Stopped using afrin immediately & It went away . Now i cant smell at all ..just that weird chemical , garlic ,permanent wave solution smell. Its awful!! & im always stuffy .I also have been having alot of odd pimples . I see from another thread that is could be the smell of infection. I think I'm going to go to the dr and get some antibiotic for sinus infection.
The shower smells like tlj429 said makes me laugh because my shampoo and face soap smell so terrible!! I'm very upset about this because I had a great sense of smell. My friends would poke fun at how sensitive my smell was.. not anymore. I can't smell a thing :(
I hope we find a solution!!
Just a quick note. My issue also started with Anosmia(loss of smell) and changed to Dysomia(Distorted sense of smell) after a few months. I have kicked up my Vitamin C intake to 2 grams after dinner along with Zinc 50-100mg and green coffee bean tablets Along with multivitamin during the day. Seems to be helping. Sorry the following is a bit gross-I recently trimmed nose hairs to have better look at sinuses and noticed right side of nasal septum (area dividing each side of sinus openings) is red and also seems to have white sticky substance being excreted in small but noticable amounts. I too flush sinuses daily. I will insist on a nasal swab from either doc or ENT to see what is up. Maybe bacteria lingering in the opening that is overpowering other smells? I also wonder if Atrophic Sinusitus could be a factor here. For now I will use triple anitbiotic on both sides of septum and inside of nose. Hopefully not MRSA or similar. Looking at our symptoms it seems atrophic rhinitis may be another possiblility. I have had allergies all my life and live in an area that aggrevates them. I see that most if not all of you do not have allergies. Hope this helps someone out there with this issue.
You may have already discovered this, but they do have unscented products. I have the same problem, except no scent loss. The sweet chemical smell is in almost everything except the most natural things, and it's still in some of that too!
I bought my husband some unscented body wash, because the smell of the nasty soap on him was too much for my stomach. Guess what? I tried it in the shower and the only smell it had was the chemicals, minus the sweet! Good lord!
Choosing a shampoo/body wash is now something I completely dread... I have to smell each one I consider getting, which used to be fun. It is now something wrought with the uncertainty of not knowing which ones will make you almost get sick.. but it is a step you can't miss unless you do in fact want to vomit in the shower by bringing the wrong one home.
I just wanted to offer a the few I have had success with, and I do mean a few out of the thousands of body products in this world. My favorite so far is the Milk Creek Botanicals Biotin shampoo. I just discovered it and it smells minty, not sure if you can handle that but it's mild smelling. They have a few other kinds under that brand worth giving the sniff test. I also recommend taking the entire cap off to smell it, not just clicking the tab open for a whiff as I have been deceived by this method.
The other one is what's called a "non-soap", which sounds weird but actually makes sense once you read how it works. It's NutriBiotic's Super Shower Gel.... I bought the Vanilla Chai scent, which I later regretted due to it being too sweet, but they offer a fragrance free variety which I may get next time. It can also be used as shampoo, which is good is you have oily hair or scalp, or it will dry it a little without conditioner. It can also be used on your face.
These are literally the only 2 products I have found that don't smell like something I shouldn't put on my body or that won't make my stomach turn. Other than that, the only moisturizer I can stand to smell now is raw cocoa butter, which smells like pure delicious chocolate to me, but isn't the easiet thing to apply to skin... I used to love the smell of coconut oil, but it smells sort of like fuel to me mildly now.... *sigh* but I still use it after showers since I can't find a non-disgusting smelling lotion yet other than cocoa butter for my face. Most shea butter or coca butter lotions smell kind of okay to me if they are on the more natural side.
This is only my 2nd or 3rd month with this nose/taste issue so who knows... But I can say this, I feel your pain and all we can do is try to minimize our own discomforts. These bath products have helped make my routine more enjoyable at home, so maybe you can find some things that you can tolerate as well. Cleaning products also really bug me now, so I found that the unscented, natural $1 baby wipes work to clean almost anything, from bathroom to kitchen.
By the way, I'm turning 29 soon and these symptoms appeared after having super bad flu for the first time since childhood....or at least that's the only thing that makes sense to me for the time frame. I also had been living in a big city right next to downtown (increased pollution perhaps?) for several months at this point and sleep with windows open. I don't know if that makes a difference, but I tell you, the smell of cars exhaust almost makes me straight pass out now.... UGH!
Anyways, good luck to everyone who has to deal with this crap!
I just had a CT scan today that appeared normal. The only thing I can eat and not cringe at the taste or smell is lettuce. My cold was in May lost all smell and taste from it. After a couple of months it started coming back but like you everything tastes and smell awful. I have lost 15lbs so far which is good but I long to eat and enjoy food again! A friend suggested my zinc level may be low. Anyway with the CT normal he ordered blood test and is scheduling me an MRI appoitment. I use a neti-pot but that hasn't helped. He took another culture today because the first culture grew bacteria. He also had me on Amox pills and a nasal spray. All they did was add more bad symptoms instead of curing anything so I quit them. I am making myself eat now because you can't live on just lettuce but it's not a very good life. I even dread washing my hair the products that used to love to smell makes me cringe now. I can't go to restaurants because I can't stand to smell the food cooking. Prayers for a cure for all of us soon!!
Yep, I have the exact same thing, except I have no idea what might have triggered it. I just woke up one morning, and my taste and smell were all distorted. This is probably silly, but I assumed I might have caught something odd from a random girl I was making out with the night before. In hindsight, I don't believe that was the issue (thank goodness! Take my smell and taste but, for God's sake, don't take women from me). Anyways, have had it for about 3 months now. Recently developed a bad sinus infection, and told my doctor about it. She said it was likely from the sinus issues (even though they were three months apart). I took Augmentin and a nosespray (Astepro). The meds are now done, and the sinus infection appears to have cleared, but the odd smell and taste are still there.
I was hit with a basketball in the 80's and just had a major upper resp infection, (Monday) that hit me like a ton of bricks. Since Monday, everything tastes like some kind of chemical. Ive also not had a cigarette since Tuesday.I thought taste buds were supposed to get better when you quit smoking. With or without sickness.
I am so thankful to have found this. I really thought I was dying of a brain tumour. I recall having bad breath and taste in my mouth for a while, sore glands and then my sense of smell started to diminish. Now it's very dull and what I do smell seems to be distorted or smell bad. Once in a while I will smell something that will become stuck in my nose and It won't go away, it will actually affect taste too. I do still smell what were enjoying scents like lavender but it too seems dull and doesn't have the same Affect.
My taste isn't as bad but it's not the same either. I tend to put a lot of spices on my food to increase taste.
My sense of smell and taste has been diminished to almost nothing. I can still smell/taste a few things here and there, but when I enter in my condo complex, the main area smells so bad of chemicals! Everyone else says it smells normal but not to me at all. I've lost taste in some of my favorite foods and can't smell my body wash anymore. As mentioned in previous comments I've read through, I thought it might be a brain tumor or worse - cancer! I'm afraid to go to my doctor now and spend time and money for them to tell me they don't know what it is... does anybody have any ideas on this yet?? What would you do if it's a sinus infection still lingering? I've been sick a while back but its been months since I've been over my cold. I used a nasal spray during the time which is something new I've tried since other times I've been sick so maybe it has to do with nasal sprays?
I'm 42, same thing. Last year I got the bad flu that was going around work, completely lost taste and smell. When they finally came back, my sense of smell was not as good as it used to be and now anything with artificial flavorings added tastes like chemicals. I also get random phantom smoke smells - nothing's burning, no one's smoking, but it smells like cigarette smoke and dirty socks. I've found that the more natural a food is the less likely it is to taste like chemicals. For example, I can't stand flavored chips anymore (Doritos, Sour Cream Cheddar Lays, BBQ chips, etc...) but I can eat the plain ones and they taste fine. I can't stand bottled BBQ sauce anymore but, if I make my own it tastes fine. I've recently tried Jo's all natural PB cups for a treat and they taste great! In essence, the fewer ingredients, the better it tastes. I have not been able to find any information about a treatment or cure that works for this other than a few references to people having it last 4 - 6 years and then it just goes away. Here's hoping....
Its gotten worse now. The air seems so hot and thick with chemicals and my mouth feels like rubber and my hands feel like they are releasing something. They feel kind of chalky and weird. I cant seem to leave the house now. All is saturated with chemicals and rubber and death. I pray no one experiences anything like this.. It is absolute hell...
7 days ago, I started having symptoms of a fever - body aches, migraines, and chills. After taking motrin for about 3 days, my symptoms got better, but now it has turned into less severe headaches, stuffy nose and really bad cough that caused a sore throat and chest pains. I woke up this morning and immediately smelled something disgusting. I couldn't fathom exactly what I was smelling, but when I went downstairs, my uncle had made blueberry pancakes and bacon- yum! right? WRONG. It had a very pungent chemical smell and I barely ate it. The whole time I was downstairs I was miserable. The whole rest of the day has been horrible and I have not eaten/drank anything except water. This smell follows me around and even when I went to the grocery store this afternoon, I couldn't bare being in there with all the raw fish and hot chicken being made in the back of the store. I decided to buy a carbonated fruity drink with antioxidants to try to flush my system and I nearly vomited when I tried drinking it. The overwhelming scent and taste of chemicals makes me want to gag.
I had a big paragraph written like everyone else explaining my experience but when I hit post I had to sign up then it lost everything!!! Ugh anyway, short version... I'm 37, female and just started having these problems a few days ago... I was wondering if everyone this is happening to is female? I wonder if that's and kind of factor??? Hormones maybe??? Also is anyone else having problems getting cooled off? I'm going to take my temp later and let you know how it goes and also keep up with this and share any information as well as obtain it... Thank you
No one seems to reply to my messages wondering if they are or did get better.
I honestly feel like I am in absolute terror. The smell of everything is incredibly terrible. I don't know what to do. I haven't eaten in days and I cant even stand the way I smell. I see no hope and have no desire to live like this. No one here seems to be getting cured and I honestly dont believe some of these stories. I'm sorry but I feel like someone fed me a poisoned onion or something. Its getting very critical. I couldn't walk down the road because the smell and taste in my mouth was crippling. I spend all day and night laying down and dreaming of health. I don't know what to do, there seems to be no help and no love...
I caught a really bad cold this past January and couldn't breathe at all through my nose. Someone suggested I try OTC nasal spray decongestants. So, I tried Afrin. It worked wonderfully! I ignored the 3-5 day warning and became dependent on it. After about 3 months, it suddenly just stopped working, so I switched to Neo-Synephrine, which is a different drug but it essentially does the same thing, just for a shorter duration. It was around that point, that I started noticing that some days I couldn't smell or taste anything for most of the day. It would come back periodically, but for shorter and shorter periods of time. The panic over not being able to breathe through my nose switched over to panic over losing my taste and smell. The latter was worse, so I eventually stopped the nasal sprays. I went to an ENT who prescribed the usual antibiotic, prednisone, and steroid nasal spray. None of that changed anything. Eventually, my senses of smell and taste have returned to some degree but I also experience an odd odor and taste that is pervasive. I describe it as a mixture of coffee, chicken grease, garlic, and exhaust fumes. I can pick up what I know to be the "real" odor and taste of things but they are distorted by this other scent and taste that affects everything. I know someone else who had a similar issue due to chronic sinus infections and she said it was nearly 2 years before she returned to normal. It really does suck! I have very keen senses normally and losing my normal sense of smell leeches the color out of everything.
I don't see how anyone can help this problem. I have never read anyone getting any better from people with similar situations. I seriously and I mean seriously doubt anyone has had this severe of a similar problem before this. It is definitely not a phantom smell, but an actual smell. Its like I entered a dimension where all is filth and that includes me. My sweat is absolutely disgusting. Everything is sweet and sickly tasting. If you offered me a million dollars to eat a box of crackers I'd tell you to keep your money. I force myself to eat cheese because the sickly smell and taste is slightly masked with cheese and I was a vegan when this happened. I can't even eat a lemon slice because it tastes like something I never ever could have imagined. This is serious beyond anything believable. Yes I am breaking down and falling apart. Yes I have very little hope at all and I am preparing to run away if I can just get to the Grand Canyon or somewhere remote. I can't hitchhike because it is too smelly with all the fumes driving by. They don't even smell like exhaust but like my own sick sweat. I know this is not phantom and I smell something legitimate because animals have actually behaved differently around me especially when they smell me they freak out sometimes, its terrifying and I hesitate to mention that because it is very hard to explain or believe. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it. It always happens when I am alone with them so no one else can corroborate this. Anyway, this is beyond alarming it is death. Its like I died and am still here. Prayer is the only recourse I can think of. I keep looking at pretty pictures of things on Facebook like nature and waterfalls but that distraction only lasts while I am on a computer. Just pray to whatever god you have that you never get close to going through this nightmare...
I have been dealing with a taste and smell issue for about a year now and don't know what to do. everything smells and tastes like and onion that has rotted and especially when I am near a egg that has been cooked. I can't hardly eat without feeling sick to my stomach. I have not had a bad cold or flu or any head trauma. i have had some traumatic emotional stress relating to my marriage and my husband and was wondering if any of these things could be produced by a person to another person because there are some really weird things going on in my marriage that I can't explain and when I try to talk to my husband he just yells at me and says I am a mental patient and need to go to a head doctor. I don't feel like I have any mental issues and never have except for what my husband has created with all his verbal and physical abusive behavior towards me. My brain seems to work just as good as it always has but emotionally I am stressed because the man who is suppose to love me is being so abusive and I don't understand why I have never been bad to him or done anything wrong and he won't talk to me about anything actually he won't spend any time or effort in this marriage and it didn't use to be like that we use to be great together. any info would be greatly appreciated.
Everyone is affected by chemicals in different ways. It could be that your body is trying to release toxins from chemicals and that is why you smell chemicals so strongly. Get rid of the chemicals/chemically based products around you and do a sinus rinse twice a day. Chemicals are found in everday cleaning and grooming products(Toothpaste, shampoo, bodywash, shaving cream,lotion...especially laundry detergent and air fresheners.) Use baking soda and truly chemical free products to see if it makes a difference. My thought is that it will. A lot of people who suffer from mcs will say that they smell chemicals, in there nose, mouth, vaginal area, sweat and mucus.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.