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Sinus/Odor Problem
Periodically I smell a musty odor. I kept thinking it was in my home but I smell it anywhere I go. I've told friends about this and they say I don't smell musty, so it must be a smell only I can smell. It's a dusty/musty odor and sometimes keeps me awake at night and makes my throat tickle. Could this be a sinus problem. I've asked my family also and they do not smell it. I do have some problems with sinus congestion from time to time.
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It's possibly a low-level sinus infection.  The smell can be musty, ammonia, burning, or Parmesan-and-dog-poop, (those are the ones i've had). The infection may not be bad enough to cause congestion.  Consult an ENT, but if the doc notes sinusitis, hear this: Up-to-date doctors know that antibiotics don’t work against sinusitis.  They’ve probably seen the research (Google: Mayo Clinic snot) that reveals that sinusitis isn’t a tissue infection—it’s the toxins from the infected snot that are irritating the sinuses.   The cure for sinusitis is to remove the mucus, either with surgery (no way!) or to wash it out with saline solution.  Squirting it up your nose doesn’t work (gravity), but 3 things do.  A) a neti pot, which is mildly effective;  B) Dr. Grossan’s Hydropulse, which is safe, much more effective, costs $100 ; or C)  The Flip-Turn Sinus Flush, which is slightly risky, completely effective, costs $5.  The risk is that you have to bend down in a shower, to use gravity, but it’s unsurpassed in its ability to flush out a fistful of snot, with any bacteria, virus, fungus, mold, chunks of gel, weird smells, blood, whatever, from every nook and cranny of your sinuses, and will restore the sinuses to full function in less than 2 weeks.
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242516 tn?1368227505
friggy's right, although i hope i never smell that parmesean&dog-poo smell.  unless it's grada padana.  just kidding.

some sinusitis is due to infection though, and can improve with antibiotics, but most are due to inflammation from the irritation, which can be treated by washing out sinus mucous and reducing the production of mucous by using nasal steroids.

friggy has a good solution for rinsing documented in his journal:
http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/665
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Thanks for your info. On Wednesday, I had 2 large globs of blood, some looked like dried, dark looking. After which my nose bled for a while. I've had 2 other nose bleed in the last 10 days. I still smell the odor  which I've decided also sometimes smellls like blood. Is bleeding a usual thing with this. I've never had nose bleeds before but have had sinusitis many years from time to time.
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242516 tn?1368227505
Blood sometimes smells off, but if you've had 3 nosebleeds in the last week and a half, i'd wonder why.  Do you use nasal steroids?  Do you pick them?  May be worth getting a doc to look up there.
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I'm thinking the same thing. If I still smell things on Monday, I'll call. No, I do have Nasacort but haven't used it in months. The only meds I take is OTC Prilosec.
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242516 tn?1368227505
Let us know how your call goes today...
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The smell is only occasional and not as bad now, and there's been no more blood. I have to see my ENT in February so if nothing else happens, I'll wait and talk with him about it then. Thanks for your help.
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242516 tn?1368227505
you're welcome!

wow, february, sounds like they're pretty busy...
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It's a followup from another surgery.
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242516 tn?1368227505
Followup is in 4 months?  That seems long.  what surgery?
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It's a 6 months followup from subglottic stenosis dilation. Everything seems much better at the present time. Just waiting and praying for forever!
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242516 tn?1368227505
Subglottic stenosis dilation is required when longstanding acid reflux causes a stricture that causes painful swallowing.  Up to 75% of these benign strictures in the esophagus come from long-standing gastroesophageal reflux.

Proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, aciphex, protonix, prevacid) reduce the need for another dilation, and are more effective than H2 antagonists (pepcid/tagamet/zantac). In one study, omeprazole-treated patients required significantly fewer additional dilation sessions and had improved dysphagia (painful swallowing) symptom scores compared to the ranitidine-treated group. The presence of esophagitis and benefit of PPIs in these patients supports the idea that PPIs reduce recurrent stricture formation.
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I understand mine is tracheal stenosis, not esophageal. It obstructed my breathing rather than swallowing. I had no swallowing problems but was diagnosed with asthma around 2000. Since the dilation I'm breathing at what I think is near normal, am no longer taking asthma meds. However I am to stay on the prilosec. I understand also that there is some disagreement in the medical field concerning whether this is caused by reflux. I have had heartburn/indigestion/reflux many, many years. By the way I'm  a 71 year old female. I also understand this condition is found almost exclusively in women, that most men who have it have been in an accident or have been intubated long periods of time.
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242516 tn?1368227505
yes, that's true, that's why i didn't expect it to be tracheal.  That's quite rare for someone without major trauma or intubation.  What did they think it was from?  your GERD/reflux irritating the trachea?
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That's what my ENT and Pulmonary doctor at UNC think.
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242516 tn?1368227505
University of North Carolina?  who there?

I do think that asthma can be worsened by GERD.
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Dr. Mark Weissler - Head Neck Oncology
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242516 tn?1368227505
Cool, who's your pulmonologist?
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can you die if that smell goes longer than 5 months even when ive used the neti pot, and the squirt one and another kind of neti pot?
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No, you're not going to die from that smell, it just goes on and on (and on) until you get rid of it.  A neti pot is useless in your instance, and a Neilmed Sinus Rinse squirt bottle only reaches your Maxillary and Ethmoid sinuses (it says so on the box), and the bad smell infections seem to be in the Sphenoid or Frontal sinuses, which are higher up in your head, so you have to bend over to get the saline into them.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/2322

The Flip Turn Sinus Flush is risky, because you have to bend over, but you can do it outside in a bathing suit in grass if you wish to be absolutely safe.  It takes several days before the smell starts going away.

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I had routine chest surgery (ICD lead replacement) under general anesthesia over a month ago and ever since about 2 days after the surgery I have had a foul odor coming from what I assume is my sinuses.  The odor sometimes smells like burnt tissue but sometimes smells like dog poo.  It has been accompanied with a green mucous, worse in the am, which has decreased since using antibiotics.  I tried Cipro for a month and am currently on Ceftin about day 8.  There has been a decrease in the severity of the smell and mucous but I would think by now it would all be gone.  I experience the smell more when I bend over or lie down.  Can this be fungal?  Is it somehow associated with the general anesthesia?  No allergy meds or steroids. I have had sinus infections in the past but this is the worst one of my life. Please help!  pakrbakr
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I am on Pantoprazole which helps my acid reflux, but am concerned as to why at night and until 1 hour after rising my ears are VERY squelchy when pressed, plus I have worse tinnitus as well. Also skin either side of nose gets very greasy at night and smells "off" .
I am getting a lot of mucus( well I think is mucus) dripping down throat and my sinuses are blocked often.  Is it possible the eustachian tube is blocked ?
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Hi, I too had this "bad smell from nose" problem for over a year. And yes, it is so embarassing that it alters your social interactions. I searched the web high and low for answers but NOTHING helped.

I made a promise that if I found a cure that I would post it immediately. So here we go:

After one particularly grossly disturbing day, I purchased a Netti Pot. I began by using the saline solution provided but when it didn't help I added 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Although this burned like hell, I saw yellowish/greenish stuff flow from my nostrils during the treatment and I could breath so well! I noticed that after each treatment that I could rely on not having that aweful smell for at least an hour.  I used the vinegar solution 3 times a day for a week. During this time I blew LOTS of mucus from my nose in between treatments. (Although the smell was only in the left nostril) In addition I also dropped a few drops of straight apple cider vinegar into my ears because they began to ache and get clogged after the Netti treatments. (I studied that if your ears feel clogged and ichy inside frequently that it may be a fungal infection and that apple cider vinegar works like clock work.

In between the vinegar treatments, and sometimes right after, I used the saline solution provided with the Netti pot because it is very soothing. As a matter of fact for that 1st and second week I used this saline or sea salt solution to flush my sinuses anytime I even thought that the smell was returning between the vinegar treatments.

This is week 3. The smell has been gone all week. I rinse at least once a day, still, with the vinegar wash and still wash with sea salt as I feel stuffy.

My hypothesis says that this mucus is of a fungal nature and it gets trapped deep inside the sinus cavaties. This fungal mucus is sticker(for lack of a better word) than normal mucus and needs to be flushed with an antifungal prepation of some kind that is not harmful to avoid crusting and clogging.....i.e. stinky nose breath!

I hope this helps EVERYONE who reads this. I am THANKFUL for my own relief.

Blessings
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I have been dealing with the bad odor similar (a wet dog smell) since I have had my sinus infection. I took antibiotics for 10 days which did eliminate the green mucous but not the stuffy, tender nose/eye area and the smell. I was using the Neti pot but no saline because of sensitivity to even the warm water (I boil water first). I have heard of the vinegar but mixed with peroxide to flush ears (son is a diver so he uses after a dive) but not for nose/sinus so will give it a try and hope the smell will go away. Thus far..only my niece has noticed the smell but we both have super sensitve noses to foul odors (or sweet).
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hi,i have these strange blood like smell coming in my nose for past few days.i have had these sinuses problem my whole life , i m now 28.Is there some kind of medicine for these smell problem i cant even eat my food.
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2 months ago, I felt burning inside my nose and the the doctor prescribe 500mg levoneer and 100g Gentamicin. Then I got better. I would also wash inside my nose with salt & water. However, I currently smell fungus in my nose, could you please let me know what to take or do?
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just wondering if your still cured by using the Apple Cider Vinegar,  I have been using the Saline Nelle Pot for about a month now but I am not sure its working.   I have had the musty smell in my nose for 2 years now
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HI Shawna,
I've had the same problem occasionally with a stale smell in my nose.  One time I solved it for a few months by taking a Q-tip and swabbing some Polysporin ointment (Do not use Neosporin) throughout my nasal passages but since it returned and this is what I'm doing now. I noticed the smell very often when I was sitting down and working on my computer as my neck was bending forward slightly so I wondered if it might be coming from partial sinus drainage that occurs when the head is bent forward.  Then I just bent my head way forward and a significant amount of stored up sinus fluid drained into my nose. I wiped this out with a tissue and blew my nose and the problem improved. Over the next couple of days I bent my head forward and leaned forward to allow my sinuses to drain every morning and the problem completely went away just by allowing the mucous membranes of the sinuses to drain out any accumulated and stale sinus fluid that is blocked by a normally upright head position.  I recommend you try draining your sinuses like this for 2-3 minutes daily to see if your problem goes away, if it continues you should probably go to an ENT doctor as you may have an infection or polyps or some other obstruction blocking you sinuses from regularly draining.
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I've had the same problem occasionally with a stale smell in my nose.  One time I solved it for a few months by taking a Q-tip and swabbing some Polysporin ointment (Do not use Neosporin) throughout my nasal passages but since it returned and this is what I'm doing now. I noticed the smell very often when I was sitting down and working on my computer as my neck was bending forward slightly so I wondered if it might be coming from partial sinus drainage that occurs when the head is bent forward.  Then I just bent my head way forward and a significant amount of stored up sinus fluid drained into my nose. I wiped this out with a tissue and blew my nose and the problem improved. Over the next couple of days I bent my head forward and leaned forward to allow my sinuses to drain every morning and the problem completely went away just by allowing the mucous membranes of the sinuses to drain out any accumulated and stale sinus fluid that is blocked by a normally upright head position.  I recommend you try draining your sinuses like this for 2-3 minutes daily to see if your problem goes away, if it continues you should probably go to an ENT doctor as you may have an infection or polyps or some other obstruction blocking your sinuses from regularly draining
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