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Heightened sense of smell?
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Heightened sense of smell?

Probably off topic, but who knows what the little lesions in our brains are up to?

I have terrible allergies--hay fever, smoke, perfumes, chemicals, any scented products.  As more and more places get smoke-free or fragrance-aware, I get exposed less.  However, when I do run across something, it's worse than ever before.  I cough and wheeze.

We bought a townhome almost a year ago.  We don't hear our neighbors through the walls, not even garbage disposals or toilets flushing.  However, the lady next door's daughter moved in and she smokes.  Even though we have a firewall going clear to the roof in the attic between our places, and no common ductwork, I can smell smoke sometimes.  And it's been many, many years since I smelled any pot, so I'm not sure, but I think I can tell when she's smoking weed (which her family intervened to make her quit, but I don't think it took.)  I ask my dh, and he can't smell anything, but I've always been the canary in the cave with those things.

I suppose if I get dx'd with MS it would be smart to eventually get a place with fewer stairs, and knowing what I know now about the smell factor, we'll probably go with a patio home or other small single-family place.  Meanwhile, I guess I'll shop for an air filter and wait for housing prices to come back up and our equity to grow.  I know filters are supposed to be good for particulate matter, but how effective are they for teensy smell molecules?

So, people who have strokes or tumors sometimes smell burnt toast that isn't there, or is that an urban legend?  Could I be imagining any of this, or could brain changes make my already sensitive nose even worse?  Is anyone else noticing this?

Holly



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I am not really sure if my sense of smell is heightened, or I just have lower tolerance for different smells now.  But, I DO seem to notice nasty smells quite quickly, and they are very pervasive.

When I used to suffer from my earlier form of seizures, I would get a faint familiar smell, which I never recognized, a sense of deja-vu, without understanding why the moment felt familiar.  

Then again, I KNOW my brain is weird!  LOL

It's funny, but, I was a smoker for years.  Likely almost twenty years.  Used to smoke a carton a week.  Now, it is THE worst smell for me.  I absolutely cannot stand the smell of tobacco.  When someone passes me in the street it's bad enough, but, when I visit one particular friend, the whole household smokes, so, I stand at the doorway.  There can be as many as ten smoking in the appartment at once.  My lungs shrivel up.  LOL

It's even worse than after the bf has been at the hunting camp eating venison, moose, bear, beer, beans, etc, etc.  When he comes home?  Wow, stay away from the washroom.  LOL

Sorry, but it's true,  LOl

Erica
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You both bring up something very interesting.  Holly, I would suspect that as you get older, your allergies may be flairing up more than before.  Now you bring up a good point about the increased sense of smell and trouble in the brain.  You are absolutely correct, we don't know exactly how the brain works.  If we have lesions in a certain area, I would suspect that you may indeed have a heightened sense of smell.  It only stands to reason.  I think you are absolutely correct that it may been from a damaged area of the brain.

I once got a lesion in the area of my brain that controls mood.  Literally overnight, I woke up with a sevrere depression, unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Literally awful.  I was like this for 2 weeks and poof, it suddenly disppeared.  I reported it to my Neuro.  She said that I may have had a lesion appear in the brain that caused the very sudden, severe depression.  Thankfully it was a short lived lesion and I returned to "normal" quickly.  No medication needed, thank goodness.  

So I agree with you both, there may be an area of the brain that is affected by some slight damage that could heighten our sense of smell.  I would anxious to hear from both of you, if this is a lingering "symptom" or something that goes away.

If I meet you all, I will try my best not to smell like smoke, sparing you that god-awful smell.  I now that it stinks....Will be trying to quit again, shortly, but for my own health and the well-being of others.

Both of you have a GREAT DAY....Spring is almost upon us.  Time to go outside and smell the fresh air and the blossoming flowers.  

Heather
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Ah, but you and AKCowboy are quitting.  Interesting about the Chantrix making cigarettes taste bad.  I'm a food addict, and I sure did like my wine until I had elevated liver enzymes once and had to give it up.  I have a fatty liver and insulin resistance.  I can still have O'Doole's and some chocolate, so it's not as hard as what you're doing.  No booze has made weight loss easier, and with my new job, I'm taking the bus and getting a good walk on both ends, so that's helping.

I've had the dizzies for a few days and it finally dawned on me that maybe my blood pressure is getting too low, or at least lower than I'm used to.  I'm down about 20 pounds from when the last BP med was added, so I guess I'd better check with the doctor about maybe quitting one of them.  Took my BP this morning and it's 100/60 with a pulse under 70.  This is someone who's accustomed to 140/85 and a pulse in the 80's.  Who knew getting more fit could make you feel crummy?  I'd better get in to see her while I'm still in training and only working half days.

It's warming up here, too, so I'll be at the bus stop smelling the fresh air and flowers and pollen soon.  Have a lovely day.
Holly
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I used to have the same problem relating to smells. When the folks across the street were outside, I could smell the cigs clear on over here. Candles, yuck. (Unless they were food related or vanilla; but then again, only certain kinds of vanilla could pass muster with me!) Air fresheners, those NASTY pinetree fresheners for the car. I mean, get a splitting headache in less than 10 seconds, no lie! I once passed a lady putting groceries into her car. Smelled that air freshener tree thingy and I was instantly gifted with a pounding head.

I once went to GA to have surgery and a lady I met online picked me up from the airport. She'd had her car detailed. With the pain from my malady, nausea from the flight, and that car smell, I was a wreck with a migraine.

Fast forward to this past December; a friend sent the family gifts in the mail. I smelled something, couldn't figure out what. Lo and behold, it was a huge candle. It did not bother me; dh mentioned this AM that we ought to light it. Well, that might be another story vs. it sitting there collecting dust.

Point being, smells lately don't seem to bother me. And my sense of taste seems off too. I have wondered what has happened. Had pasta one day; I put cheese in it. Didn't taste it. Ate down to second layer, put garlic salt on it. Didn't taste it. Ate to bottom of bowl, put romano on it. Didn't taste it. Went and brushed my teeth after all that, lol.

Are lack of  OR  heightened sensitivity to smells related to tastes?

Suzanne      
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Right after my last flare, I was really sensitive to smells.  When I was driving around, I'd have to hold my hand over my nose, because the exhaust smells coming in through the vents were just disgusting.  Trash smells, food smells...  if it smelled good, it was okay, but if it smelled bad, whoo-boy!

Before I was diagnosed, I had a couple of times when things just didn't taste right.  Either they tasted metallic, or synthetic, or some sort of flavor that wasn't food-like.  

The smell and taste center is in the middle of the temporal lobe, and I don't have any visible lesions there.  But I'm pretty sure something was going on!
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I am also sensitive to smells and my hearing is super acute.  We live in a house on 1/2 acre and are not next to our neighbors by any means. I haven't touched a cigarette in 9 years and never in this house.  My husband has never smoked.   I smell the distinct odor of smoke, mostly at nights.  It is just there, a smoke smell right under my nose which  lasts for hours.

I have never suffered from any allergies and the smell of smoke doesn't make me nauseous, but I can definitely smell it..

At first I used to joke with my husband that  I thought I was being visited (in spirit) by the man  who  lived across from us. I was very friendly with him and his wife. He smoked a lot and was never without a cigarette. He was 72 when he died just over two years ago.

I have since dismissed that idea as he has no reason to "visit" me but he was the only person I could think of.  I honestly wondered if it was the  memory of a smell that lingers in your brain or something.  I mean how can it be?  Nobody has ever smoked in this house but I know I smell it at night and dh doesn't.  Then I thought that maybe there is something singeing or scorching  in my brain but I didn't want to think of that.  I am glad to know other people experience it also.  It has been an on and off  thing for about two years now.  

Marcie
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Funny you should mention that. I have had a couple of instances of smelling something burning; we were in a drought and I thought it was a brush fire. Went outside to check: nothing.

Or thinking I smelled smoke in the basement: nothing.

Very unnerving, that is for sure.

Suzanne
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I went to the PCP over the blood pressure issue today.  I was low overall, and definitely lower standing than lying down.  Yay, I got rid of the diuretic!  Anyway, she says I should definitely mention the smell thing to the neurologist next time I see her in April. I'd swear, I was smelling smoke still right there in the exam room.

Holly
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hI

  i don' t  have Multiple Sclerosis but i do have heightened smell taste and sight.
  Sight gets worse with salt and too many carbs in a day.  Taste and smell affected     by too many carbs in a day..

Just wondered if anyone else has noticed this.


julie43
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Interesting, My mom has Fibro maybe more if she got real tests but she also is chemical sensitive to the point of crazy. She can smell things from miles away I mean miles! She is on her way here this weekend I starting smoking again (after chantix was done) anyhow I will have to go down the block now! anyhow Her sense of smell is incrediable she has had this for years not sure she knows it. I could type on this subject for what she smells for hours if I had the time! ;-)

I have it too in wierd ways mentioned, I being a smoker should have lost all my sense of smell but sometimes I swear I smell a fire, electric cords burning and go on the hunt of these things. It always surprises me because for you that are smart not to smoke us smokers  lose  our sense of smell until you quit and mine is certainly not gone.

Have no idea if this is a symtom or if some of us just smell better then others... please all opionions on this I want to talk to my mom about this one and she has all kinds of filters etc for her home with chemical sensitive so sever so if you need info on that email please.
thanks
all
Mary
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You know how they say that we only use 10% of our brians?  What about if you have an attack... lesion... which never heals itsself but you learn to walk again and again... wouldn't that have to be a new area of your brain that starts workinng maybe one that gives you super smellability??

My 14 yr old daughter has undiagnosed autism spectrum... she can Smell a soda and tell if it is diet or regular sugar soda.  She deffinetly uses her brain differently than I use mine.    
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It's not actuallly true that we use 10% of our brains - we use all the brain, all the time.  
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I have a son who is on the Autisic spectrum.  Probably Asperger syndrome. He does not have  an offical dx because he also has Downs and I have not pursued anything else



Anyhow, he has an increadible sense of smell also.  I can not hide medication in his food or drink because he can smell it a mile away!

I do not have an heightened sense of smell in most situations.  I can smell certain things like musty smells.  But I can not smell gas!!! We have gas appliances and I can not smell the gas.  I also can not smell my kids messy diapers!! :)

That has left me with a few scares when I am working in the kitchen and somebody walks in and is knocked down by a gas smell.

Once in a while my stove won't light and if I do not see it I don't know because I can not smell the gas. We bought a gas alarm to help.  

My hearing is not what it used to be either.  I do have a dx of MS and will be 45 very soon. So I am thinking my hearing and smell issues are not age realted!

Mares-- My mom also has a DX of FMS and has really overly sensitive smell!  


LA
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During my last flare, the smell of diet sodas really made me nauseous!  Also certain kinds of perfumes....
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