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Hyperosmia
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Hyperosmia

I'm pretty sure my husband has hyperosmia.  His entire life (not a traumatic event), he has had an extreme sense of smell.  He can tell ingredients of perfumes foods pretty much anything.  One day at a work lunch at noon I had a rum and diet soda with lunch.  It is very rare (maybe once a year if at all) that this happens.  I didn't see him until I got home that night after 11 PM.  He could smell the rum on my breath when I gave him a kiss that night.  I had had lunch with the drink, later I had a snack ate dinner, drank water and soda in the time period since I had the drink at lunch.  He doesn't like to go into the city, since he smells the urine in the street.  If i need to give further examples I will happily do so.

His heightened sense of smell is affecting his life.  He would much rather be normal.  He works in sales, and if a client has halatosis or bad body odor he really suffers.  We live near the interstate, and depending on teh direction of the wind he gets sick sometimes from the smell of the asphalt/tires/cars on the freeway.  I have tried and I can't smell anything- I've asked friends if they could smell anything, and no one has said yes yet.  He always just thought it was something he had to live with.

His sense of smell is driving me crazy.  If we are talking he will ask me to go brush my teeth or use listerine.  I do not have exceptionally bad breath, I am normal- I checked with my dentist.  

He asked me if there was any way to lessen his sense of smell, and I thought cauterization of his nose might be an option.  I also saw online that Topamax could be used as well.  I haven't been able to find very much information about it- apparently Hyperosmia is not very common.

Are there any treatments?

If so, what type of doctor would be able to help?  ENT?  Neurology?  I have no idea.

Thank you for any help/suggestions you can give.

christyvt
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm interested in talking with you about your husbands condition because I have been suffering for seven years with this, which has pritty much isolated me from everyone. Your husband is the first person I have found with like symptoms.

Darryl
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Avatar_f_tn
I have exactly the same problem as your husband. I have never met or heard of anyone else with such an extreme case as I have; it makes me feel better to know I'm not crazy. The only info I could find on the net said that hyperosmia of this degree can only be found in hysterical women with attention-seeking psychiatric disorders!  To me, it seems like a way for the medical community to sidestep the fact that they can't explain it (after all, migraines used to be considered "nervous conditions" of "hysterical women" as well).
Maybe there is a place on the net you and I and Darryl could all meet up and share our email addresses without them going out to the general public (as they would if we just posted them here)?
I have a blog on vox for my students - http://teacherjen.vox.com/ - and I think you can send messages thru vox that are private, like emails. Maybe that is the way to go. I will keep an eye out for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I did smoke since 25 years ; but whenever someone smokes or joins meeting after smoking I got irritated. I also feel mouth bad smell if any one has dental problem or pyorrhea and try to leave the meeting place.
Is this due to weak brain or unhealthy brain
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Add me to that list!!  I'm 42 and have been dealing with this my entire life.  My diet ***** because I can't stand the smell of most foods.  I'm so glad I'm not alone, but bummed that other people are suffering too.

My husband used to eat lunch out at work everyday.  One particular place he ate at set off the alarm bells in my nose as soon as he walked in the door, when he spoke, it was just confirmation, even being on the other side of the room.  It's freaky.

Once, while visiting my parents, I was in a deep sleep in my old bedroom with the door closed. My mother started making meatballs in the kitchen.  I instantly woke up gagging, trying not to hurl, ran out on their porch for "clean" air and couldn't go back in. It was January, I was in my nightgown, standing in snow trying not to hurl.  I ended up sitting in the car for about an hour until she aired her house out.  And even then I could still smell it.  I got dressed quickly and left.  I never stayed at their house again after that when we visited.  It was that powerful.  

I think there might be some sort of genetic link, my 4 year old daughter is the same way. She smells EVERYTHING.  poor kid.

And it seems I have a really good smell "memory"   just thinking about certain smell events in the past can make me gag because I smell it all over again-just as strong. It's awful.  

I have been looking into "sensory integration disorder" or "sensory processing disorder" but all the information I have found so far describes it, but doesn't give any solutions.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Interesting to read all of your comments and thoughts about this. Think I might have hyperosmia too, at least some kind of it. My first memory is a smell (fragment from a jasmin that grow at the house we lived in until I were less than one year old) and smells have always been a big part in my senses.
Ate antidepp for some years and under that period I lost nearly all of my sense of smell (so eating antidepp could be some sort of tip for you who wish to minimize your sense of smell!). When I stopped eating antidepp for nearly a year ago, all my sense of smell returned and were even stronger I think. Since then I've re-experimented a lot and yeah, your life and impressions change with your ability to smell.
Thats both interesting, wonderful and sometimes just to awfully and frustrating. Especially cause I'm also a vegan and just can't stand the smell of meat that's everywhere...

Can also add that I use to smoke, or rather for the moment I've nearly stopped and guess if my sense of smell increase with every cigg I don't smoke! omg.
And well, I do hate the smell of tobacco too even if I too smoke, so always brush my teeth afterwards and sometimes even take a shower because of the tobacco-smell, heh. And my poor boyfriend whom I live with did in fact agreed with what another one here wrote about always brushing their teeth and even if I really try my hardest not to think about all the smells and odours I just cant keep my mouth shut sometimes and interrupt him with "pleeeease can you just take some chewing gum or toothpaste...."
   I also use incense- a lot and that helps me very much to relax and not (or at least less) get frustrate on all smells.


What Im searching for now is, apart from more info on hyperosmia and how (un)common it is and so on, is wether there's some special category of work that "only" persons with hyperosmia can work with- do you know something?
Would be great to be able to use this "superhuman" ability for something ,)
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Avatar_f_tn
I can remember smelling the newspaper before it entered the house on sunday morning and hurling before the first page was pulled back. this at age 7.As an adult i was given so sort of dye injection for a stress test for my heart and smelling the iron or whatever was in the syringe as it entered my bloodstream.Not only do i smell it i also taste what i smell and the hurl untill i loose the lining of my stomach.After which i get cold sweats and chills for the next 3 hours. Is there any relief in site ?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey, I'm not crazy!  I've always known that, it can just be very hard to convince others sometimes.

I have the hardest time breathing with smells.  Even when we turn on the heater!  Not sure how I'm going to get through this winter.

Do any of you have possible underlying causes or other things that could be connecting?  I have every symptom in the book, so it's hard to tell.  
Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, allergies, muscle tension, IBS, and the list never stops.  All chronic pain things without a known cause or definitive tests/diagnosis.  

Central Sensitivity Syndrome describes me best.  Along with a long list of other things, being hypersensitive to ALL my senses, light, sound, smell, touch, taste, the works.  All cause pain, not just perception.  :-/ *Those also with CSS might want to check this out: http://css.dewarlorx.com/senses.html

I have migraines which is a common connection, but no migraine meds work, and there doesn't seem to be any clear beginning.  Going on 6 years of severe pain, and many more building up to it.

Are there any temporary causes to Hyposmia (decrease in smell) that could help us?  You guys rock!

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Avatar_n_tn
It's good to know that there are other people who are experiencing this as well.  I have been suffering with this for eight years or more.  When people wear perfume/cologne, I feel like they are holding the bottle right under my nose.  The smell of cigarette smoke, hairspray, body odor, everthing just about kills me.  At work I have asked to be moved away from others,but they don't understand the magnitude of my problem so I continue to suffer on a daily basis.  My quality of life is so bad due to this.  I don't know what is causing it.  I suffer with migraines as weel, but I have been getting migraines for over seventeen years and have only had this problem for eight.
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I am so sorry for all of you but I am glad I am not alone.  I feel like I could be used like a K-9 to smell out things.  No one believes me at work. They are not suppose to wear colonges, they do anyway and they don't care if I get sick.
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Thank  god someone else has a clue! I have been with my husband to doctor after doctor.His sense of smell is so good that it causes him to have panic attacks. He has an inhaler and is told he is bi polar every time he is seen by a doctor but sadly every stinking medication they have tried him on doesn't help. This poor man has not left home in weeks . It  is devastating to watch him suffer so badly. Any Help or suggestions !!!!!!! I'm out of my mind trying to find something that works.
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I have always had some allergies and asthma, but following a bout of the flu and pneumonia I suddenly became sensitive to almost every smell. This is especially so for artificial ones in perfumes, cleaning products and in most alcohols and petroleum products.
I was forced to sell my business at a substantial loss and go on disability because of it.
Many with this or a very similar illness go through hell in trying to find help within the mainstream medical community and are labeled crazy, lazy or having a somatization disorder. May have ended up divorced and homeless although most held very good jobs for years before becoming ill.
There are several groups with others that suffer from this illness often referred to as: Chemical Injury (CI), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Environmental Allergies or other names.
Unfortunately many turn away from proper medical care and become vulnerable to unproven alternative treatments that may be dangerous themselves.
I was sick for years before I heard about MCS and called the correspondent that did the story. He had actually made a mockery of others like me to find the name of the doctor studying them, but at that time I realized I was not alone.
It has now been over 20 years since I got sick and I am getting to the point where I can handle a little exposure at a time by living totally fragrance free otherwise.
Good Luck  
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I tried to respond to cristiyvt on her husbands problem last year when I was so desperate for some direction, but got no response from her. I even asked this site to give her my email address so she could contact me. Had no response.
I received a notice from the site yesterday that someone had posted on the topic, HYPEROSMIA. I went back to the Hyperosmia forum and to my surprise I see many posts on the subject all of which are very closely related to my own  rare condition. I thought that my condition was related to my elevated sense of smell but have found out throughout this last year of research, that I have been looking in the wrong direction.

Hyperosmia is only part of the problem.  I am now convinced that my problem is irritated nasal nerves (Anterior Ethmoidal Nerves) located in the middle turbinate of the nasal cavity. I will be receiving treatments to damage or destroy those nerves. At present I am waiting for a septoplasty to straighten my septum which is blocking access to these nerves.  If I have a contact point irritating these nerves due to the deviated septum, the septoplasty could very well stop my symptoms.

After researching for over a year, I drafted a statement of some history of my condition, some questions and the areas that I wanted to pursue. I presented it to my latest ENT where I finally got some attention. I have posted it on a second post below with hopes that you might get something from it for your own research.

Even though we all have some same symptoms along with some different symptoms, I feel that many could be caused by the Anterior Ethmoidal Nerve Irritation of which is labeled under several titles.

Good Luck to you all
Darrylfl

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PATIENTS ANALYSIS OF ILLNESS

Headache pain and other suffering due to inhalation of odorants, such as perfumed products, inks, dyes, soaps, fabric conditioners, petroleum products, smoke, paint, building products and many more.

I have had some of these symptoms most of my life but only for the past seven years in their present almost unbearable acute stage of constant misery. The acute stage was brought on by approximately six hour exposure to wet paint on 1-15-03. The symptoms have only gotten worse sense that day. I had a similar experience in my early twenties when I was exposed to raw gas fumes every day for a week or more, but got better after four weeks and went back to work. I have had the headaches to deal with every day since.

To describe the condition, I would say it feels like a raw area or nerve in the top of my nasal cavity that experiences pain immediately upon contact with a stimulus.  The pain radiates forwards behind my eyes and backward under my skull. Then the neck muscles contract on both sides and cause much pain in my neck and cervical cranial zone.

If I can get completely away from the culprit odor or quickly eat something, the pain goes away. “Yes”, I don’t have this pain when I am eating and it returns immediately after I have swallowed the last bite, sometimes with a vengeance.

If I can’t get away from it, then other symptoms start to appear such as migraine type headache, nausea to the point of throwing up, irritability along with flue like symptoms.

I thank God I am hyperosmic, because is allows me to detect even very small quantities of a known offending odor and a chance to get away from it, before the bad symptoms set in. But getting away is always a problem and most times I just have to bear it.

I went to see my first doctor over twenty years ago with the same headache, long before I had realized that the content of the air I was breathing, was the problem.  After many doctors, test’s, prescription drugs, and therapies that all fell short of finding the cause of or stopping my headache, I gave up for a time.

Later on with the headaches getting worse every day I had started to realize that in some areas of the building where I worked, the chemical odors were heavier than in others, and made my head hurt more intently. I stayed out of those areas as much as possible. Tried acutunture, chiropractic’s (again for the fourth time) and finally pain therapy, all to know avail. About this time I was exposed to the wet paint I mentioned earlier. The smell was very strong and overwhelmingly painful to me and I finally left with a bad headache. Tried to go to work the next day but had to leave and was out of work after that for six weeks. I simply couldn’t find any air that I could breath that wasn’t painful.  

I went to see an ENT that I had seen before, while wearing a crude nose clip I made so I wouldn’t get sick in his waiting room from perfumes and other chemicals. I was stunned when he said that very little research had been done in this area and that I would not find any help for this problem of which he had no diagnosis. Without a diagnosis my health insurance would not help me with any medical expenses. When I asked what I could do, he said I would have to learn to live with it. That has turned out to be impossible. There is no chance of life with this condition.

After sinking into a deep depressive existence (seven years), I have recently decided to pull it together and try again

I managed to get a diagnosis of “Neurosclerosis” from another ENT. That allowed me to go to Shans, where I had great anticipation of getting help, but got none.

I’m not a doctor, so it has been hard to research my problem on the web. However I have reviewed enough medical information, scientific studies, theories and educated opinions to be able to form some opinions and theories of my own. The individual sufferers I have found on the web with olfactory or nasal problems have some symptoms very different but in some cases very close to mine.  I have enclosed clips and articles from some of their testimonials as to their condition. Mr. Lee J. Nelson’s case (www.modbee.com) I found very interesting because his pain was constant and located in the nasal cavity like mine and his painful experience with the nasal endoscopy specialist describes exactly an experience I had at Shans.  

I now have a good understanding of the olfactory system and how it relates to the Trigeminal nerves. The location of the initial pain upon breathing in air is in the area of the olfactory epithelium. I figure I have a contact point in the anterior ethmoid neurovascular complex (Anterior Ethmoid Syndrome), or an inactive, abnormal, depleted, or nonexistent epithelium mucosa. Since some Trigeminal receptor fibers reside there, and that they are responsible for signaling pain, I have concluded that their neurons should be examined very closely.

Considering that the pain really never goes away, could there be a problem with “neuron adaptation” of the Trigeminal neurons? The location of olfactory receptor neurons in the nasal epithelium allows noninvasive access to these neurons with an endoscopy. I also would like to suggest that the Trigeminal fibers which are sheathed, could have myelin degeneration leaving the fibers exposed and more irritated than they should normally be when in contact with an irritating odorent. Maybe a biopsy could be taken of these neurons and analyzed by use of a scanning electron microscope to investigate this and/or any other possible problems in the mucosa.

Another possibility is that the nasocillery nerve could be so close to the skin that it is exposed (much like the blood vessel on the side of my sternum that was cauterized to stop nosebleeds) and irritated at the passing of air along the later nasal wall. The myelin and neurilemma protective coatings could be damaged or missing.

There is also the possibility that I am the victim of Middle Turbinate Headache Syndrome (Wolff, 1948) because the middle turbinate is supplied by (a sensory nerve) the anterior ethmoidal nerve.  

As bad as I dread to have a scope because of my last experience, I feel that a through endoscopic exam by a specialists is where we should start before looking at medications for depression and pain, neurovascular compression, or other ideas.

I hope I haven’t insulted any one’s intelligence or shown the lack of mine, with what I have had to say here, about something I have absolutely no training in, but after asking for help and getting none, I had to do something.

I know how rare my case is, so if you don’t want to take on a case such as mine, could you recommend someone who will.

Thank you
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I have read most of what you folks say. It is interesting. I have had a really difficult time the last two days with the same symptoms. I know - whining after two days about something people have had for years/decades sounds bad. I have been able to smell everything too clearly as of late. I had this happen before a sinusitis attack in early January too. People's breathe and body odor, their perfume and deodorant stink. I smelled a friend's coffee before he rounded the corner this morning and his coffee breathe killed me. One guy I talk to all of the time nearly made me puke with his bad breathe. I hope this is temporary.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am relieved to know that I am not alone. Everyone thinks I exaggerate my symptoms. For me it is perfumes, shampoo, bathing soaps, laundry detergent, just about everything under the sun. I have been able to find unscented bathing soap, laundry detergent, and body lotion which helps with that aspect of the problem but I work in a hospital. I am surrounded by disinfectants and other strong odors all they long. I spend most of my days sick because it also aggravates my migraines and my sinusitis. Thank you all for confirming this issue because everyone else makes me feel like I am just looking for attention or something. Hope someone can find a solution though. I am currently trying to find one myself and if I do I will surely share it with the rest of you!
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel a lot less like a nut having read most of the comments in this thread. I too suffer from hyperosmia and am very sensitive to smells of every kind. I have smoked for many years and quit a few times only to start again because I can't stand the smells out there in the world. As much as smoking is not good for anyone, it deadens my sense of smell enough to make it through most days without gagging or hurling.
Thinking back to when I first noticed my heightened sense many years ago, which was when I was 4 years old and had my tonsils clipped, they used an ether drip to put me under (this was in the mid 60's). To this day, I gag at the smell of ether and any hairspray/aerosol propellants which tops my list. Since then, I notice odours of every kind, whether it be foods that have gone slightly bad, or heavy perfumes, or personal body odours, and so on. One specific item I seem to smell is when women are having there monthlies and it is a huge turn off and makes me want to run. Even the ladies that are freshly cleaned exhibit this odour on top of their cleaning product they used which I also smell, not sure if its the hemoglobin but I smell it.
I am also very sensitive to dust. Quick story, was driving in the country on a gravel road in the summer and it was very dusty so I put on a dusk mask I had (like the ones you see the Japanese people wear on subways) and passed a female police officer going the opposite way, she turned around and pulled me over and asked why I was wearing this mask. I removed the mask and explained to her that the dust was bothering me because of my heightened sense of smell. She looked perplexed, then I told her that I even smell that she was having her period and she seemed very offended. The officer didn't know what to say and I just added that I would be happy to give any of the k-9 units a run for the money. She walked back to her cruiser, spun a donut and left. I was mad because now I have a hard time breathing again because of the dust she created while spinning the donut on the gravel.
Life isn't easy for us. Having these heightened senses causes us to look at the world in a different way. No offence intended but we humans are a smelly animal and coming from a farm life as a child, city life and people drive my senses crazy.
How do we deaden our sense of smell, is there a way we can turn off the 7 primary odour receptors in our nasal passages? Even when we go out to get some fresh air causes problems, our 7 receptors clear out from the previous odour only to be refilled by other offensive ones. I would love to quit smoking as it is a filthy expensive habit, yet gagging and hurling in public is more offensive.
Thanks to all of you that have posted comments, you are not alone.

    




  
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, this is amazing.  I, too, am very sorry for everyone who has been suffering.  

For as long as I can recall, I've had hypersensitivity to smells.  I can smell silk, can detect types of minerals in dirt, am an accurate sommelier (wine taster), and can identify people by their body scent alone.  Unfortunately like many of you, I also suffer from debilitating headaches.

Three years ago I was at my end.  I went for an MRI, CT scan, nerve studies and had extensive bloodwork for my headaches.  They were not classified as migraines, clusters or allergies so no medicines were prescribed.  I still suffer today.  Some days I vomit from the pain.  Other days are much better, but the pain is always there.

It is only now that I read this thread that the posibility of the two is linked in my mind.  It took a while, but man am I glad I read all of the posts.  

I will visit an ENT to see what can be done.  Thank you Darrylfl for your story.

Best to everyone and good luck
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I to have hyperosmia. I can smell EVERYTHING. I remember when I was a kid, stinky perfumes would set me off but not much else. Now it seems anything can set me off, usually ending in a migraine. I currently work in an office with 4 people. One of them is Epileptic so she understands, my office mate is thankfully understanding, but the other 2 just don't get it. ! even swears she doesn't wear perfume at all, but I can still smell her 50 feet away with my back to her. I know when she is coming because I smell her perfume. I don't know what caused this, but I do have Arnold Chiari Malformation. I have not known seen smell sensitivity on the symptoms list, but know other Chiarians with the same condition. I have had the surgery to fix Chiari and it still didn't fix the smell thing so I really don't know if they are related or not.

I hope they find something to fix this, because 20 years is ENOUGH!
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My family jokingly calls my nose the "Super Smeller!"  I--like many of you--can smell everything.
I have researched ways to diminish my sense of smell because it interferes with my relationships.
My husband loves cats, but I cannot bear to have a litterbox in the house.  He got an automatic one and placed it in the furthermost part of the house, but I could not stand it.  I gag and almost vomit and no one else can smell anything.
The worst is that my husband and I have not had sex in 6 months.  We would go away to a hotel with a hot tub and sit in the chlorinated water for an hour before becoming intimate to solve our intimacy issues.  I guess the chlorine removed any body odors.  

To further complicate things, he has health issues that cause erectile dysfunction problems.  I have almost vomited while trying to help him become aroused.  To make matters worse, he has a damaged sense of smell due to exposure to chemicals in the military.  I smell everything--he smells hardly anything.  
He cannot understand why I am not able to do the things he desires sexually.  I have actually bathed him myself prior to our sleeping together so that I might be able to please him.
I know  this all sounds ridicoulous, but I feel desparate.  How can I say to him that he smells so bad to me that I cannot be intimate with him?
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Not sure if its worth adding my 2 cents but I also have a super sensitive nose. I have always been sensitive but over the past 6 months it is starting to get out of control.

If I am asleep I wake up when any smell is detected and the faintest fumes from a nearby factory really spark it off in the mornings.
I do seem most sensitive from about 4am to 9am for some reason.

When driving if there is a car way ahead on the freeway with someone smoking - I can smell it with all the windows closed. Smoke seriously makes me physically ill. Nobody understands it.

If I walk into a supermarket I can detect mouldy bread from meters away.

I cant use spray on deodorant any more. The chemicals in the spray make me sick. (using roll on now)

Perfumes make me ill and some scented moisturisers too.

Jet fuel from passing planes (there is also an airport close-by and when the aircraft are under maximum thrust during take-off they expel excess fuel into the air.. so sickening)

Lemon grass scent is a gagger for me.. so is certain roasted nuts or seeds (so weird).

Overall I would say anything that decays or is toxic in some way causes me the worst issues. I can't even take the bin out without hurling.. Everyone thinks I am just making excuses.

A few other strange things that started about the same time are:
Allergy to certain plastics (especially on supermarket baskets or trolleys)
Unless I am just allergic to other people. My hands swell up and go red.
I have had unexplained ear ache for months but all tests come back negative. This has also brought on some nice Tinnitus.
And finally some on/off kidney pain that also comes back negative on tests.

Everyone including doctors just think I am insane. I was prescribed long term anti-depressants for it all my symptoms.. I mean what the heck! I am not depressed and it doesn't get me down. Its just annoying.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi i have same smell problems, i smell everything every where and can not find any help to stop smells, docters and people think i'm crazy...is there any operations to stop smells? thanks
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I have found a clinic in lacrosse wisconsin that can help anyone who is suffering with hyperosmia
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Avatar_f_tn
Just got started reading and could not stop.  I have a terrible time with being sensitive to smells... perfume, incense, candles, etc.  People think I am whining but my lips burn and I have trouble thinking straight.  It is good toknow that I am not the only one with this problem.  I didn't even know it had a name until today.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I started experiencing hyper sensitivity 10 years ago to animals, chemicals, (perfume) smoke, body odors, foods, dust.
I never had these problems before, having had a dog, while growing up and a parent that was a chain smoker and we had carpeting throughout our home. I used to eat peanut butter all of the time and now am highly allergic (having had anaphlaxis attacks 3 times) to peanut oil in foods Dust is very difficuolt for me to tolerate and I get asthma attacks from it. Does anyone else experience these problems and what can be done to alter my lifestyle to become more normal?
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I am sorry for all of you, but relieved I am not alone.  I have had extra sensitive senses all of my life...hearing, sight, taste, smell, touch, yet I've been able to tolerate pain well if I set my mind to it.  I used to get teased in grade school that I could grow up and get a job as a bloodhound for the police, find missing people and sniff out drugs, etc.  When I garden, I smell red ants, which comes in handy, because they bite if you disturb their nest.  I could never tolerate the smell of exhaust fumes, so you know the older cars did not offer recirculate the air feature, so just about every other car on the road in front of us made me choke, my eyes burn and swell up with tears, give me a sore throat for days and often vomit.  I tried to join friends when I was older as a passenger for a motorcycle ride, and the awful exhaust smell made me sick for days afterwards like a severe allergic reaction.  If I am within 50 feet of a smoker, I begin to cough, and that's just the smell left on their clothing, hair and breath, not even a lit cigarette.  If I am exposed to the smoke, even 50 feet away, I totally lose my voice for days.  If I walk down the sidewalk by a house with windows open, I can tell you exactly what pets they own, especially cats or rodents, or if they smoke, or if someone is a mechanic, or if they have a vinyl shower curtain hanging in their bathroom.  I can tell you what cleaning products they use or what they had for dinner last night.  If someone within about 20 feet of me drank an alcoholic beverage the day before, I can tell you what they drank, and I have to keep my distance because to me they reek of fermentation, and I will upchuck if I smell them more than a few seconds.  I am constantly hitting the recirculate button in my Ford, and it really ticks me off that they won't let that thing stay on once you set it, but it shuts off and I immediately start gagging at the smell of the nasty car or truck fumes driving in front of my car.  I rarely can have windows open in my car or home, something always stinks, fumes, smoke, pollution, trash, it just makes me so nauseated and my nose and eyes swell up.  I can't go into old homes, as soon as their heater kicks on my eyes swell shut and I cough and get sick.  I have trouble shopping in stores because the smell of plastic makes me vomit and gives me a headache that lasts for days.  I have found that the smells that hurt me the most are plastic, gas, engine exhaust, chemical, new carpet, oil base paints, varnishes, glues and some foods like onions, meats, anything fried or processed.  While I have always been like a human Bloodhound, after I had chemo that was so severe it put me in the hospital in 2005, my super sensitivity has become unbearable.  It has affected my entire life in every aspect.  I have gone to a Chinese herbalist, and I tried Butterbur, as well as an herbal oil I put on a Q tip and sort of line the inside of my nose with, that does help slightly some days.  This really hurts my ability to work, I am a realtor, and I have opened the door to some homes, hit with a horrid odor, and unable to go inside!  I have had to let the clients go in while I wait outside, because I can't handle the stench.  Last week they had a bus tour, it is the 2nd one I tried, and both times the diesel fumes of the bus made me ill, vomit and have migraines that lasted days.  The past couple days with all of the wind have been unbearable, and I've been basically stuck at home, miserable with yet another migraine.  I took Butterbur and cooked turnip greens, and just tried my best to get through the day without throwing up.  What a way to live.  I am going to try accupuncture next week.  I've been told I have fibromyalgia, brought on by my the 2005 cancer treatment, since I have never really bounced back from that.  I am also super sensitive to medicines, too, so I do not want to get on the "drug merry go round" with the doctors, and that seems to be their cure all...take this pill or that pill.  I tried a couple and all they did was make me sick, vomit or have awful side effects.  I can take Aleve or Aspirin, that's about it.  Oh, by the way, chemo really makes your sense of smell acute, I was in sensory agony for the months I had to do chemo, and EVERYTHING stunk or tasted bad.  If you have super senses already, pray you don't have to go through chemo, it REALLY makes your senses even more acute, if you can imagine that.  So anyway, sorry to sound like a complainer, but I usually keep all of this to myself since most folks do not understand, and it is a relief to find others that can relate.  Thank you for listening.  I am in Delaware, and I would not mind a fellow "Bloodhound" saying hello.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have just developed this hyperosmia a couple of weeks ago, i started on thyroid med and since then i sense of smell has increased dramatically. it doesn't bother me except when i am around perfumes, especially heavy, musky, spicy perfumes and then my sinuses burn as if i had inhaled ammonia. i have alos noticed when this happens i start to get hives on my forearms. i only took the med for a week. my allergist has not been a help so i am going to an ent next week. the worse of it is the burning, i can deal with headaches and pressure but the burning is driving me mad. i also have a deviated septum and allergies since i was a child, especially allergic to mountain cedar, ragweed, trees, grass, mold, pretty much any botanical item i come across. flowers...makes me miserable. i thought about the cauterising surgery that they perform in your nose, at thid point i will try anything to relieve the burning in my sinuses. april
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Avatar_f_tn
I am the same,  can cook a roast, eat it, but when I go to wash the dishes, start gagging and dryreaching.  Body Odor sends me off as well and I have resorted to carrying a spray with me and spraying it when body odor is detected.  Public Toilets are also a nightmare for me.  Wish we could find a cure as it drives my husband crazy when I spray around the house, in the bed and in public.
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I lost most of my sense of smell when I had surgery to my skull base.

The ENT surgeon was patching up a small csf leak that I had. He went through my nasal cavity and up through my sinuses to the base of the skull using endoscopic tools.

Anyways he told me that there is a part of the skull base for sense of smell behind your sinuses that is a bit thinner and he described it kije a cheese grater.

I'm not sure but would think that if your problem is REALLY bad you could see an ENT surgeon? Maybe a surgical procedure could be done if you are to a point where you can't even leave your house because of you sense of smell being so strong.

Good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi raq123,

Can please you let me know the name of the clinic in Lacrosse?

Thank you!
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Avatar_m_tn
i would also like to know the name of the clinic in lacrosse, as i am from eau claire and suffering from this. doctors look at me like im crazy, and im tired of it. thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
I remember as a young teenager waking up feeling like I couldnt breath after my brother sprayed deodorant in the bathroom outside our bedroom. I smoked for several years, but could not stand to be in a smoke filled room. The smell of any pet is sickening to me, as is perfume, hair spray,lotion, finger nail polish, and remover, i can even taste it! You name it, it affects me. Any food that is burnt (specially toast) any strong food. Paint, fuels, I could go on and on. It really causes problems with my wife, any time I complain she gets mad, and I am the one who cant breath! Go Figure!
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Avatar_m_tn
To all who suffer with this disorder (or odor should i say), I have this problem as well..and I believe it got worse when I got my nose pierced a few years back. Since then I no longer wear a nose ring ( accidentally snatched it out while sleeping ....major ouch effect) the problem is still here! I am the one who smells bad breath, body odors, periods, poop and urine, animals, bugs,  garbage etc. I don't really have a problem with perfumed things such as colognes, candles, and such nor foods as I do enjoy them. I like to drink wine now and again but hate the way it smells. My husband was shot in the face when he was eight years old and the bullet went through his nasal area so his sense of smell isn't so great. It causes conflict at times because I seem like the nagging wife when I ask him to shower often (he is super hairy by the way) or brush his teeth. He also rides a scooter sometimes and I smell the fumes on him as soon as we come in contact! He cant smell it like I can and I get so frustrated when he is insensitive to my problem. Its hard to b intimate with him when I am wondering if I am going to smell a bad odor or not. He bathes daily sometimes more than once if I ask but its so bad (my disorder ) that I want to bathe him myself and dictate how he brushes his teeth. Ugh!  I hate being able to smell everything all of the time and just wish that I had a normal sense of smell.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had a severe heightened sense of smell for about 1 1/2 years now and I am 51.

I had stereotactic radiation surgery to an AVM in my cerebellum in 1999.  About 4 months after the radiation, I had my very first, "migraine"  and suffered for over a decade, having to stop my profession.  

Interestingly, although it can bring on a migraine lickety split, the migraines have gotten less frequent over time but the odors and smells!  It is terrible.

I can tell what kind of hair spray my husband has put on when I am in the kitchen, even before he has come down the stairs in the other room.  I cannot even walk by a candle shop.  Pefume and cologne...I gag and I have to say something...usually saying I am allergic.  Sometimes now, I do start coughing.  In fact, I have also noticed that I constantly have something in my throat and have to constantly clear it.  I sometimes feel as though I am going to gag when I try to eat and speak.  

Wish I knew what was causing this.  Wish the medical profession did.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have hyperosmia too, but I guess it's not the same as for everyone else here, since for the most part, I really enjoy it. I love walking down the street at night and finding the night blooming flowers well before I can see them (people think I'm crazy if they're hidden behind a fence until I find them so they can see!). I love the bacterial smell of wet soil, the sweetness of snapped leaves, the ozone scent of lightening. I can conjure up in my memory most any place I have visited as a "scent picture" and I'm sure that given access to the right chemicals, I could recreate for the whole world the special damp mossy little patch of soil near the front door of my childhood home, with the spicy/bitter cinereria flowers and slightly mouldering wood under the porch. I have smoked for 22 years - I gave up for 3 months a year ago and it all got so much more intense, to the point that yes, wandering around amongst the general public was pretty disgusting at times, the mixed miasma of sour acrid armpits, goatlike damp wool socks, rancid scalp oil, cheesy feet and fish - market smells from other women (not to mention the slightly sweet, meaty/rotten coppery tang of not so well contained monthlies) however I did enjoy knowing when stores I walked past had new merchandise (packing tape! you guys know how it reeks) and being able to close my eyes and know where the flower shop was even if I couldn't see it. I do get migraines, but I've not been able to work out what sets them off. I also sometimes quite enjoy smells that others may find offensive simply because they're interesting, and I try not to judge scents on a good/bad continuum and just allow them to be what they are - information about the world around me. I did get some strange looks a while ago when I left a note in the bathrooms at my work asking the obviously dehydrated person to please drink more water though! I guess I'm really lucky that I'm not sickened by all the scents around me like so many others with a heightened sense of smell! I do think that other people are pulling my leg though when they literally have a thing under their noses and say "it has no smell" - my party trick at work these days is to point to where the lemon disinfectant is without looking up, but I find it hard to believe that I'm so unique - it's as clear as a sound or a light!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I could have typed this word for word.  You have expressed everything i have been feeling my whole life.  I love the smells that recreate good memories in my life, but people's breath is driving me out of my mind. A new co worker reeks of onions every day. I loathe that woman.  I'm so sick of smelling onions on her I could scream! I have tried to quit smoking too, but the smell of people's breath from across the room are too unbearable. I'm so sick of smelling garlic on breaths of others!  If a family member eats mexican I cannot bear to be in the house with them for 3-4 days.  I feel your pain...
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the Mcs also about five years and I can` t work any more. I was working in graphic industry 18 years.
If any one like to know more of my "life" with MCS please sent me an mail to:      gregor.***@****

Regards! Gregor
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Avatar_m_tn
My mom has the same problem with extreme sensitivity to smells, and it is effecting her mental health, and her relationship with my dad.  

It started after she had brain surgery for epilepsy, almost a year ago, and when she started to heal, she could smell everything to a degree that she could taste smells, and her tongue would swell.  

My dad said she could smell a fart in a hurricane!!

I thought this was something that would eventually run its course with her still healing, but I don't think it's getting any better, and after all she and my dad have been through, I don't want to see her suffer with this when it seems to me like it could easily be treated..  

I have researched the entire web, and can't believe that there are this many people experiencing the same exact thing, and there is no cure, and doctors haven't a clue of what to do about it..  

Last night I was on the phone with my mom, and I could tell she was really depressed, and it sounds like my dad is tired of hearing it, and just wants her to suck it up, and stop complaining about all the smells that bother her.
Being on the outside looking in, I know my dad has cared for her my whole life, and went through hell, and back waiting for her to recover from this operation, and now this!!  

This is a reality for her every day, and she is suffering.  

Please find a cure for this!!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have the smell of a hound dog and I absolutely hate it. If someone at work had been drinking the night before, I can smell it and tell them if they were drinking beer or liquor. Some perfumes, literally, make me throw up and I have a hard time with smells from food cooked in my kitchen. I also have 2 dogs and sometimes I smell them and I get nauseaus. there has also been many times where I have had to tell my husband to please take a shower because the deodorant, aftershave or cologne he is wearing makes me ill. I work in retail and have had to go in the back because of people smelling so bad, but the bad thing is no one else ever smells it!! I can smell if something is burning way before anyone else and can even smell what people are about to eat for lunch without them opening the bag. I do smoke cigarettes, but only outside because I can't stand to be enclosed with cigarette smoke. I HATE living like this and no doctor can explain it. Some smell make me physically ill. My husband and best friend think its hilarious but I think it is a horrible way to live.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry for your mom.  I, too, am living my life with Hyperosmia and it is ruining my marriage and my children's lives.  I have lost the ability to tolerate any type of laundry detergent smell as well as air freshness and any type of fragrance whatsoever.  It is a living nightmare and the doctors want me to take anti-anxiety medication.  At this point, I will try anything, but I feel like they are just popping a pill into me without realizing that something else is truly wrong.  I am astounded by the number of completely healthy and engaged people who have been removed from a productive life because of this disorder.  I sure hope your Mom heals.  Take good care.
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I can tell you that you are not alone.  I began having these smell issues about 4 years ago after suffering a particularly difficult cold and flu season.  Some doctors do believe that heightened smell and chemical sensitivity are due to a retrovirus that has damaged the central nervous system.  Other doctors don't believe it truly exists.  It is so sad to see so many people affected by this and I hate what my life is becoming.  I hate that it is ruining my husbands life, my children's life, my life.  It is scary the more you read about it.  It seems that it actually gets progressively worse and I am terrified of that.  I was a very enthusiastic, loving, engaged and fun community member/mother/wife/neighbor, etc and now an can't stand to be around anyone unless they follow a very very strict NO FRAGRANCE policy.  
I sure do hope you are able to heal and I wish you the best.
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I am EXACTLY in your situation and losing my quality of life very quickly.  If you are still watching these threads, please reply with how you are doing!  Thanks!
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I can't thank you enough for sharing all of your symptoms and information.  My situation is similar, though also different, and I am getting no help.  I suffered terribly 4 years ago with a cold and flu season that I honestly believe is what started chemical sensitivity for me.  I was a healthy, active, engaged, loving, intelligent member of our community and today I can barely stand to go out of the house because everything smells - everything.  I can't breathe if I get a whiff of perfume, febreeze, laundry detergent, hair spray, hair gel, etc.  any man-made chemical makes me short of breath (I've had asthma for decades) and instantly irritable and disoriented.  My quality of life is plummeting and my husband and kids are suffering greatly.  The only solution any doctor has for me is to take anti-anxiety medication.  I have never had issues with mental illness and I am ready to try anything, but Ai just don't think that's what it is.  I found your information quite useful and will take it to my doctor to see if it is something that might be an option for me.
Thank you and I pray you will heal.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I know your post is very old, but I just wonder how you are doing.  I newly found this board and am so encouraged that I am not alone!  I can't believe how many of us there are and I can't imagine the medical field can keep ignoring this!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a fellow bloodhound in Maryland and I am miserable.  I love that you whined and complained because I feel the same way and no one ever wants to hear it.  My ordeal began roughly 4 years ago after having a very rough cold and flu season.  I started noticing that my asthma, usually brought on by only cigarette smoke, cats and exercise, was worsening with laundry detergent.  Then air freshners.  Then lotion.  Then deodorants.  Then shampoo.  Now, I cannot tolerate any artificial fragrance - none.  If it is a natural smell, I am fine.  I, too, detect every smell in ever open window.  Honest to god I can detect febreeze with the door closed as I approach a home that uses it.  My hyper smell is destroying my ability to work and have any type of normal social life.  The doctors think I am in need of counseling and anti-anxietymedication.  I am at the end of my rope and Wilma to try anything, but I just wish they would realize that I now my own body and this is not what is going on!  I feel for you and am so happy that I am not alone!
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Avatar_m_tn
Unfortunately have exactly the same headaches and had temporary hypersomia due to being exposed to chemical warfare agent multiple times.I won't go into the details of the chemical right now because I'm not 100% sure what it was. Suffice it to say it was pretty nasty.

Hypersomia went away 34 hours later but have pain exactly as you describe.

Pain in nose and septum haven't. Feels a little crawly up through the sinus's is all I can say. Discomfort pain in morning. Exactly same headaches as you described. Started very bad in back of head then radiated forward. Now entirely nose , septum area.

MRI shows polyps through maxillary sinus.
Having nasal septum pain and painful eyes.

If you've had any new info let me now.
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I am so glad I have found this forum, and so many people who seem to be suffering like me (though I wouldn't wish this on anyone). As I type this I am struggling with more cooking smells at home. My husband doesn't understand how truly vile I find these smells-particularly the smell of meat cooking for some reason-I think he thinks I am making it all up. I have suffered with migraines for many years, and wonder if this has permanently affected my sense of smell. At least I know that I am not alone, and not a freak! I also realise that there may well not be anything I can do about this. But thanks everyone, from a fellow sufferer in the UK.
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Avatar_f_tn
I believe this is what I have too, however my situation is a little different. I've always had sinus issues and allergies (environmental). About 5 years ago my husband & I got a Pug Puppy. The second day we had had him, I put him on my chest and it was like something flew up my nose and I've never been the same! I can't sleep, it's like I'm so hypersensitive to his scent that my nose actually feels cleared out! I have not congestion what so ever. I've had allergy testing done and I'm not allergic to dogs. Has anyone experienced this. I don't want to get rid of my dog, I want to find the root cause. I've tried everything and nothing works. I take OTC sleeping pills to get some sleep.
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