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Worried about nose after cocaine

Hi I've posted here before but I lost my username and password.
Sorry about the long post but will really appreciate any help and advice.
Basically I last took cocaine a month ago and have been worried sick since.
I know that I will never touch it again. I have done well from that point of view this month. I can't even imagine myself ever having it again nor will I have any desire to.
I was not really a user but went through a stupid phase of doing really large amounts of cocaine on the weekends probably about 4 or 5 times. Really really stupid amounts. Grams not lines.

After the last time my sense of smell is really bad. I can still smell a bit up close but it's not much at all. Also I always used to have a naturally runny nose and blocked sinuses and now it just feels scarily clear and there seems to be very little mucous production.
I looked in my nostrils at the beginning of the week and noticed how red and raw the membrane over the septum area is. I rushed to my doctor who sent me to an ent.
The ent says there is no septal perforation and that the membranes look really inflamed. To me they look really raw and worn down but he just seemed to think they were inflamed. He used an endoscope to check my smell receptors and said that the tissue was inflamed too and would be blocking the airflow to the receptors. He said the only thing he could really do was to give me cortisone to bring down the inflammation and then we could see if the smell receptors are damaged and that if they are I may not be able to smell again. I'm really nervous to take cortisone as I keep thinking maybe the inflammation is the body's way of healing and it would be like pulling off a scab. To be honest he didn't really seem helpful or sympathetic at all.

Since then I've been taking lots of antioxidants and putting vitamin e in my nose and using a natural saline spray.
I've noticed that sometimes my sense of smell is a bit better than at others. Sometimes it even seems to come back to the point I can smell a cup of coffee across the room or something like that but then it seems to go back to how it was. The other night I woke up and could smell the ashtray sitting on the table but can no longer. Although it definitely seems to be a bit better than it was at first.
I am so worried to the point I don't sleep at night. Has anyone been through something like this before? Can my nose recover, specifically my sense of smell and the nasal membranes?

Worried sick and keep praying and trying to be strong but so angry for myself at what I did
4 Responses
5783082 tn?1374180761
Hey! I'm no doctor, but from my own experience, for about four years I snorted everything from lortab to morphine(REALLY painful to snort!) and cocaine, doing it multiple times a day in large quantities, and at some point, I could hardly do it anymore, my sinuses were constantly blocked or sore, so I quit snorting. My nose had gotten so raw from it that when I didn't have anything up there, it hurt to even just breath through my nose. It took me almost a year to get back my sense of smell. I would recommend just waiting it out, that stuff takes time to heal. As far as the cortisol goes, steroids are usually given to inhibit inflammation, which can reduce pain or damage cause by the inflammation. Inflammation is a symptom of the body treating the damage. I can't give you any advice on whether to take it or not. Taking vitamins can certainly help your body heal. Praying for you, but I think the fact that you can smell better at some times is a good sign your body is already beginning to recover!
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your reply IminAwe and for the prayers, I'm a big believer in the power of prayer.
I went to another ENT yesterday as the first one wasn't really very helpful or sympathetic towards me.
This one was great and very understanding.
He put a fibre optic endoscope tube up my nose and so he was able to look deep inside and even around corners. He told me that I've obviously had a fractured or broken nose before as my septum is very very crooked and this is part of the problem.

The cocaine has aggravated the tissue and because of the skew septum it's pretty much blocking up the entire side of my nose. I don't know what happened exactly but other doctors have told me about it and it's something I had long before I used any cocaine.

Before he put the scope in my nose he sprayed something inside to loosen it up and for the first time since I last used coke I could taste something running down the back of my throat.
The good news is that he told me that I haven't done any serious damage to my nose and the tissue looks fine and will recover. He seems to doubt I've done any damage to the smell receptors and thinks I'll have my smell back when the air can pass more freely through my nose. He looked for any signs of septal perforation and couldn't find any or anything that looked impending.

So although you're no doctor you're pretty much spot on what he was saying. He also thought it was very encouraging that I was having bouts of being able to smell. As I first sat down in his chair I got a good whiff of coffee brewing on a table in the corner of his office much to my surprise and he said that was a very good sign.

When I got home after my appointment I got home and realized I could already smell much better, I was even able to smell the grass I stepped on when I got out my car. I'm thinking it probably has something to do with my nose opening up more after he sprayed that stuff in it.
Today I'm feeling much better and my nose feels more alive. I wouldn't say my sense of smell is completely back but it's a lot lot better and not that far off what it was.

He also prescribed me saline drops and cortisone and I trust that he knows his stuff so I will take it.
I feel like this was actually a good thing. It gave me a good wake up call before things got too bad.
If not I might have just carried on until I'd done some irrieversible damage.
It's given me a new appreciation for the smaller things in life and has taught me to count my blessings and not take things for granted and also to take better care of my body.
I won't touch cocaine again. This has scared me off for life and I just hope by sharing this someone else gets to read this and it scares them off before they do harm too.
It's such a crappy drug, it can mess you up in so many ways, if not a messed up nose then it's a heart attack or a stroke.
I'm hoping that I can help others and if I ever come across someone doing coke I can put them off by telling them my story.

5783082 tn?1374180761
Awesome! I'm so glad you found a good doctor who could help you! I remember when I could finally smell again and it was awesome to be able to smell that coffee or that grass, so congrats! I'll keep you in my prayers!
Avatar universal
Thanks ImInAwe.
Hoping that you're still around or someone else can help me.
So I've got since then with no cocaine at all.
My smell came back and my nose seemed to be getting better. A good amount of time has passed now only the last 2 weeks my nose has been feeling bad.

It feels very itchy a lot of the time and I think it's quite dry. I haven't had this up til now.
In my one nostril I've had a sensation that it's cracking or pulling. I'm not sure if there's a sore somewhere in my nose but if there is I can't see it.
The itching is driving me insane.
What could be causing this now.
I know it has to do with the cocaine use because I've never had a dry itchy nose before.
When I look in my nose it looks ok, I can't see any perforation in the septum or anything like that but I'm paranoid about a perforated septum.

When I last went to the ENT he told me it was fine though and did not see any signs of a perforated septum.
Would it be possible for this still to occur and for my nose to deteriorate so many months later without any more cocaine use at all? I booked an appointment with the ENT again but he can only see me in 2 weeks.

So worried and stressed about it would appreciate any help
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