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Avatar universal

Weird Smell in my Nasal passage will not go away.

I have had nasal problems for years, nasal polyps, sinus surgery sinus infections etc. For many years I have experien ced smells that reside in my nasal passages. I recently had nasal polyps removed for a second time and am on an aggressive treatment of antibiotic, antihistamine, and allergy medications.
Since I have had this smell for many years when people ask me to identify it, I can't because I have only this smell to reference so I can not compare it to anything else.
What I have noticed, and what I have yet to read in my research is that WHEN ANY OTHER SMELL IS PRESENT, I CAN SMELL MY WEIRD SMELL IN PLACE OF IT. So, if a strong smell is present, I smell my smell stronger. It appears the smell comes and goes, but it actually gets triggered by other smells. I have spoken to my ENT and she hasn't got a clue. I wonder if there is some kind of study being done on this phenomenon? I have cleaned out my Sinuses with alkalol(not misspelled) and a baking soda and salt water solution on a regular basis, but it does nothing to reduce the smell. I can even put vicks vaporub under my nose to try to overpower the smell but nothing helps.
Are there any real Doctors out there that can come up with a solution? I'm totally at a loss...
113 Responses
Avatar universal
Everybody thinks I'm mad.... i have the SAME problem now for 2 weeks.  Its TERRIBLE... help please
Avatar universal
i got this same prob ..i think its our sputum smell...its kinda weird smell...but if u eat honey and take steam, it will go away..tht works for me everytime...
Maybe you have  tonsil stones that have traveled in words , or you just keep getting , would you describe the smell as gross smelling?
Avatar universal
Same problem here. Started 2 weeks ago. The odor that I am smelling is that of fumes. Feels like I am sitting in a closed in garage with a car running. Help!
Avatar universal
same here for months now started with flu like them to lungs, thought I was better after 12 weeks of flu, then the smells in my nose, sinus, lungs?..HORRID and some are very distinct and also some are multiple, some are triggered by certain smells, sometime I smell smoke, exhaust, rancid, just hard to explain, it drives me crazy!
]And my nose will burn also my lips. nothing really smells like it should and most things smell horrible, taste too....
Avatar universal
This is going to sound real strange but I get a really weird smell in my nose from time to time.  I noticed that if I don't wear deoderant the smell goes away.  I have switched deoderants 3 times in the last 6 months and I'm still looking for one that doesn't cause this odor in my nose.  Sounds weird I know, but try it, it may be that, it's worth it if it goes away.
Avatar universal
I have this weird smell, sort of burning, amonia, sensation.  I also have a post nasal drip which requires mucinix to get it out of my throat.  The doctor put me on Omnaris and I am taking penecillin tablets.   I have had this problem for about eight weeks.  Sometimes are worse than others.  I have never had a problem like this  before ever.  I had a serious cold at the beginning of the summer which lasted a long time. I hope it goes away.  any suggestions?
681148 tn?1437661591
I've had this weird smell before.  Everyone else thought I was nuts, too.  Don't listen to them.  I have allergies and I've had sinus infections.  Netti pots are a great solution.  I've even gotten rid of sinus infections with this nasal wash without the use of antibiotics.  I don't smell that awful smell so often any more.  This really helps a lot.
Avatar universal
I had something similar to that except it only seemed to be noticeable when I put saline spray in my nose. The smell was kind of like moldy socks.

I've been through a lot of trouble with my sinuses too. Surgery and such, treatment for allergies, but didn't get much improvement until I treated myself for a fungal infection.
1117742 tn?1259000225
I have fungal sinusitis, which is chronic.  Most doctors will not recognize this as a condition because they assume that yeast infections are controlled by our immune system, unless you have HIV or another auto immue disease.  

The Mayo Clinic has done much research on this. It appears by their data, and other labs have verified it, that everyone who has chronic allergies and sinus infections has fugal sinusitis. The fungus grows, the esinophiles in your immune system attack it and kill it, but in the process the proteins released by the esinophiles tear tissue in the sinuses and opens them for bacterial infection.

When you think you are having allergies, it is the yeast being attacked by the esinophiles, not histamines.  So allergy meds often don't work well.  Then after your so called allergies stop, you are left with a sinus infection.

The use of antibiotics and steriods will make this condition worse.  The antibiotics change the body chemistry to the extent that the yeast can grow and the immune system cannot fight it off.  Steroids kill the immune system, so the yeast gets worse and often can go into the lungs and cause asthma.  The Mayo Clinic has also found fungal residue in all asthma patients.  They have shown that using anti fungals orally will greatly help asthma patients. It helps them so much, they don't even need their inhalers.

I use a nasal irrigation system at least three times a day. I also get nasal irrigation medications from Sinucare.  I use an antifungal wash and an antibiotic wash.  Both are used topically in the sinuses.  Unless you are dying and have no choice, do not use antibiotics orally and never intraveinous.  

  I have been off antibiotics and doing this irrigation routine for 2 1/2 years, and I am normal most of the time.  This condition is chronic and will never go away.  So I'm always fighting the yeast, then bacteria. The immune system gets tired and it always comes back, especially if you get stressed.

When I have fungal balls in my nose I can smell ammonia, garbage, or this weird hard to explain smell. Its like a waxy perfumey smell. But, they wash out and after a day, it goes away for a while.  

Also, probiotics, which antibiotics kill, are important to take on a regular basis.

Do some fungal sinusitis research on the web, and good luck finding a doctor to listen to you. You can go to Sinucare (www.sinuspray.com) and they may be able to help you find a doctor in your area who understands. You need a prescription to get the sinus washes.  

I went to a doctor and took all my research data, papers, ect. and I gave her a presentation of the Mayo Clinic research.  So now she gives me prescriptions for the washes.  But she had never heard of the Mayo data until I told her.
Avatar universal
I believe I have suffered with this condition for most of my 47 years. Two weeks ago, in the middle of fighting another sinus attack, I spent the days searching the internet, when  I hit upon the information you have described, Cassianna.  I dropped of the info to my doctor, told him to call me if this was hooey, started self treatment, and am doing splendid without his help.  I can't remember if I have ever felt this good in my life.
1117742 tn?1259000225
That is wonderful! What are you using? I have a Sinupulse machine that is made to flush out the sinuses. It is fabulous. I'll use that with a salt water solution and then use a syringe to irrigate with 16 mls of antifungal/antibiotic wash in each side.  

I was at a point where I could not taste or smell anything, 2 years ago.  Now I can almost smell everything. Plus, it used to make me so fatigued, now I'm almost full energy again.  It is considered to be an autoimmune disease because it taxes your immune so much to be constantly battling yeast.  

Even after all this time, I still have bad days.  Today was one. I had that ammonia smell this morning, and I felt like crap. Now its gone and I'm feeling like eating. The longer you do this, the better you get. You can irrigate out polyps and fungal balls.  I've seen fungal balls come out of mine, a year ago. I didn't know what they were, then I found a paper on Aspergillus and fungal balls in the sinuses, and they described exactly what I had. It comes from over use of antibiotics, plus I'm sensitive to fungal spores in the environment. I'm sure I have Candidas too. I get it on my skin when it gets real bad.
If I take anitbiotics, I get athletes foot on my whole body. I have to take oral antifungals.

Here is a link to a summery of the Mayo study. They did this in 1999!

Avatar universal
I am using just a plain old "douche" bottle that comes with the sinus rinse kit. I started using it couple years ago on the advice of the ENT, with an "inhaler". Actually, I had been prescribed the "inhaler" stuff god knows how long ago, even though I kept telling them they didn't work, and they would tell me that this was the latest and greatest, and  to try it. I guess you and I know what that does- thank god I didn't use it much,  usually it was just when I was stuffed up, so it didn't really get a chance to screw me up too bad.

The one real bad thing I did, I think, was that I used water off my tap for the rinse, and I am on a well. (You see this coming, don't you?) I think our well water has a fair amount of bacteria in it. Anyway, I got myself a bacterial infection a couple of times, wasn't until this last episode that the light came on in my head. I was told that this was a deep well, and I thought it was safe, but got to thinking about it, and stopped using tap water, and got purified water to use, and that helped. Anyway, got that part figured out, what a relief to at least give my system some kind of a chance.

Other than the rinse, I am taking GSE, about 10 drops to a glass, about 4 times a day, and also I am taking enzyme supplement, and a "broad" probiotic, which I hope I can reduce to acidophilus in a few weeks, will see.

Not sure if I will require the oral antifugal drug or not, still improving every day, going to stay the course and see. After all the miserable times of failed doctoring, still expect things to back slide one day, but have had about 2 weeks of steady improvement, so every day is great for me.

About a year ago, I expected I would be dead today, I felt so bad. I was dizzy, tired, blurry vision, spots in my vision, a dry cough when laying down, hurt everywhere, notwithstanding that I had not been able to breathe through my nose for months. Just getting up to walk across the room, my heart rate would zoom up. I still managed to get out and walk and lift weights, but just through force of will. I was ready to just throw in the towel, go get a bunch of life insurance, and wait for the end. I had so much pain in my joints and muscles, I had to grit my teeth and just walk or whatever. I was seriously just tired of fighting.

Today, I had the best day of feeling good.

Well, hope to fill you in on my experience more someday, should go do something else for awhile before bed.

Avatar universal
I wanted to comment to perhaps clarify to confused onlookers to those last postings- (And I want to disclaim myself, and say I am not an expert per se, just someone who suffered for years, and thinks he found the answer)

I think there are at least two adverse situations with regard to fungus, One being allergic, which is what the Mayo article posted by Cassianna describes. The second situation is what is called infection, or "overgrowth". (From what I've learned, at lot of times, overgrowth can occur when one has been on "Broad Spectrum" antibiotics, especially for an extended period of time-)  Let's even go so far to speculate that maybe a person could have both?

Anyway, I think it is important for me to share my experience, but I don't want to screw someone else up by giving advice that doesn't apply to them, but I think this problem I have is more widespread than I would ever have guessed. Hope I helped at least one person out there figure out their problem.

Avatar universal
My 14 year old son has the worst nose odor every few weeks or so.  I describe the oror as "moth balls mixed with fecal matter".  It is pungent and it is hard to stay in the same room with him.  At first I thought it was coming from his mouth but realized it was his nose.  I took him to an ENT, he has surgery to remove his tonsils, adnoid tissue and a turbine reduction (last month).  The odor has come back twice.  It is back now.  We did the neti pot and all he gets out is clear mucus, the odor does go away after the neti pot but returns in a couple of weeks.  I asked his ENT to do a scan but he said, "no it is just his sinus, crust, it will go away."  This really concerns me because I am afraid there is something more going on with this.  This just started November 2009 and this is the third time the odor has come back.  Can anyone help or have any suggestions?
Avatar universal
i thought i was the only one until after 2wks of searching i fount this site.tnk GOD!!! at first a year ago it was a metallic taste and smell then right after i got sick  for a week but the smell lasted alot longer.it came back 6months later and now it start again.i had it for 2months now but i dont taste anything just smell something like theres a die rat in my attic but im the only one that smells it. it annoying and giving me a headache.i think it has something to do wit my teeth or sinus infection one way or the other my azz will find a solution GOD bless u all
Avatar universal
i thought i was the only one until after 2wks of searching i fount this site.tnk GOD!!! at first a year ago it was a metallic taste and smell then right after i got sick  for a week but the smell lasted alot longer.it came back 6months later and now it start again.i had it for 2months now but i dont taste anything just smell something like theres a die rat in my attic but im the only one that smells it. it annoying and giving me a headache.i think it has something to do wit my teeth or sinus infection one way or the other my azz will find a solution GOD bless u all
Avatar universal
I have not read all of the posts; however will add my comments. I have had the same bad smell for months. Never to my memory have i had sinus  problems, astma or anything  most recently, I know I have cronic sinitius as a result of a PET scan. i have only had this smell for months versus years as many have stated. At first i thought the smell was a result of  always using the oil reeds in my small condo. the odor seemed to start when i changed to a "go green" brand  purchased on sale at target and now discontined. i will return to this post after consulting with ENT next week. I have all my films that show the cronis sinititus.
Avatar universal
I HAVE FOUND THE SIMPLE SOLUTION. For the last year I have had every bad smell there is. Poop, Bleach and any bad smell I come into. I have tried everything you have done and I had my mucus tested. I had ecoli and streph in my nasal cavity. How does that get there. I have tried antibiotics and I do rinse my nose out twice a day and have been doing that for at least six years. But I still had the smell.  Then about three week ago I saw on the Today Show the segment on bath toys.  How they had ecoli and streph on them. I began to think that my syringe might have that on it. I began rinsing and taking my syringe apart every time I use it. I clean it once a day with alcohol and let it air dry. Would you know that I do not smell any of that any more. Could it be that simple.
Avatar universal

I started having this horrible smell about two days ago. It was the beginning of Spring and my allergies started acting up. Not too unusual for me, considering I've had bad Sinus/Respiratory problems most of my life. I get Ear/Sinus infections ALL THE TIME. I'm not over exaggerating. I get one every two or three months. Needless to say, I've been taking antibiotics to treat these constant infections for a long time.

Unfortunately, no one believes me. I guess because they can't smell this horrendous odor.Everything I eat TASTES like the smell, too. And I don't smell ANYTHING but the smell. My favorite perfume now smells like vomit. The smell was so revolting I threw up. All foods now taste like vomit. I can't eat anything! Which is very bad for me because my weight fluctuates, I lose weight too easily. I can't go without food for very long at all. But I can't eat anything. I just want this go away.

Please tell me of some natural treatments that can help me. I don't want to take anymore antibiotics, because I feel they may have had a helping hand in causing this awful smell/taste.

If someone could please tell me what helps with this problem, I'd be very appreciative.
Avatar universal
Just wondering what previous conditions you used and stored that syringe under and what you used it with, plain water?

I leave mine standing in leftover saline solution, so I'm wondering if I am at the same risk there or not, or whether you were just using plain water and leaving the syringe wet or something.
Avatar universal
I used to rinse my syringe out with water but never take it apart to dry. I would stick it down under the sink in a closed cabinet. It was not dirty but I just laid it in the cabinet. After I saw that show on tub toys, I took it apart, rinsed it with hot water and then I would pour a small amount of alcohol in it and rinse off the middle part. I would again lay it in the cabinet, but now I lay it on a clean dry washcloth. I would let it air dry. I have not had the bad smells since I have been doing this. I do think that there has been some damage done to my smeller because I still don't smell like I used to, but not the bad smells. I hope it helps you. It has been a year this month that it all started. I took antibiotics for six months straight, plus a flush that my specialist had a pharmacy make. After all of that I think the infection went away, but I still had the smells. Now they are gone and it is nice not to smell poop all the time.
Avatar universal
Just to share other opinions.. I'm 19 y o and South Korean. There's LOTS of questioning going on online community here and I found something interesting that this smell is air surrounding us tends to be stagnant? and permeated on us. that's why our family doesn't notice it because at home our nose is adobted well. and he said(this is not my opinion) reason could be our nose membranes not functioning well enough to pass smell molecules out of us(I hope you guys understand what I mean through my broken English. :) ) And(quote) There's two lines left and right tightening up our body which normal people they are connected vertically and solidly. If one of them is broken that can be recovered by other but ours is both broken so air inside us goes out without any feelings and smell outside coming in without control. I'm not 100% sure and when I went to a chiropracter with my mom he didn't believe me and sent me to a psychiatrist. and medication didn't help at all to me. I'm not going to school and I just want to have a normal life like just taking my dog out once a day(I can't because people reacts sooo bad). I'm trying to not get stressed because that makes it worse. Can anyone help with this?
Avatar universal
I was so glad when I found you all suffering with the same thing I have.  I thought I was going mad!  I have had a gassy/bloody smell in my nose for sooooo long now, maybe seven years.  It has been getting progressively worse until my partner started commenting on it and I felt self conscious.  That is when I did some research and found everyone on here.  My 'smelly nose' (as I call it) is worse when I am stressed, when I bend down, lie down, do exercise etc.  Also I can hear clicking in my sinus when I lie down in bed.  After the 'click' I can immediately smell the smell for about 2-3 minutes.

Anyway, I live in England and went to my GP who referred me to my local ENT department at the hospital.

I had a CT scan and they found I have chronic sinusitis in my right maxillary sinus.  It is completely blocked with and bony cyst inside.  I have been prescribed Nasonex steroid spray which is to keep the whole area calm.  On June 14th 2010 I will be having functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) and also sinuplasty to correct the bend in the cartilage inside my nose.  Apparently the bent cartilage is restricting the air flow to the bad side of my nose compounding the problem.

I urge people to go to their Drs rather than putting up with it.  I'll keep you all posted with how I get on.
Avatar universal
Another possibility besides the fungal infection...

Parosmia and/or Phantosmia.

Parosmia is a distortion of smells.  Phantosmia is smelling something when there is no odor present.  Both are thought to be caused by damage to the olefactory nerve.  This damage can be healed over time though in most cases.

I will come back later to post some links.  There are several dr around that US that research and treat these conditions.

You are not alone.  There are many people with various forms of dysosmia (smell disorders) out there.
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