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.
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.
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
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.
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 ,)
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 ?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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?
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.
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
I have found a clinic in lacrosse wisconsin that can help anyone who is suffering with hyperosmia
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.
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?