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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
67 Responses
Avatar universal
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!

Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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  
Avatar universal
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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