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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 universal
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 universal
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 universal
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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596605 tn?1369946627
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 universal
Hi raq123,

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

Thank you!
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Avatar universal
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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