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Disturbing Nasal Odor

I am periodically smelling a foul odor that appears to be coming from my nasal passages.  It smells like rotting flesh!  Of course, I am concerned and I hoped that someone could offer some guidance in rectifying this matter. I also would like to add that I have been a frequent user of Afrin nasal spray for many many years.  Any assistance that you may offer would be greatly appreciated.
46 Responses
251132 tn?1198082422
The most common reason for a foul odor coming from the nose is an infection in one or more of the sinus cavities.  I would speak to your physician about this.  A CT of the sinuses will be the most effective way to make this diagnosis.  Unfortunately, a physical examination cannot do this.
Avatar universal
I wouldn't wait for a response here, I would set up a doc. appt right away.  I saw a program on tv that linked years of afrin use with nasal cancer, so it would be better to be safe than sorry.  Who knows if you can believe everything you see on t.v. but I would get it checked out just the same.
Avatar universal
Before you get scared thinking this is cancer, I quote The Women's Network. Tonsilloliths ("tonsil stones") are typically white or whitish-yellow, irregularly shaped, foul-smelling and usually smaller than a pea.  the tissue lining the tonsils is called oral mucosa.  Like your skin, oral mucosa sheds continuously.  The dead cells become incorporated in your saliva and then you swallow them.  The surface of your tonsils is pockmarked with deep pits, appropriately called "crypts" (since dead stuff accumulates in these pits).  Oral mucosa lines the crypts.  As this mucosa sheds, normally the dead cells leave the crypts and are swallowed.  In some unlucky people the dead cells accumulate and glom togeather to form firm little balls.  All of this dead stuff makes great food for bacteria.  This accounts for the smell.
I'm one of the unlucky ones.  The balls fly to the front of my mouth during major cough attacks.  Often they are dispelled while I am still lying in bed in the morning or when I am looking up in the air.  They have a terrible odor.
Hope this helps you out.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem!  Every day, or at least every other day, out of the blue I will have a horrible smell in my nose.  Sometimes it comes on after I sniff or blow my nose, and other times it is out of the blue.  It's so bad that I taste it, and my husband comments on it when we kiss!  It's embarrassing.  Usually I get it in the evenings, and by the time I wake up in the morning, it's gone.  I haven't seen a doctor about it because I don't quite know what to tell him the problem is.  However, on another page of this forum, people have suggested it could be nasal polyps(blocking mucous flow), post nasal drip, atrophic rhinitis(not really sure what it is except that it's rare), or those things that come from your tonsils.  Others posted that they have used several nasal washes and sprays, some had surgery, and nothing seems to help.  All I know is, this smell drives me crazy, and nothing tastes normal when I have it.  Can somebody give me some insight PLEASE!  Thank you.
Avatar universal
Oh yeah, I forgot to describe the odor/taste (which may be important in diagnosis).  The best descriptor is probably a garlic smell, at least that's what my husband thinks.
Avatar universal
I agree with sunshine...I just returned from the ENT specialist this week with the same problem.  DX:  cryptic tonsillitis, which means I have the funky smelling stink balls flying out of my tonsils, too.  Since I have had numerous sinus infections, throat infections, bronchitis, etc., he suggested I have my tonsils removed (March).

Google this: tonsilliths - you will find a LOT of info on it. It's a pretty common problem, which I had not heard of but have suffered with it for over 30 years! I am always concerned about my breath because of it.

Go see a ear, nose & throat specialist!! I wouldn't trust home remedies, digging in your throat or taking herbal medications. I hope this helps.  Good day & good health, fredschic
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