I had foot surgery on 11/26. About 2 weeks afterward I started noticing an odor that smells like someone is smoking in the distance. I was taking OxyContin and Percocet. After I stopped taking the meds the smell seemed to disappear so I thought that what the problem was. In the last 2 weeks it seems to have reappeared sporadically. Anyone know what may be causing this?
Yes, this abnormal sensation of smell is called phantosmia,the perception of smell without an odorant present in the environment. The sensation can be intermittent or continuous It is associated with a variety of neurological disorders including seizures. More commonly, is can arise in response to quite a few medications and, in your case that is probably the cause. The attenuation of an odor, following discontinuation of an unfamiliar med is consistent with this explanation and it will probably resolve spontaneously.
Should it persist, especially after the meds have been discontinued for quite some time, then it would warrant further investigation usually best performed by an ENT specialist with a special interest in this phenomenon. Here is an explanation, specifically for smelling smoke, set forth by Dr. Andrew Weil.
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