Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
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smelling musty odor-undiagnosed

I have been smelling a "musty" odor for a couple of months. My taste and smell are working fine. (normal) no changes. I have been to an ENT twice.  He checked everything and except for some nasal congestion and post nasal drip he saw nothing unusual.  I had a CT scan of my sinuses to rule out polops or a tumor, and he put me on 50mg zinc for a month. The smell is not constant as it was before but it is still a daily event.  I saw him today and he checked everything again, all is normal he checked my nasal cavity with a scope checked my ears, nose throat again, nothing abnormal. Now he has prescribed prednisone every other day for two weeks when I see him again.  He is "stumped".  Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?  I have no other symptoms except occasional ear pain,a nd ususlly it turns out to be just wax buildup which I clear out with an earwash. The smell however is a sickening smell like mold or something.  The only new thing that I can think of is medicine for an underactive thyroid which I have taken since October.

Thank you.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
i get this to, I had it for a month or so. And it has come back again after dissapearing for about 2 months.
I am trying to work out what might cause it, maybe Gin and Tonic? will cut this out. Or when I do a wash load and air it in the living room, it really affect my smell and I can smell this musty odour really strong.
Although I smell it most places, so can't pin it down!
Avatar universal
I've had this musty odour smell about 4 or 5 times in the last year and a half. It eventually goes away but my Dr. is stumped and I'm waiting to see an ENT. I had a sinus xray and a polyp showed up so it might be the cause. When I wake in the morning it takes about an hour or so before the musty smell starts.
Avatar universal
Unfortunately I have also had this problem since high school. If I deodorize my entire body I'll get in public, sweat and still smell musty but if i deoderize just my underarms I'll sweat and smell like full on body odor. It has been happening for 10 years now and I have tried everything to eliminate the problem. The best I can describe it is it is some sort of anxiety mixed with hyperhydrosis problem that has not been identified yet. I wish you luck in your search for a remedy. I'll keep checking this page if I get any updates.
PS-zinc helps for a few hours but it tend to make me dizzy and sick, also the new clinical deoderants (like secret) are applied at night and it seems to help for a few hours...
Avatar universal
I will also have distinct smells for several months at a time, typically following a severe head cold.  Once it was a sweet, sickly smell.  Other times it reminds me of a metalic odor.  Each time, I will be diagnosed with a sinus infection, placed on anibiotics, and within a week, the smell will subside.  One time last year, I resisted treatment and ended up with a severe infection that included fever, chills, etc., all related to the sinus infection.  When I get this smell, now, it is an indication to me that I need to address the infection or suffer further consequences.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
It wouldn't be a bad idea to get reffered to an endocrinologist. Unusual body odors are usually dealt with by them if it is not sinus related or stomach related.
681148 tn?1437661591
You might want to try nasal washes using the gravity method with a netti-pot.  This uses a gentle saline solution and really helps wash out the sinus cavities.  I used to smell something odd like this, and I have a lot of allergies, too.  The nasal washing really does help.  I did this one time and was able to avoid using antibiotics for a sinus infection.  There was definitely an infection going on, too, in my estimate, because of all the nasty green gunk that came out, which isn't normal.  Getting rid of the green stuff saved the day, and I stopped smelling that awful smell and didn't have to use unnecessary antibiotics.

Sometimes there is a trace of mildew smell left in things like towels, even after they're washed.  Try adding a few drops of tea tree oil in your next load of towels if this is the case.  If you live in an area that has a Trader Joe's, you can buy it there for less money than you can in the natural foods market.

If it's body odor, then, yes, an endocrinologist is definitely in order.  The other issues sound more sinus related to me.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Musty smell; Lump in throat was started.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Do you also smell "salt"? was started.
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