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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Chronic problem with strong and annoying odor

12/01/2009

Question:

have a chronic problem in that I perceive a rather strong and annoying odor when there is no apparent source. Has this effect been studied. Where can I get help? I have seen ENT specialists with no results.

Answer:

You are describing a phantosmia or phantom odor.  This is most often associated with some loss of smell, that can occur for a variety of reasons.  I suggest you consider consultation with an ENT physician affiliated with a taste and smell center.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati