I Smell Smoke, What’s Burning? Nothing, It is Parosmia

You smell smoke like a cigarette or paper burning, yet you can’t find a source. What’s going on?

Smelling something burning when there is no source is not that unusual but is cause for health concern. Let’s face it, it is no fun looking for the source of something burning time after time.

Some say it smells like a cigarette, others say paper, still others say rubber. Experiencing phantom smells is called parosmia. It is a symptom. Burning is not the only smell encountered. There are reports of decaying flesh and musty smells, too.

If you are experiencing parosmia after having a sinus infection, chances are the symptom is temporary and will disappear within a month or so. If it persists, see a doctor.

If you have not had a sinus infection, parosmia can be a symptom of a much more serious health problem. It may signal an adverse reaction to a new medication. Most notably, it can be an early warning sign of stroke, epilepsy, a seizure disorder, olfactory nerve problem, or a brain tumor. If this symptom persists or gets worse, see an ears, nose, throat specialist, ENT. An ENT will most likely schedule a CT scan.

Along with the metallic taste in his mouth, my Dave also experienced phantom smoke smells prior to having his stroke. After the fact it is easy to see the list of symptoms. When these symptoms occurred they didn’t raise any flags as they were nothing severe, debilitating, or that frequent.

About Author:

Irene Nevins, irenen1, writes online articles for several venues on a variety of topics including her tips blog, Online Article Writing For Profit.  If you like the information you just read, please share with your Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Facebook friends. Join Triond and earn by writing, too. Triond will allow you to incorporate your Google AdSense account.

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  1. Interesting! Great share.

  2. Now THAT was interesting!

  3. Learned something new today, I heard about this illness but I don’t know the medical term for it.

  4. This is a nice one my friend.

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