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My sense of smell is gone! - Page 2

post #31 of 126
That happened to me last May, after having a "cold" for two weeks. As a pastrychef smelling fruit and milk and cream to test for quality was soooo frutstrating. But with my Executive Chef's help I got thru it. My sense of smell is just now coming back, and I went to the Ear, Nose and Throat doc. he couldn't find anything wrong and said just wait. Some smells are confusing, but mostly everything is almost back to normal. My bigeest fear was gas on in the kitchen or not being able to smell something burning or the fragrance of  a flavor in a dish. Hang in there it does seem to get better.

It was kinda nice not smelling the wet dog though! 
post #32 of 126

Hi French Fries, at the moment you (and only a couple of others who have lost their sense of smell AND HAD IT RETURN) are keeping me SANE!!!!   I am pretty much a description of you in your first post (9/10/08) .... I have lost my sense of smell after a viral infection 3-4 weeks ago.... And if anyone.... you understand it's really getting me down.


If I may , can I ask you a few questions?


1) Have you continued to improve? (what percentage would you give yourself now?)


2) How did you stay positive during this year of not smelling?


3) Did you end up seeing an ENT specialist  and /or  had a CT Scan of the sinus'?


4) Did you experience any unusual phantam or distorted smells during this time of not smelling? (ie) Phantam, meaning experiencing a smells when there was nothing there to give it off (like Cigarette Smoke) . Distorted, meaning the smell of something so familiar is not quite right at present (just like the smell of my coffee at the moment).


French Fries, everything you had said in your posts, I can relate to and I thank you for continuing to keep your story updated for people like me who are sharing this grief you once had.



Be a mate....Please respond


Thank you in Advance



post #33 of 126

Glad to hear that you've recovered enough to feel recovered, French Fries.


Nicko, acupuncture has done well by me, albeit I've not used it for the sense of smell.

post #34 of 126


Originally Posted by Pete View Post

I'd hate to go through the rest of my life that way, but considering the alternatives, I might not have any choice.



I'm debating whether a similar surgery or just letting the problem take me out would be worse.  I go back and forth between the cure being worse than the condition and the other way around.  I wish you luck with the rest of your recovery and even more with the right ear surgery.  Those facial nerves are so important in ways we would never think about.  Best of luck.

post #35 of 126
Thread Starter 

Hi C2sbi,


First, 3-4 weeks after the viral infection is gone doesn't sound too long. I understand that you'd worry though!


1) Yes, I have continued to improve and I do all I can to smell as many things as possible, flowers, oils, vinegars, etc etc... to "train" myself. It's hard to tell what %age I'm at. Sometimes I almost feel like it's 100% back, some days I feel like it isn't. But definitely somewhere between 60 to 100%.


2) I was bummed. But I kept telling myself "out of all the senses, maybe it's best that the smell goes first" - I mean I couldn't imagine being blind or deaf. There's always worse. I honestly wasn't too confident it was going to come back. I was also really annoyed to have never smelled my newborn. All those people talking about his "baby smell", and I couldn't even tell when his diapers were full.


3) No.


4) No phantam, but distorted smells definitely. When it first came back, some things didn't smell like they used to. And many, many things all smelled the same. It was as if I had ONE "good" smell. At first all I could tell was "Hmm, smells good" but I couldn't tell whether it was onions or oranges or chocolate.


Hope that helps you! But honestly, 3-4 weeks, I wouldn't worry too much. If you can, avoid taking any medication, it seems like many do more damage than help, so at least give it a chance to come back naturally.


One thing I did was go to a doctor to have my smell tested, and since I could smell ethanol or something placed right under my nose (but not ground coffee for example), he was able to tell me the problem was in my nose, not in my brain (which would be much more severe and most probably irremediable).


Hope that helps.

post #36 of 126

Hi French Fries,


Thank you for responding to my questions. I know that 3-4 weeks doesn't seem a long time but its more the fact I know that its not 'congestion' contributing to my misery. I just know something is not right here. 


Like you, my wife is expecting (early August) and I so want to experience the smell associated with a newborn (diapers inc). Are you able to smell your sons diapers, and clean shampooed hair now???  



Thanks for your time and support





P.S.  Any info you think might help, will be appreciated. 




post #37 of 126
Thread Starter 

You're welcome Steve. And yes, I can definitely smell diapers and freshly shampooed hair now. My wife and I joke that maybe there was a purpose to my temporary loss of smell (sure made it easy to change diapers).


Congrats on your future child, this is a very special moment, full of incredible joy and sleep deprivation. But some of the strongest feelings I've had in a while. You'll love it.


Best of luck to you!

post #38 of 126

Thanks ... I am looking forward to it, very much so!

I just hope that this"smell" thing I'm going through, isn't going to "DULL"  things !


I'm very happy for you and your recovery...


I just have to be patient.... 


All the best




post #39 of 126

I usually don't look down here but noticed this thread.  I'm glad your smell is coming back FF, though it must have been pretty scary. 


I know someone who permanently damaged her sense of smell with ammonia.  She had a tiny kitchen with no window and it was so greasy she poured straight ammonia on the floor to wash it, and then she lost her smell.  It never came back.  Horrible.


Anyway, if you like to eat, don't use ammonia!!!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
post #40 of 126
Thread Starter 

Wow thanks for the tip siduri. Sometimes we don't realize how easy it can be to lose something as useful as one of our senses! Thanks for the support, I appreciate it - and yes, it was definitely scary.


When trying to judge whether cream, eggs etc.. are still good or too old, I still ask my wife - but now that's for a confirmation of my own judgment, which is always right. I guess I lost my confidence, and that's my next step, gain back confidence in my own sense of smell. Takes time.

post #41 of 126

French Fries (and to those following the thread),


Like you, it has taken me around a year to feel  like  things are going to be alright again in the SMELL department!!!  I am so rapped that the smell distortion is finally disipating and I am once again capable of smelling the fragances of more delicate aromas. (However, sometimes I ask myself whether I smelt something 100%  correctly like I had once before the virus) .


As I said in my last posts, I was really concerned that my sense of smell  would never come back. I was so knocked around by this condition that I believe I suffered a bout of depression!!!


That said, I felt it my duty to update the thread (as you did)  and to give hope to those people experiencing "the bad trip"  that we had  endevoured!


Thanks for the support...



post #42 of 126

Hi there,



Last week I had this severe cold and I also lost my sense of smell.I called my doctor to enquire abt it, he said it will take 3-6 weeks to get it back.It sounded very depressing to me.Bec I have had cold even before so many times, I had never lost my sense of smell.Then why this time?


Oh Gosh, can you please suggest me what did you use to get your sense of smell back.I am feeling very uneasy and scared.




post #43 of 126

My sense of smell goes every year when the allergies kick in.  I take allergy meds for it but some years are worse than others.  When I'm having a bad smell day I will ask others around me to smell things for me and I trust in what they say.  I had a terrible cold one time when I was at the breakfast place and it left me without a sense of taste for a few weeks and I had to ask the KM or the KS to taste my soup for me and tell me what it neeed... not fun as I cook by taste!

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #44 of 126

Hi there, didn't back read so I hope I'm not redundant.


My mom lost her sense of smell (not her taste) from stress.  Another friend hit her head and lost her sense of smell AND taste.  From my witnessed experience, losing your sense of smell is also neurological.  Can you think of anything that has stressed you out or have you had any life changes?


Good luck to you.  


post #45 of 126

Stress? My olfactory sensitivity increases with stress. How's that's for odd?

post #46 of 126
I know this is an old topic.. But knowing what people are going through and the help
They need made me join just to post my story.

On Feb 14th of 2011 I got a cold, just like any other cold I ever had.. Two days later I still had
It but my wife wanted to take me out for my birthday dinner. I took some dayquil and went out with the wife for sushi.
It was at the restaurant I noticed I had ZERO smell and taste.. Other then textyre, I couldn't tell
The difference between soy sause and water.. I thought it was funny at the time..

Several days later the cold was gone.. smell wasn't back. I could taste salty,bitter,sweet, and sour but
It was less then normal. BTW, my smell before was ridiculously strong.. I could smell anything, even a smoker
In the car infringed of me on the highway... So I got scared and went online..

After reading a lot of articles I decided to see an ENT. I got a CT scan and x ray.. No problems.. so I was put
On oral steroids with no change.. I took a scratch and sniff test and out of 40 I got 1 right.. banana. But the next
Day I couldn't smell that. I freaked.. I tried netti pots.. netti pots with tea tree oil... Gurgling with tea
Tree oils.. Vitamins (B,ZINC,MAGNESIUM,FLAX SEED OIL,A,ETC) ... After 3 months I started getting
Smell distortion and some occasional phantom smells.. The few things I could smell something from
All smelled like an odd chemically mix of ammonia,charcoal,chlorine,and wet moldly clothes.

In June I started with acupunture.. 6 treatments over 2 1/2 weeks.. no help on smell.. but my sleep improved.

Starting end of August I juiced one lemon and 2 limes twice a day mixed with some random storebought
Organic juices.. all while still taking vitamins..

That brings us to today... Last week of SEPT 2011. Over these past few months the smell distortions have
Morphed a few times to random chemically odors.. In July I could smell oregano.. At one point I could
Smell black pepper but that's gone again.. There is a candle in my kitchen that isn't distorted.. But all and all
I think I have 0-5% smell ( without distortion) 25-35% with distortion.

I have had the danger moments of burning things without knowing... I miss my wife's smell.. the house, my dogs,
I bought 2 new cars and didn't get that new car smell. I loved to cook.. Andrew zimmern and Anthony Bourdain
Were my heros.. I loved cologne.. I loved to smell candles when is shop.. and used to personally keep
Fabreeze airfreshners in business.. I couldn't taste my wedding cake.. Lots of foods make me sick to eat because
There odor is chemically wrong.. I rely on textures and temps... And mostly have to force myself to eat.

This isn't for pity, this is to share.. because I know the need to hear even the bad, because I feel alone..
People just don't understand the torture.. I still have hope.. I haven't given up. There is only so many things
I can try because my job forbids almost any drug or you are medically out for x number of days/weeks.
( I'm an air traffic controller ) But in the end.. even with the sadness of missing out on so many things
That even before I can say I NEVER took for granted.. This is the sense I am most glad I lost compared to the others..

Sorry for grammar and type-o's I typed this on my phone.. it needed to be said. I hope this helps someone..
post #47 of 126

Hi I am new to this forum and really concerned about my loss of smell and taste hoping for some advise...I have a viral cold 3 weeks ago I lost my smell and tatse 2 weeks ago and am now taking penicillon as have a bad chest but my nose isnt blocked and I cannot smell or tatse a thing and I love food and getting really down and upset. Hope to hear from someone :O)

post #48 of 126

Several years ago I read that traditional Chinese medicine can cure some cases of loss of smell.


PS.  I don't get colds or flu anymore but I certainly can recall that sometimes, even after I felt relatively well, I had no smell or taste, either.  It may improve on its own. 

Edited by Wyandotte - 11/23/11 at 12:38pm
post #49 of 126

I can relate to everyone here I had to take medication for an enlarged  prostate, and the way this medication works is that it somehow increases the size of your capilaries,but not only the in the ones you would like to be increased but everywhere, for me it increased the capilaries in my nose. I could not breath right because of this and the only thing that would help me breath is that over the counter nose spray. I was using a bottle a week and still couldn't really breath. Niether one of the medications working, I stopped taking both and it seamed to affect my sense of smell. Now I can breath but I cant smell anything anymore. It's absolutely driving me crazy.

post #50 of 126
Wow!!!! I am scared!!! I have a bad sinus infection and I lost my sense of smell and I can't taste .
The only think that I can taste is salt and sugar, but not to well. The positive think about is that I am loosing weight , but I wonder how long I will get my sense of smell and taste back. Any tips!!
Good luck to you all
post #51 of 126
I have developed this problem of loss of smell and taste after a cold about six weeks ago and I am currently treating it by inhaling steam twice a day. at night I put two or three drops of eucalyptus oil in the hot water and inhale that. Then I irrigate using my Neti Pot and this has brought down some pale yellow coloured mucus every time - I don't know from where because I am not congested, but maybe it's somewhere from my sinuses. My sense of smell if somewhat improved after four days of this steam treatment, but my taste still has a long way to go. I am going to continue with this steam treatment for about ten days and see if there's any improvement.
post #52 of 126
Thank for your advise!! I am going to try!! Like you said you aren't congest anymore , me too, I wonder how long it takes to get better. But I to say that I like to loose weight like I am now.
Good luck to you and thanks for your advice and let me know if you got better
post #53 of 126
First step you need to see an ENT as soon as possible... you can screw things up worse with home remidies.. if you wait to long and medical treatment was needed you can lose it for good.
post #54 of 126

I did 2 days of misery before I felt well enough to begin planning my funeral ... and search symptoms: viral meningitis matched every symptom to a T ... promised at least 10 days and fulfilled the promise. I am lucky: alone and retired, I could concentrate on being ill with few distractions. Sharing each new development with friends and family, expounding upon the old allowed me even more time to ruminate. I can smell pretty good: when the hamburger pattie is charcoal but only on the part touching the skillet ... That's okay, food has become tasteless fuel.

     Then, last night, I lay down in my bed and -- PawEeU! My smeller came back to life. I can't believe I've been sleeping on that yucky! Changed the whole bed but finally had to discard the pillow. This morning I smelled the bacon cooking!

The point is, research viral meningitis, the wobblies, the tinitis ... you might be over the 'dying' but not the entire disease ...  

post #55 of 126

wow. thats not a good vibe to put out there to people who are really scared about having no sence of smell. good job for helping others. not...... get off this sit if you dont have good advice or nothing informative to add.

post #56 of 126
Originally Posted by scared View Post

wow. thats not a good vibe to put out there to people who are really scared about having no sence of smell. good job for helping others. not...... get off this sit if you dont have good advice or nothing informative to add.


Hmm, what do you mean and to what are you referring?

post #57 of 126

Since I wrote that, meningitis has made the news: several deaths even. I'm sorry if I offended you/yours ... truly I am. Still and all, people should know that loss of smell is a symptom and should get to the doctor ... If you ever contract the disease, you will understand my concern, I hope you never reach that knowledge

post #58 of 126

I am freaking out over here. I have had a virus of some sort for the last month. I can't smell ANYTHING now.  I started with a stomach virus or possible food born illness, started 11/1, this lasted for about 6 days.  I thin got a tickle in my chest, a dry insatiable cough, then it turned into a productive cough, after 2 weeks I went to the doc.  He said its bronchitis.  He prescribed a steroid inhaler Dulera 2x/day.  Levaquin antibiotic.  I chose not to take the levaquin as I have heard some bad things about it.  The cough persisted, so I called doc back, he called me in a Zpack.  I know many people who have taken it no problem.  My upper resp infection turned into a severe head cold, and sinus symptoms, so I broke down and took the zpack.  3 days later....NO SMELL!  I am freaking out over here.  Will it ever come back is there anything I can do.  Oh BTW I am still sick, it is 12/4.  34 days and counting.

post #59 of 126

I am so scared this is happening to me, did your smell ever come back?

post #60 of 126

Been browsing the internet for a solution and I landed on this thread. I know its been a while but reading this comment, I can totally relate. No one understands what its like not even my mother:(

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