Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Phantosmia

This episode of Wednesday Wiki is dedicated to Phantosmia. Find it here.
Phantosmia is a condition where a patient experiences "olfactory hallucinations" where they smell things that are not there. The smells patients experience are typically nasty smells like rotting flesh (creepy much?).
This condition has several reported causes including seizures, Alzheimer's Disease, brain trauma, schizophrenia, and sinus infection. So if you like your sniffer to convey reality instead of zombie flesh, avoid strobe lights, aging, hitting your head, listening to the voices in your head, and nasal congestion. Yikes.
The episodes of Phantosmia start out infrequently, but can evolve into a daily occurrence. Thankfully, they seem to only last for a couple minutes then go away. Unfortunately, the only treatment seems to be surgery called transnasal excision. That sounds almost as bad as smelling zombie rot. Freaky, freaky, freaky!


Booksteve said...

I have often speculated as to just how someone can "remember" smells. I mean it isn't visual or audible. It's...a smell. I seem to be the only one this baffles but since I have a hyper-extended sense of smell anyway--good stuff smells better than it ever will to you but unfortunately bad stuff is more noticeable and smells worse to me than to other people!--I conti ue to attempt to figure it out.

Dee said...

This particular Wiki page slightly freaked me out. I get sinus infections about 3-4 times a year... I don't want to smell zombie rot. Eewwww!