Phantom Smells And What Causes Them

by | Apr 14, 2020 | Health | 0 comments

doctor with stethoscope taking notes

What are Phantom smells why they occur?

This peculiarity has affected your nose more than you might think!

Did You Know? The sense of phantom aroma is called Phantosmia.

Have you ever thought that you smell something corrosive and smelly, such as burning gum or sour milk, but then discover that there is no source of odor? If so, you know – it’s not just you. A 2018 study found that about 6% of Americans over the age of 40 felt the mysterious “phantom” aroma.

Evidence that it is possible to smell a non-existent odor has been found in various hospitals in the past, but it was not clear how many this would happen.

To answer the question why phantom smells occur, the researchers turned to the results of the National Health and Eating Habits Survey, a nationwide study of American health. In surveys conducted between 2011 and 2014, there was only one question about smell: “Do you sometimes smell an unpleasant odor or a burning smell when there’s really nothing?”

The results of the survey, obtained from about 7,300 participants over the age of 40, allowed the study authors to conclude that 6.5% of people in this age group experience phantom odors. About two-thirds of them were women.

We can also see it that this is mostly the case for people who describe their general health as “normal” or “poor”, rather than those who consider themselves to be in good health. They also associated factors such as frequent dryness in the mouth or a previous head injury with the aromas of the fanatic.

Scientists have not yet understood the cause of this phenomenon. This could be because of hyperactive olfactory cells in the nasal cavity or perhaps from a disorder in the brain’s part that decodes aromas.

Only 11% of people who have ever smelled a phantom admitted to having mentioned it to a doctor. This means that we rarely consider smell to be important, when in fact it is important. The aroma can have a powerful effect on appetite, taste and the ability to smell danger signals such as smoke, gas leaks and spoiled food.

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