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I SMELL NAIL POLISH REMOVER AND THERE IS NONE AROUND.. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??

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It could mean nothing, it could mean something serious. 

It absolutely needs to be evaluated. It could be a tumor – that’s on the top of your list of things to rule out – but it could also be a cyst or some infectious agent housed in the area of the brain where the smell is processed. 

Brief episodes of phantom smells or phantosmia – smelling something that’s not there – can be triggered by temporal lobe seizures, epilepsy, or head trauma. Phantosmia is also associated with Alzheimer’s and occasionally with the onset of a migraine. 

But it’s not typically something sweet that’s conjured up by the brain. It’s usually more unpleasant stuff or odors that are hard to describe. People will say it’s chemical-like or talk about a burning smell. 

Medical tests such as MRIs, CT scans and EEGs can find common physiological triggers such as tumor, sinus infection and epilepsy. While pinpointing the cause of phantosmia can sometimes be difficult, treatment is available, including nasal saline drops, anti-depressants, sedatives and anti-epileptic drugs. 

Most patients respond to medication, however, a surgical procedure involving the olfactory bulb has also been shown to provide relief. Although normal aging brings a gradual loss of smell, phantosmia sometimes occurs with a reduced ability to smell real scents, another matter that can have serious ramifications.

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