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Author Topic: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear  (Read 468 times)

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Offline judi957

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Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« on: June 12, 2014, 05:52:06 PM »
Hi everyone,

I've been doing so well lately with controlling my HA.  But since Monday, I've been dealing with phantom smells.   And from researching in the past about brain tumors (I was good and didn't look it up this time.), I know this is a symptom for a brain tumor.  Well, it is really a symptom of a seizure which can come from a temporal lobe lesion.  I had my eyes checked two months ago--pressure normal and optic nerve normal.  So that kinda gives me some comfort.  But still this symptom bothers me.  I only have it when I sit in a certain spot in my den.  I can't find anything that smells this way when I smell everything near where I sit.   And of course, the more I focus on it, the more I smell it.  It's a vicious, evil circle.   And a part of me can't believe that a seizure would present itself like this.  Random smells every few minutes, then nothing, and then smelling it again. 

My sinuses are also stopped up, so I was wondering if that could contribute to these smells.  And, of course, anxiety doesn't help. 

I had gone to my doctor's on Tuesday because I would get vertigo when I turned over in  bed.  Found out I had water in my right ear.  On prednisone and that has cleared up.  Still a little lightheaded.  I'm supposed to call tomorrow to let the nurse know how I feel.  Should I mention the phantom smells?  Maybe ask if clogged sinuses cause that?  I really don't want to get a CT scan or MRI, part of me is afraid of the results.  Right now, I put baby lotion under my nose so I don't smell anything.  And that works. 

Suggestions?  Any calming or reassuring words for me would be appreciated.

Judi


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Offline bpadilla49

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 06:19:02 PM »
I had phantom smells every now and then starting in the summer of 2011. In January, also fearing a brain tumor, I had a CT scan done. No tumor. Recently Ive been experiencing frequent headaches and deja vu (also a type of seizure) - finally went to a neurologist yesterday, had an MRI with and without contrast done this morning. On the edge of my seat waiting for results. So afraid they're going to call with something bad.

Take heart - I still get phantom smells, but my CT in Jan 2012 was clear - and my doctor at the time knew how much I feared a brain tumor. He called me (almost two weeks later! No idea how I got through THAT wait!). Anxiety and sinus issues CAN cause phantom smells. In the search engine OF THIS WEBSITE - NOT GOOGLE! - type in olfactory hallucinations - I think you'll find a lot of comfort in the responses.
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Offline judi957

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 06:31:06 PM »
Thanks, bp.   I've been following your thread with interest, and hoping your report comes back A-Okay.  :yes:   This has been a fear for years, doesn't even run in the family.  There's a really good thread from 2009 by Shrublet that I read over and over and the actual statistical chance of getting a BT.  Thanks so much, you've helped tremendously.

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Offline judi957

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 06:55:39 AM »
I had myself fairly calm last night, until now.  I woke up at 2:00 a.m. smelling exhaust. I live in the country, so no possible way of street fumes coming through the closed window.  I was able to finally go back to sleep.  But have been smelling it again since I got up and the entire time I was riding my exercise bike.  Really scared now of the brain tumor...

Anyone??
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 07:06:22 AM »
I've had phantom smells off and on for 10 years. I think if it was something serious it would have presented itself by now, that's what I tell myself anyway.  ;*)
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Offline richdelb

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 01:14:37 PM »
OMG !!  This is exactly what started my HA !!

I get VERY bad seasonal allergies in the fall.  Last year where I live the ragweed and mold spores were incredibly high and my allergies were uncontrollable from August on.

Normally, after the first or second hard freeze of the fall the allergies decrease significantly and I start to feel better, however this year just as it started to get cold I got a SEVERE sinus infection.

So in mid November I had to go to the Doctor and get antibiotics.  10 days later I was better (for about 3 days) and then it went down hill again.  Went back to the doctor.  Now I also had thrush from the first antibiotics, so I was put on a second round AND on an anti fungal.  This was the last week of December.  I started to get bad nose bleeds out of my left nostril, and then started to smell cigarette smoke.  The Smoke smell was INTENSE and everywhere I went.  (even outside in the cold air it was like someone was holding a cigarette under my left nostril.  Only thing that made it stop was putting tissue in that nostril to stop the flow of air.

That's when I went to our Lord and Savior, GOOGLE,  and searched "Smelling Cigarette Smells that are not there"  That's when I condemned myself to HA.  I found a LARGE number of posts that talked about bad sinus infections and this symptom, but I found ONE post that said "Brain Tumor" and I FREAKED OUT.

In February, when my sinus infection came back for a 3rd time, I went to the ENT.  He numbed my nose and looked way up there and said that everything was swollen, red and even weeping blood and that is was one of the worst sinus infections he has seen and put me on a 3rd antibiotic, this time for a month.  After the month I was to get a CT scan to see what it looks like.

This gave me a month to get myself so worked up about a brain tumor (which the doctor dismissed off hand saying it was a sinus infection from hell). 

I finally got the CT scan and the day after I took a CD ROM with the images to the ENT.  That day I had such severe pain in the bridge of my nose it was crazy.  I was SURE I needed surgery.  I also start to get a numbness in my face (anxiety caused) that I have never experienced before.

Doctor looked at the CT and said, "Normal Clear Sinuses"  Then numbed my nose again and looked up there.  Slight deviated septum but nothing to worry about.  Otherwise totally clear.

"But why the sinus pain, Doc?" I said to him.  He shrugged and said, "Migraines perhaps.  Stress Perhaps?"

I went back to my regular doctor and it was then that he diagnosed me with a severe anxiety disorder.

Gradually, since being on anti depressants the smoke smell has disappeared.  I do sometimes think I am starting to smell cigarette smoke but it goes away quickly.  The numbness in the face is still there most days, but even that is getting better with time.  (crosses fingers that keeps improving)

My last follow up appointment with the Dr. I asked him (mostly for my own assurances) "So if I had a tumor that was causing symptoms like Phantom Smells, at this point, 6 or 7 months later I should be a very sick man, no?"  He totally agreed and said that I DO NOT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR, I have an Anxiety disorder and as I continue my treatment path, I am going to have bad days when I have physical symptoms, but hopefully if we are on the right path those days will become less and less.

I know this is a bit of a long ramble, but I hope it helps put your mind at ease that sinus infections AND STRESS / ANXIETY can cause these weird smells indeed.









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Offline judi957

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 01:28:35 PM »
Thanks, Richdelb.  That does help.   I just can't turn off the anxiety this time.  I usually can stop the thoughts, but they aren't leaving this time.  got a neuro. appt. for July.  So hopefully will get some answers.  Of course, they will probably be gone by then.   ::)

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Offline richdelb

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Re: Phantom Smells...Another Brain Tumor Fear
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 02:16:47 PM »
Yea, I do understand not being able to turn the anxiety off.  I really do. 

And I think you are right... by July, this will all be past you and the neuro appt won't even be needed.

Take care.
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