What causes a person to have a false sense of smelling smoke?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ricemarine, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Ricemarine

    Ricemarine Lifer

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    For a year or two, my father has been sniffing smoke around my house 24/7 (non-smoking household). Initially, we thought it was our neighbor who was burning wood w/ a fireplace that was creating a strong smell. That was taken care of, as we asked the neighbor to stop burning wood since it blew towards our house.

    Well, my father had decided to take it to a whole new level. He's added CO meters, called people out to "fix" our AC/heater system (used up most of his sick days too, also buys new filters every month for the heater), opens windows now because he doesn't want to smell food when he's napping (apparently popcorn "smoke" creates too much for him), buys room air filters and ionizers to try and "solve" the problem.

    The problem is, no one else smells the "smoke" he does that he still smells. Thus, he always tries to open windows and blames the family for our ignorance of not being able to smell the smoke he does.

    The only possible thing I recall that could've been toxic is the sealant we used to seal our concrete. Apparently it was toxic, and we didn't use gas masks for them. He reapplied it several times. (I rather not have this as the primary reason unless there is enough evidence to support this claim). We had gotten concrete installed ~2 years ago.

    I did some googling, and it said a possible cause could be allergies... Possible?...


    Thanks. (Yes, I like to ask questions. It's always nice to get opinions).

    Cliffs:
    Father smells smoke everyday for the past year or so
    Family doesn't.
    Gone on a frenzy to get rid of said smoke.
    What's going on?


    Edit: My mother told me it could possibly be related to our new furnace, but we're not sure what.
     
  2. manlymatt83

    manlymatt83 Diamond Member

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  3. I Saw OJ

    I Saw OJ Diamond Member

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    Maybe there is a slight smoke smell in your carpet/furniture that he can still pick up on.
     
  4. Locut0s

    Locut0s Lifer

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    Don't wish to scare you and I'm no doctor but false strong smells, especially the smell of something burning etc.. can be a warning sign of a brain tumour:

    http://www.doctorhoffman.com/wwphant.htm

    Tumours are fairly rare so I wouldn't freak out but definitely get him to go see a doctor.
     
  5. gorcorps

    gorcorps aka Brandon

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    Well for one, CO doesn't have an odor so he shouldn't attribute a smell to that. Of course detectors are a good idea anyways BECAUSE you can't smell it. How old is he?
     
  6. destrekor

    destrekor Lifer

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    Take a visit to a doctor. Smelling something that doesn't exist can either be something wrong in the brain, or in the sinuses.
    A doctor can help determine which it might be. Could be simply a sinus problem, and a saline rinse of the sinuses might clear it up, or some other kind of sinus treatment.

    If its been going on for that length of time, I don't want to spread fear or anything, but could be a small benign tumor, especially if no other problems have presented themselves.
    I hope its just a sinus problem.

    Does he ever have runny noses or anything? Has he had any colds or anything during this time? Is he allergic to anything in terms of sinuses? Like pet dander or ragweed or something? If so, see if he'll be willing to expose himself to those things. Those types of allergies, among others, will cause histamine reactions that tend to cause runny noses, itchy eyes, and whatnot.
    I say this, because if he hasn't had anything that would cause a runny nose, a simple starting point could be to cause a runny nose. I actually doubt this could be a problem, but if its a sinus problem and he has dry sinuses, getting them to drain could be a place to start. If that's even an option through allergies.

    I don't think having a long lasting 'fake' smell is an allergy of any kind, but I could see how that conclusion could be drawn due to allergies having such a drastic impact on the sinuses.

    +
     
  7. Ricemarine

    Ricemarine Lifer

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    About to turn 51 this July.

    None that I'm aware of. Just the strong sensation of smelling smoke.
     
  8. Ricemarine

    Ricemarine Lifer

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    Any other ideas??? It seems like it's really getting to his head this time around.
     
  9. Juno

    Juno Lifer

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    seek doctor for diagnosis?
     
  10. OdiN

    OdiN Banned

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    YATWSSJGTTD
     
  11. So

    So Lifer

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    God forbid it's a tumor or something. Have him get checked out by a doctor. Hopefully, it's just his imagination.
     
  12. DisgruntledVirus

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    Does he smell burning feathers?
     
  13. zinfamous

    zinfamous No Lifer

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    I was thinking this, probably not so serious though. False smells are linked to all sorts of neurological issues.

    Get pops to a doctor.
     
  14. TruePaige

    TruePaige Diamond Member

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    You need to take him to a doctor.
     
  15. eits

    eits Lifer

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    a brain tumor would definitely make someone smell something that wasn't there... that or a cranial nerve tract problem...

    take him to a neurologist and have him get checked out.
     
  16. Anubis

    Anubis No Lifer

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    brain tumor
     
  17. BigToque

    BigToque Lifer

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  18. bignateyk

    bignateyk Lifer

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    Someone told me once that if you "hallucinate" the smell of burnt toast when, you are about to have a stroke. Not sure whether that's true though...
     
  19. BigToque

    BigToque Lifer

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    Watch the link above you
     
  20. Mr Pickles

    Mr Pickles Diamond Member

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    Ive heard that seeing things is related to hallucinations, but smelling things can only be related to a neurological issue. Years? He needs to see a doctor.
     
  21. Eeezee

    Eeezee Diamond Member

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    Brain tumor or stroke.
     
  22. JEDIYoda

    JEDIYoda Lifer

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    Where are the Anand Tech staff doctors when you need one??
     
  23. NikolaeVarius

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    This
     
  24. nakedfrog

    nakedfrog Lifer

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    It's lupus. We're going to have to intubate.
     
  25. trmiv

    trmiv Lifer

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    This has been happening to me lately, I smell cigarette smoke that isn't there. I've also read it can happen when you have a sinus infection. I've noticed when it does happen to me, it's also when I have a stuffy nose, never when I'm breathing completely clear, so maybe that is the case.