Olfactory hallucinations and delusions of smell

Olfactory hallucinations is a term used by doctors when a person smells imaginary odors. It also has different causes and treatment varies according to the causes.
The smell may differ from one person to another, but it tends to be unpleasant and unpleasant smells such as the smell of metals, tingling smells, and sharp chemical smells.

Some of the symptoms of olfactory hallucinations

The patient expresses the smells he inhales as putrid or unpleasant odors, eg

The smell of burnt rubber, burnt toast, metallic smells, cigarette smoke, and also the smell of rotten mold.

Knowing that the patient is unable to accurately identify the smell, and it may be a completely new smell that he has not experienced before, so olfactory hallucinations may cause fatigue and exhaustion for the patient, and affect his sense of taste, which leads to weight loss and loss of appetite.

Causes of olfactory hallucinations
How do olfactory hallucinations occur?

Central olfactory hallucinations occur at the level of the brain when it is disturbed, while peripheral hallucinations occur when there is a lesion in the sinuses or nose.

One of the most important diseases that cause its occurrence

Chronic sinusitis
Nasal polyps

Diagnosis of olfactory hallucinations

The patient undergoes a clinical examination of the neck and head, and he also performs other examinations in order to ensure the integrity of the other senses, and the doctor asks specific questions about the symptoms, their duration, nature, and others.

The patient may also need to undergo some radiological examinations, such as:

Magnetic resonance tomography and electroencephalography.

Olfactory hallucinations treatment

Treatment varies according to the cause of this phenomenon, and we mention some of the treatments


Medications and steroids help relieve symptoms.

Exposure to toxic substances and smoking

The patient is advised not to be exposed to any unsafe chemical and to stop smoking.

drug reaction

Certain medications, such as antibiotics and some antidepressants, can cause olfactory hallucinations, so you should see your doctor to discuss stopping the medication that causes it, according to safe medical instructions.

Brain tumors

Surgery is useful in this case, because he may need chemo-radiation therapy.

Chronic infections

Antibiotics are required in this case.


The patient needs medications that help stop the degeneration.
In the end, it is recommended to use saline solutions in order to maintain the cleanliness of the upper respiratory tract, especially when symptoms persist for a long time.

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