Metallic Smell in Nose – Common Causes & Treatment

The sense organs are something that we are blessed with the need to be taken care of. However, sometimes, it goes haywire ad they tend to hallucinate. This simply means that the sense organs are tricked into the hearing, seeing, tasting or smelling things that are not present. These are commonly known as phantom symptoms which are curable and can be treated only if you are aware of it and seek diagnosis at the right time.

Olfactory hallucination is very common where people tend to smell things which might not be present around them. It could be that of a burning cigarette or a foul odour such as that of a rotten egg. It differs from person to person. However, there is a singular fact that these smells might not exist. This also extends to the fact where people complain of a metallic smell in the nose probably after running or heavy physical activity.

Understanding the sense of smell is essential. How does it work? How do you smell what you smell in the first place? Well, it is a simple concept and not rocket science. The air around you that you breathe comprises tiny molecules. These molecules have a distinct scent of their own. When these molecules reach the nose, they tend to disintegrate to produce a certain scent which is what you smell at the end of the day.

Molecules in the nose trigger olfactory functions which transmit signals to the brain in order to identify the scent which is how your brain recognizes certain smells and scents which seem familiar. However, when there is a case of phantom smells being observed, it is highly likely that the receptor neurons in the nose might be damaged at the endings because of which you tend to smell things which are not physically present around you. In case of massive damage, people have been known to lose their sense of smell as well.

But what could possibly cause the metallic smell in the nose?

Well, every disorder has a reason and a base where it starts from. Knowing the cause gives a foundation for the diagnosis which can be helpful in treating them. Metallic sells are caused by multiple reasons. Most of them are because of lifestyle habits, however, a few external and internal conditions might also be responsible for the same. Phantosmia is the disorder which needs immediate attention and it is not possible without knowing possible causes.

  • Chewing Tobacco: Tobacco is a classified as a pseudo-drug which has the tendency to damage neuro-receptors. If you have been chewing excessive tobacco, it is possible that you might be at a higher risk of developing these metallic smells in the nose. Even if you are smoking and pulling smoke out from the nose then also that smell occurs.
  • Chemical exposure: we are exposed to chemicals on a day to day basis. It could be harsh cleaning agents, herbicides, pest control chemicals, so on and so forth. Excessive exposure to the smell can cause receptors to get damaged which can be one of the major reasons of phantom smells.
  • Dental Problems: this might sound a little out of the blue, but most of the time dental problems can cause you to smell weird smells. It is possible that growing of a wisdom tooth or an unattended dental cavity gives you a weird sense of smell which can be misleading.
  • Migraines: migraines as a medical condition is as such so serious. Moreover, when you get migraine attacks, especially the stage 2 of the attack, the brain starts receiving mixed signals when the sense of smell is concerned. Therefore, it is possible that the sense of smell might be twisted during such attacks.
  • Polyps: Growths in the nose can be cancerous and non-cancerous unless diagnosed otherwise. Nasal Polyps are non-cancerous, which can lead to a distinct smell which feels metallic in nature.
  • Nasal infection: Infections in the nasal cavity is not rare. If you have not been taking care of the same, it is possible that there might be an infection which causes nerve endings to receive a different kind of smell which is interpreted in a different way.

None of the causes is terminal or critical in nature. Still, it is essential that you understand what could be causing that smell to deflect and smell what it does like.But there are other medical conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or even heart strokes which can cause the receptors to get a metallic smell as they function. Neck or head injuries can also be a common cause of smelling foul odours which are hardly present around you.

How to Treat the Metallic Smells Completely?

Treatment is possible if you have diagnosed it on time. It depends on the exposure you have been to or the condition that is causing it.

  • If it is due to chemical exposure, you can undergo multiple treatments such as reducing exposure to chemicals in order to neutralize yourself.
  • There are health conditions which cause it generally. It is possible that a saline solution could help. You could try rinsing your nose with a saline solution which can be instrumental in stopping these metallic smells.
  • Nasal Sprays are helpful. They help you open up the receptors such that you smell better and feel better subsequently. However, it is possible that you overdose on that it might numb the senses altogether. Therefore, it is crucial that you stick to the prescription and take it as per the physicians’ instructions.

  • Surgery is one of the ways recommended to get rid of the nasal polyps which tend to develop. It could be cancerous or non-cancerous. However, in any case, it is recommended that you get it removed after consulting the doctor.
  • Chemotherapy is stressful. A brain tumor is also a reason why you might be the recipient of phantom smells. A combination of radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy is essential to get rid of the causes such that you lead a normal and healthy life.

How Does it impact Everyday Activity?

The smells can last for a few days or a few hours. It is absolutely dependent on the reason why you have been getting them in the first place. Simple causes tend to cure themselves and you do not have to seek medical help. However, disorders can be really stressful. It can also cause anxiety if you do not take care of these smells which keep recurring.

Experiencing these smells can be stressful and if you have been chronically worried about them, it is recommended that you seek medical help immediately. It is not only related to causing psychological disorders but also tends to destroy the quality of life.

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