Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Forum

Symptoms of smelling something that is not there

Must Read
Do you know the three main reasons we cough? Learn common causes of cough and when coughing might indicate a more serious health problem....
Coughing is normal. But what can cause more troublesome coughs? Learn more about possible causes of cough here....
When should you see a doctor about cough symptoms? When are symptoms a sign of further complications? Learn about cough symptoms basics here....
User Profile
My Mom is having this constant dirt smell and she is not even remotely anywhere near dirt. She is smelling dirt anywhere she goes. In addition to this, she is having a hard time breathing. Can someone please help us figure out why she is having these issues? Could these symptoms be an indication of something serious? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied July 26th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A14677
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You want to know why your mother smells dirt even when she is not near dirt.

There are certain medical conditions connected with the nasal receptors for smell and the olfactory neural path, or various psychiatric medical conditions may show symtoms like experiencing a smell which is not present in the air. This condition may sometimes be a symptom of an underlying tumor, malignant or benign, in the skull.

According to the data that you described, your mother may or may not experiecne any of the medical conditions listed above. She may consider seeing a neurologist to exclude any physical medical condition connected with the nasal receptors or the olfactory neural path.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options.

Did you find this post helpful?
This question has been answered by the doctor. This topic is now open for public discussion, however no comments below this point will be answered by a doctor.
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.