disgusted.jpgParosmia and Phantosmia

Those disgusting smells that seem to come from nowhere are called parosmia.

Parosmia is a common part of the recovery process and it will pass, but it can be really challenging.


How am I supposed to cope with this?

Parosmia and phantosmia can be quite disturbing; sometimes more difficult to deal with than complete smell loss.

The good news is that parosmia is considered a sign that smell function is returning. It can take a long time to recover and pass through this phase but it is a phase.

This is an area of medicine that scientists are still trying to understand, but it's becoming clear that certain odour molecules act as triggers. Avoiding triggers can sometimes be the only way to deal with this, but as it improves people who 'push through' seem to get through this phase better.

You can find out more about Parosmia in our section on smell loss, and our online community the AbScent Network is buzzing with tips and support to get you through.


Dealing with Parosmia

What to do when everything smells bad


I can't eat! 

Here are some tips for mealtimes:

•Eat room-temperature or cool foods

•Avoid fried foods, roasted meats, onions, garlic, eggs, coffee and chocolate - often trigger foods for parosmics

• Try bland foods like rice, noodles, and untoasted bread. Steamed vegetables and plain yogurt are palatable to many

• If you really can't keep food down, consider unflavoured protein shakes

• If it is available in your area, order your groceries online to avoid having to go to the supermarket

A discussion about Parosmia