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Sense of smell - decreased or increased?

cadharose's picture
cadharose
Posts: 51
Joined: May 2013

I was wondering if anyone who has undergone radiation treatment to the head/neck region noticed an increase in their sense of smell? Or perhaps a decrease?

I read an account online of someone whose smell sense increased during treatment and they thought it likely due to a compensation for the lost of taste, due to the idea that when one of our sensory perceptions is decreased or lost, another increases to compensate for it.

I have noticed an increase in my sense of smell, especially the past week or two (I'm currently entering week 5 of a 7-week treatment course), especially to things like food, plants, and people. I was on my deck last night watering my herbs and the scent of many of them hit me very strongly, something I never noticed before. I have also noticed that people have odors (not pleasant). I have been bugging my son about showering and washing his clothes because I pick up odors when he is around me, and I never noticed them like this before. I assumed it was hit fault, but now I'm wondering if it's just me.

Curious if anyone else has noticed the same thing as me? Or did your smell stay the same or decrease?

 

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 535
Joined: Feb 2010

I think I smelled the same all through my radiation. Never had any complaints from the Techs.

 

All kidding aside I never really took notice to my sense of smell changing at all. But then people tell me I make no sense either. However, I am curious if anyone else seen a change.

      Jeff

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 535
Joined: Feb 2010

I think I smelled the same all through my radiation. Never had any complaints from the Techs.

 

All kidding aside I never really took notice to my sense of smell changing at all. But then people tell me I make no sense either. However, I am curious if anyone else seen a change.

      Jeff

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

I found that smells were enhanced, good or bad. It was the bad I had/have an issue with. Something that doesn't agree with my nose is bad for my stomach is you know what I mean. And now with the PEG, I get a whiff of sour stomach formula when I open the plug... YUCK!

"T"

PS... Jeff... I found I had a funky "chemical" smell during treatment. Marcia didn't notice it but I sure did!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 2009

You are stealing my one liners, LOL....

T, that smell is O-Zone I believe, or if not it smells exactly like it... Myself and others noticed it during rads as well...

JG

MarineE5
Posts: 748
Joined: Dec 2005

Yes, my sense of smell increased during treatments, as you stated, I basically had no taste, or at least food tasted like cardboard and fluids tasted like aluminum cans......I think I was part Billy Goat for some time....

The increase of smell did help me mentally as I tried to eat foods that I couldn't taste, going on memory...

My Best to You and Everyone Here

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3676
Joined: Mar 2012

It seems bionic noses happen to lots of us.  During rads and for a while after, I could rival my German Shepherd for finding dead rodents in a 5 acre pasture.  On the plus side, I experienced deja-vu more in that time than any time in my life...I liked that part.

p

cadharose's picture
cadharose
Posts: 51
Joined: May 2013

I know what you mean about rivaling your dog. I think I know now what it's like to be a cat. I'd prefer to have my taste buds back...lol

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 535
Joined: Feb 2010

Thats amazing I feel jipped. I could have challenged the dog in a hunt in the woods for something dead. I can honestly say that my sense of smell (as well as my smell) never changed during or after radiation.

John I was only able to beat you because I responded before you. It was a slow day at the office. Nobody got in trouble.

      Jeff

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1235
Joined: Aug 2009

perfumes, cigarettes, dryer sheets, you name itIi could notice it where I never noticed it before. I can relate to the smelling of peoples odors, weird but it somehow seemed to compensate for the loss of taste as you said. Back to normal now. I wish I had experienced that deja vu phenomonem that p51 had.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1904
Joined: Jun 2012

I noticed a change to some degree. I think this is the 1st year I smelled my minature lilac bushes from a distance. I've had them 10 or 15 years. 

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2918
Joined: May 2012

cadharose,

So that was Jeff I smelled and Phrannie I saw digging in the field.

Bionic nose, guilty as charged. Sometimes a perk sometimes a poison.

Matt

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 2009

So ummm, you have a perky nose then Matt..., LOL

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3676
Joined: Mar 2012

with my nose to the ground, Matt....I followed the little bugger's trail till I found where he'd met his demise.....ha!

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 680
Joined: May 2013

I walked into the garage and said "ugh...a dead mouse"  Sure enough, hubby checked the trap and there he was.  No one else could smell it, but I thought it smelled horrible.  Everything is intensified right now. 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 2009

and I live just down the road from Disney....

They've been looking for Mickey for days now.....

JG

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 226
Joined: May 2012

My sense of smell definiteky increased. It reminded me a lot of pregnancy & hoe sensitive I was to smell then. Food was the worst for me, also other people's body odor...which as you say may have not even been that bad. When I was almost done with treatnent I wouldn't let my husband get that clise to me b/c I felt like my mouth had a bad odor. As much as I rinsed and cleaned I just couldn't get away from it. My husband said he couldn't smell anything at all. 

JerryNG
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Funny that you guys mention the chemical smell. When I returned from my 1st treatment yesterday my English Bull Terrier would not leave me alone, was smelling me like I had a pork chop hidden in my pockets. LOL. I thought he just really missed me. Now it makes sense.   

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 2009

Well..., more than likely, if you had rads...umm, he was smelling a pork chop, LOL...you.

Glad to hear you are doing well Jerry...

John

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