Tru here. These smell hallucinations (phantosmia or olfactory hallucinations) are driving me crazy!! Several times an hour I smell “hot” electrical wires -like a “short” in the system or an old iron with frayed cord. Been smelling this in living room, bedroom, car, etc. … Everywhere I go!
Smell hallucinations started a couple years ago with random smells like new-mown grass in the bedroom, with windows closed, in the middle of winter.
This particular “hot” smell started this Fall, and right now it is several times in an hour almost every hour! I rarely talk about it because I have discovered that there is usually no basis for the smell. But boy is it distracting! Uuuuhhhhhh!!!
Mentioned to my young-onset friends. Six out of the seven responders said they had experienced problems with “hot” or “burning” smell, either in past or currently. Since they experienced this, two of these PWD (Persons With Dementia) have almost completely lost all smell sensations. Seems like there should be some research on the commonality of this particular smell phenomenon, but I have never heard of any. One patient suggested her smell hallucinations seemed to be temporarily assuaged by sniffing freshly ground coffee beans.
Like many other dementia symptoms, I think smell hallucinations can be a tremendous distraction to thought; whether productive conversation or other types of thought. Another aspect of concern is safety. When I smell “burning” several times per day, I automatically discount my sensory credibility. If something was truly burning, I would not know it unless I noticed smoke, heat, or fire. So husband is extra-careful to make sure batteries are current in smoke alarms.
Additionally; when an alarm goes off, I often have no idea where sound is coming from because I cannot remember what sounds the different appliances or gadgets create. I check my phone, husband’s iPad, oven, microwave, etc, and then I just try to stop the noise by putting in ear plugs.
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