Phantom Smells Are Causing Quality Of Life Issues For Those Over 40

April 17, 2019

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Ever question a strange smell to only have the person you are taking to say they can't smell whatever it is you do? A new study looked at the phenomenon of "phantom" odors that have no obvious source.  Data collected between 2011 and 2014 asked 7417 subjects aged 40 if they smelled an unpleasant, bad, or burning odor regardless of their location. Of the 7417 people polled, 534, or about 6.5%, reported sensing persistent smells undetected by anyone else in the vicinity. What is concerning is the correlation between people detecting phantom smells and quality of life. Those who reported unexplained odors expressed an overall dissatisfaction with their mood and had trouble maintaining their weight. Twice as many women as men indicated they had a problem with such odors, though researchers aren't sure why. The study also found a correlation between reports of this problem and a history of head injury, dry mouth, and overall poor health. It's possible medications used to treat chronic conditions, or environmental pollutants, could be factors, but more research needs to be done to make specific determinations.

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SOURCE: Mental Floss

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