Originally written December 21, 2018
When you sneeze, you may notice different odors in the immediate aftermath. Yes, that’s your own sneeze you smell. But what do these different scents mean?
While there’s a chance a sweet smell, like honey, could just be the scent of chemicals being produced by bacteria in your sinuses, there’s also a chance it could be due to an increase of a chemical called ketones. Ketones are produced in your liver when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar into energy. This could be a sign of diabetes, so a visit to the doctor is a good idea.
If you don’t like the smell of your sneeze, there’s a good chance people won’t like the smell of your breath, either. A sour-smelling sneeze is often the sign of bad breath. However, if you’re still smelling it after brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, there’s a chance you might have gum disease. Regular dental visits could help resolve that.
A foul-smelling sneeze is most likely caused by a sinus infection. Infected mucus starts filling with bacteria that can make it smell terrible. Fortunately, your doctor can prescribe medicine that can clear up that infection, which will take care of the smell, too. In children, a foul-smelling sneeze could indicate a foreign body in the nasal cavity.
If you smell ammonia when you sneeze, you could have a serious issue, such as a liver or kidney problem. A doctor’s visit can help narrow down the source and help you get the treatment you need.
“It is important to be in tune with our bodies, as they can sometimes give us subtle clues regarding our health that can be identified before a problem develops into something more substantial,” CEENTA ENT Doctor Christopher Tebbit, MD, said.
If you are concerned about what you smell when you sneeze, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA ENT doctor.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Tebbit practices in our Belmont office. To make an appointment with him or any of our ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
Are your symptoms from the common cold or from chronic sinusitis? Learn more about the difference between the two conditions.
Christmas is a few days away, and many living rooms will soon be a flurry of new toys and excited children playing. But parents should be cautious and make sure their children don’t hurt their eyes, ears, noses, or throats with their new toys.
Causes for concern.