Why Do Sneezes Smell?

Have you noticed why whenever someone sneezes it gives a bad smell? Actually this can be an embarrassing moment but you should be more worried about the health issues related to it. You will be surprised to know that different health issues can cause different odors of the sneeze. Therefore, it is important to identify the odor of the sneeze because some of the health issues can be serious.

Why does it smell foul when I sneeze?

If your sneeze smell foul, then there are high chances it is caused due to sinus infection. When some amount of mucus is present in the nose bacteria start to grow on this mucus and it starts to smell foul. Therefore, whenever we sneeze, this infected mucus also known as nasal discharge, forced out of the nose and we experience a terrible smell similar to foul odor. If you experience this very often, you should contact an otolaryngologist (ENT).

When I sneeze it smells sour?

If the odor of the sneeze is sour, then it is an indication of the bad breath or gum disease. When we sneeze, some amount of saliva is also forced out of the mouth and nose. If this smell sour, it is a sign of bad breath. If the problem of sour odor still exists even after brushing, flossing, chewing mint, or using mouth fresh, then it could be due to gum disease. In that case, you will have to visit the dentist. Therefore, always keep checking your breath odor regularly and regular dental checkups might help you to avoid gum diseases.

Do sneezes smell sweet like honey?

According to doctors, if the sneeze smells sweet just like honey, it is not that easy to determine the cause of it because it could be the smell of chemicals released by bacteria in the sinus cavities or it might be the smell of a chemical known as ketone which is released in the liver when enough insulin is not produced in the body. This is a sign of rare but a serious diabetes complication called ketoacidosis. Therefore, you should visit a doctor for this health issue.

Can my sneeze smell like ammonia?

If your sneeze smell like ammonia, then it might be caused due to issues related to the liver and kidney. In this case, you should visit your doctor to get help with it.

So next time, when you sneeze and it stinks, try to determine the odor and visit the doctor accordingly.

Professor Atom

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Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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