In a strange medical case, a teenager who simultaneously experiences a loss of odor but emits an inexplicable “unpleasant odor” when he blows his nose for eight years finally discovers the culprit.
According to a recent report in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, the boy first introduced himself to doctors when he was 15 years old with an impaired sense of smell.
Doctors performed endoscopy on the teenager’s nose to determine the cause. They quickly noticed that the boy had a condition known as “turbine hypertrophy”, in which the tubes in his nasal canal are enlarged, a condition often associated with allergies or inflammation in the sinuses.
The doctor prescribed a nasal spray and a course of antihistamines to treat the seemingly secular condition.
However, the teenager returned a year later, at the age of 1
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At that moment, the confused doctors sent the boy for a computed tomography scan, which revealed the olfactory offender: a 9-millimeter sphere appeared in his nasal cavity, which was later identified as a metal pellet from a BB pistol.
When doctors discovered the culprit, the family remembered that the boy had indeed been shot in the nose with a pellet gun a few years before the doctor’s first visit, when he was about eight or nine years old.
“The foreign body causes a blockage of the natural drainage pathways in the nose, so there is an accumulation of mucus, inhaled debris and bacteria,” said co-author Dylan Z. Erwin, a medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
The absence of symptoms during the first few years means that the foreign body has not been detected and the putrefactive mixture has been left to ‘mature’ in the boy’s nasal tissue as “The healthy-looking tissue had grown completely above her.”
The boy underwent surgery to remove the granule, his sense of smell was restored and, at the mercy of his family and friends, the pungent odor he emitted with each blow to his nose stopped.
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