can strong smells damage your smelling senses?



  1. 0 Votes

    It is not so much the strength of the smell that can damage your senses but the toxicity of whatever smell is taken in through the nose. 

    Solvents and fuels have complex chemicals in them and are known to damage your sense of smell.  These chemicals may be found in glue, paint, and thinners and may give someone physiological damage. 

    Carbon monoxide may also do damage to your smelling capabilities.  Also, some prescription drugs have shown to lessen your sense of smell.

  2. 0 Votes

    No, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather, damage to your sense of smell is caused by damage to your smell receptors. Colds, allergies, and the flu can temporarily affect your ability to smell. Injury to the head could also cause permanent loss of smell, but I don’t believe strong smells are able to damage smell receptors.

    Whenever we used ether in chemistry labs, I always ended up with a sore throat for a couple of days afterward. The ether was strong-smelling, but it didn’t affect my ability to smell it after exposure. It only caused (what I suppose was) mild physiological damage, as the above response mentions.

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