Q. Can continuous use of nasal spray cause sinus odor?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 20, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 08, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have been dealing with a sinus odor problem for years. I am a fair online researcher and I have been shocked by how unique my problem seems to be. The odor varies in strength and seems to disappear and return over time. I have seen numerous ENT specialists over the years and with the exception of one, they seem to be totally baffled by what is going on. This is an odor that at times, it can be so strong that people can detect it when I walk into a room. Using Mupirocin in my nostrils and I am also doing the upside down nasal rinse with saline solution and peroxide. I thought they were helping but I am starting to have my doubts. I was addicted to nasal spray for many years and I am worried that I did some damage to my sinus cavity. Please advise.



Welcome to

You may have atrophic rhinitis due to long use of intranasal sprays. Do you have any hard crest inside your nose? What about your smell sensation? Please send me your CT scan.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

Symptoms of atrophic rhinitis:

  1. Crusting that can fill the nose, often green? No (almost never any color to the mucus).
  2. Nasal obstruction? Frequent congestion.
  3. Nasal discharge? Running nose often (always clear mucus).
  4. Nasal deformity? None.
  5. Nosebleeds? None.
  6. Loss of smell or decreased smell? No.
  7. Frequent upper respiratory infections? Chronic sinusitis.
  8. A sore throat? No.
  9. Watery eyes? No.
  10. Headaches? Yes.

The reaction of others has been very clear, not in my head. Surgery for deviated septum 1997 (about the time the problem started).



Welcome back to

Now, the only cause I can detect is chronic sinusitis. l will prescribe medications for you. Antibiotic Targo (Levofloxacin) 750 tablets once daily. Mucolytic once daily. Irrigate your nose with an alkaline solution. Stay away from nasal vasoconstrictor drops. The treatment will continue for two weeks.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

I am trying to understand why I have rarely seen extreme odor as a symptom of sinusitis?



Welcome back to

The bad odor is one of the important common features of chronic sinusitis. Even patients with allergic sinusitis can have a bad odor in case of collected secretions inside the nose and sinuses. So your symptom is reasonable. l want you to check your blood sugar level, fasting, and postprandial blood sugar. If there is diabetes mellitus, the sinusitis would be difficult to be treated.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

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