Q. Whenever I cough to clear my throat, why do I get a strange smell?

Answered by
Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 21, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 32 year old male. I had some cough and cold last month due to drinking chilled beverages. After that, I have had a feeling of throat blockage, and my throat was burning.

If I try to cough forcefully to clear the throat, I get a strange smell in my nose. I am taking Telekast L tablet for last four weeks. Also, I have a feeling of mild right-sided ear block as well. The right side of my neck was also a bit stiff. The bad breath is really annoying. I am using Hexidine mouthwash.

I typically feel the odor more just after having my meal or after coughing. Previously, I took Pulmocef CV antibiotics. At the time of the infection, I had sticky gray phlegm. It is not there now.

Currently, the bad odor is still there, and I am feeling a mild blockage in right side of my larynx. Also, if I am in an air-conditioned environment, the coughing starts.

While trying to swallow, I have a very mild pain in the right side of my pharynx. I had fatty liver and acid reflux last year, but it recovered after having a strict diet. I quit smoking two months ago, and I am on NRT. I occasionally drink, maximum 120 ml in a week. Please advise.



Welcome to

You probably have pharyngitis. The ear pain is also due to pharyngeal infection causing Eustachian tube blockage. The coughing in the air-conditioned environment is due to dryness in the throat.

Please send me the pictures of your throat, so that I can suggest you better. Instead of Telekast L (Levocetirizine and Montelukast), I suggest a combination of Levocetirizine and Phenylephrine twice daily.

Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and start taking the medicines after their consent.

Also, take steam inhalation. I suggest taking a cough syrup for few days.

Revert with more information to an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thanks for your valuable response. As directed, I am sharing three pictures of my throat along with this message. Rather than throat irritation, the coughing, and mild breathlessness, my another concern is bad breath or smell. Awaiting your valuable response on the same.



Welcome back to

Your pharyngitis is probably due to nasal or sinus pathology. The bad breath is also due to this only.

I suggest taking the medicines mentioned above after consulting your physician. Also, I suggest Xylometazoline nasal drops like Otrivin, thrice daily and tablet Vitamin C once daily.

Continue using Hexidine mouthwash. Get an x-ray of the paranasal sinuses done and send me the pictures.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

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