Hyperosmia is an elevated olfactory perception which is caused due to reduced threshold of odour. It develops when there is an unusually elevated signal point between the olfactory receptors and olfactory cortex. Olfactory receptors are conveyed in the cell membranes of neurons and are responsible for discovering odorants that give rise to the sense of smell.

hyperosmia symptoms

The causes of hyperosmia may be due to genetics, hormonal, environmental and also due to other underlying conditions. Some of the underlying problems which may cause a change in the perception of smell to include pregnancy, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, nutritional deficiency and certain medications. Also Read: Diabetes: 11 Myths And Facts You Should Know


A person with hyperosmia can smell odors so strongly than other people, this strong sense of smell may eventually lead to a feeling of uneasiness and illness from certain odors. The trigger of odors vary from person to person, some of the common smell that may trigger discomfort in person include:

  • Chemicals
  • Perfumes/scents
  • Disinfectant products or cleaning agents
  • Aromatic candles

In people with hypersomnia, changes to a sense of odour may trigger headaches, vomiting and nausea. This may also trigger a migraine attack due to smelling particular odours. Also Read: Migraine: 7 Underlying Triggers You Should Never Ignore

Diagnosis And Treatment

A doctor generally does a complete physical assessment and medical history of the patient to determine the condition. Furthermore, the doctor may also recommend certain tests which include a blood test and imaging test to find out the other underlying conditions that cause hyperosmia.

Treatment mainly depends upon identifying the causes. The ideal treatment for hypersomnia is to avoid the triggering smell that causes it. If the people with hypersomnia find it hard to avoid smells then, chewing peppermint or candy may help them.

However, the treatment of hyperosmia mainly depends upon treating the underlying conditions that cause it. If the side effect of certain medication causes hyperosmia, then the doctor might change the medication. In severe cases, surgery may require removing the growth of unwanted tissue in the skull or nose to treat the condition.