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Reasons why some People Experience Bad Smell in the Nose and some Treatment Options

Updated on December 16, 2016

Causes of Bad smell in nose

Bad smell in nose
Bad smell in nose

Reasons for bad smell in nose

Have you ever been in a situation where you smell something and no one else can? Of course, you would be happily selfish if that smell was a pleasant one, but, sorry, it isn’t. This is also when if you are a wife or husband with a history of nagging, your partner might just think you are having one of your days. But seriously, though, it becomes troubling when the smell is terribly foul and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it because it is right in your nose.

Not to worry, you aren’t going crazy; what you are experiencing is called bad smell in the nose. Bad smell in the nose is a plight of a significant number of people in a society. Sadly, many are afraid of sharing their problem with friends and loved ones. Today, I’ll discuss some of the causes of that foul smell that sometimes comes from your nose and how to treat it.

Causes of bad smell in the nose

Partial blockage in the nose

Bad smell in the nose can be caused by a partial blockage of the nose area by foreign objects such as food particles. When you vomit, for instance, some of the food particles can get into the nose area and form a partial blockage. The blockage obstructs normal drainage and airflow in the nose, while the food particles deteriorate therein. It is this deterioration of food that produces the foul smell in the nose.


Snoring can also cause bad smell in the nose. Snoring refers to the grunting sounds we make while asleep. It is caused by vibrating tissues of the nose and throat, when turbulent air passes through the narrow airways of the nose and throat.

Usually when we snore during our sleep, the mouth is open; this creates a feeling of dryness in the mouth, as the production of saliva in the mouth is impaired. Whenever the mouth is dry, its ability to clean itself is greatly impaired; this creates a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of bacterial activities. It is the activities of the bacteria in such conditions that leave a foul odor in the mouth, and, ultimately, the nose.

Nasal drip

Another cause of bad smell in the nose is nasal drip, a type of discharge from the inside of the nose. Naturally, the lining of the nose produces a fluid known as mucus, the primary purpose of which is to warm inhaled air to body temperature as it enters the body.

Sometimes, the lining of the nose dries up under certain weather conditions, such as in cold. This causes it to produce more mucus than is normal, leading to a situation where the nose is filled with fluid. When some of this fluid gets to the back of the mouth, the naturally existing bacteria work on it. In the end, a foul smell is produced which is smelled in the nose.

Sinus infection

Sinus infections could also produce a bad smell in the nose. Sinuses are bony, air-filled spaces within your face and skull; which are named according to bone of the body where they are found. For instance, there are four pairs of sinuses in the head and face area: one in each of the check bones; a pair in between the eyes; another pair in the forehead, on top of the eyes; and another at the back of the head.

These air-filled spaces, which connect to the nose, serve many purposes including lightening the weight of the head so that we can carry it on our neck with ease. In any case, the sinuses are lined with several soft tissues, which keep the nose moist and eliminate certain viruses or bacteria, by secreting special fluids.

When the sinus linings become swollen and sour, we say that they are infected. An infected sinus leads to a bad smell in the nose because when the sinus lining becomes swollen, the bacterial cleansing fluid which it secretes becomes stale; the stale fluid begins to smell after some time; and this is why you can smell something foul in your nose if there is a sinus infection.

Available treatment options for bad smell in the nose

Now that we know of some of the causes of bad smell in the nose, let’s explore some remedies for the condition. First, if a foreign object gets stuck in one of the nostrils, cover the free nostril and blow air out through the affected nostril. This will help to expel the foreign material therein. In the event that the foreign object hasn’t entered the depths of the nostrils, you can take it out gently with a pair of tweezers.

If the cause of your bad smell in the nose is snoring, you want to treat snoring as soon as you can. Snoring occurs whenever the airways of the nose and throat become narrow or constricted. Therefore, you should clear your nose and throat before going to sleep. Furthermore, you should try to keep your bedroom or where you live moist and humid because studies have shown that dry air can irritate the linings of your nose and throat, causing them to be inflamed, which will ultimately narrow the airways, thereby increasing your likelihood of developing bad smell in the nose.

Finally, if the cause of bad smell emanating from your nose is as a result of a sinus infection, you might want to take some antibiotics from your physician, as they will stop the unnecessary bacterial activity in your nose and mouth.


You might be experiencing bad smell in the nose due to some of the above reasons. However, if after trying any of the above treatment options and the condition still persist, then I suggest that you visit you doctor for further examination.

Bad smell in the nose

Snoring can cause bad smell in the nose
Snoring can cause bad smell in the nose

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