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Invited Commentary
September 2018

Prevalence and Risk Factors for Olfactory Hallucinations: The Phantom Menace

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(9):814-815. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.1556

Olfactory dysfunction can result in substantial reductions in quality of life if left untreated. The presence of phantom smells, or phantosmia, is a clinically distinct olfactory dysfunction where patients sense odors when no odor source is present.1 The cause of phantosmia is not completely understood and has been most commonly associated with head trauma, psychiatric conditions, chronic rhinosinusitis, epilepsy, and a number of neurologic and neurodegenerative disorders.2

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