We use cookies and other tools to enhance your experience on our website and to analyze our web traffic.
For more information about these cookies and the data collected, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Horrible Chemically Burned Bacon Smell in Nose After Reservoir Ran Dry

1 post
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
icashootnstar +0 points · 10 months ago Original Poster

I’ve seen several users post somewhat similar situations. But I wonder if anyone has been able to pare down all the possibilities?

I forgot to refill the reservoir and it ran dry. The next morning, I woke up with a chemically, burnt bacon smell that seemed to emanate from my sinuses. It has persisted throughout the day for over a week (this time).

It has happened twice before over the years.

The first time it happened, I had been recovering from a cold. When it didn’t clear up after a couple of days, I was very concerned, and I took a round of antibiotics. It still took a while to go away.

Then, the second time, I tried to let it run its course to see if it would go away on its own. After three weeks it hadn’t. So, I took the antibiotics again. But I also made an appointment with an ENT (though it was several months before I could get in) and there were no abnormalities found. So, whether it was the antibiotics or time is unknown. I tried using a neti pot, though I hate it. I always feel like I’m drowning, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the symptoms. The ENT also prescribed a corticosteroid nasal spray in case it was seasonal allergies. It wasn’t.

This time it’s been a week so far with no signs of abatement. In the hopes of eliminating as many variables as possible, I changed the chamber, tubing, and mask. But the burnt bacon smell is still in my sinuses. I haven’t had a viral infection.

There are no visible signs of damage or discoloration to the old reservoir. I do the recommended daily washing of the nose pillow and weekly vinegar and distilled water soak and rinse and use only distilled water in the reservoir.

So, it appears this is a residual, long term effect of breathing whatever was being released when the sterile reservoir was subjected to heat without water as that is the one common denominator.

I'm very curious to hear if anyone else has experienced this and if there are any studies, including details and ramifications.

3,226 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
Sierra +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Patron

I have run my reservoir dry several times now with my ResMed machine. The first time it happened I thought the house was burning down. Other times it seemed to smell like the inside of a sports equipment bag that has been "fermenting" for a few weeks unwashed. But, each time after I wash out the reservoir the smell goes away. If I wake up in the middle of the night with a dry reservoir, I just rinse it out, fill it up, and go back to sleep. No residual effects. I do think that ResMed should have it set up so that the heat turns off at a lower temperature. It is supposed to do that and shut down, but I don't think mine does. I can't see any way that the smell should be retained in the nose.

Please be advised that these posts may contain sensitive material or unsolicited medical advice. MyApnea does not endorse the content of these posts. The information provided on this site is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for advice from a health care professional who has evaluated you.