The many scents around you can take you to new levels of excitement. From fresh baked cookies to new flowers to family recipes, smelling is a vital sense to have intact. Sometimes that sense can be limited or even lost, but there might be a common reason for it.
Anosmia, or loss of smell, can be brought on by a sinus infection. During sinusitis, your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen, which can limit your ability to breathe in and ultimately smell. Common treatment methods include decongestants, increasing your hydration, and nasal irrigation.
Smelling can also be affected by your nose’s overall structure. A deviated septum is a displacement of the thin wall separating your nasal passages, which can create unequal airflow between your nostrils. To treat this, a septoplasty might be necessary to surgically correct the nose.
Many illnesses brought on by viruses and bacteria can create smelling loss. This can be due to the foreign bodies being present in the nose and causing nasal inflammation from your immune system fighting back or causing damage to the cells in your nose. Some of the more prevalent illnesses that cause this include the common cold and influenza. Treatment will be dependent on the particular illness, though typical methods like decongestants and hydration are useful.
More recently, smelling loss has been attributed to COVID-19 infections as a symptom accompanying loss of taste and sustained coughing. The long-term effects of COVID are still being examined, with ongoing research suggesting that the virus could disrupt the restoration of olfactory receptor transcription in DNA and lead to longer bouts of altered or reduced smell without nasal congestion. It’s estimated that “long COVID” patients with this symptom could be as high as 20%.
You might find that your smelling loss happens at certain times of year or under particular conditions. Dr. Greg Parsons, a CEENTA otolaryngologist and allergy specialist at our Lancaster and Rock Hill locations, elaborates on the connection between allergies and smelling. “Seasonal allergies from ragweed, pollen, and mold can lead to nasal congestion and reduced smelling, as can allergic reactions to pet dander. This can be remedied with antihistamines, air purifiers, or immunotherapy options like shots, tablets, and sublingual drops.”
Your loss of smelling could be brought on by something physically in your nose. Nasal polyps are growths in your nose that are not cancerous but can impact your breathing. Corticosteroids, antibiotics, and nasal surgery are common treatments to remove these growths so that your smelling can return.
Ready to enjoy the smell of homecooked meals again? Your loss of smell can be examined at CEENTA with our award-winning ENT specialists. Once your exact cause is determined, your physician can provide the treatment options you need for your nasal health. Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Parsons at our Lancaster or Rock Hill offices today to bring the scents back to you.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.
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