Smell Ya Later

Loss of Smell: Anosmia

Houston, Texas is a smelly place. It is full of wonderful smells wafting out of Houston bakeries and not so great smells from the local landfill. While no one revels in the idea of taking a big whiff of garbage, would you be okay with never having to smell trash again if you would also never be able to smell a rose? Probably not. But those who are suffering from a condition called anosmia don’t have a choice.

Anosmia is the medical term for the loss of smell. It can have varying degrees of severity, be partial or complete and either temporary or permanent. The degree of loss is based entirely on the cause.

Experiencing a Loss of Smell

If you begin to experience a loss of smell, you should schedule an appointment with the best ENT in Houston. The only way for your otolaryngologist to treat your condition is to determine the cause.

Anosmia is typically caused by irritation or obstruction in the nose or nerve damage.

An irritation can be caused by a common cold, a sinus infection or even the flu. This is the most common cause of loss of smell. A nasal polyp, a bony deformity or a tumor can cause an obstruction that physically blocks the flow of air through the nasal passage. Damage to the olfactory system (receptors and nerves responsible for your sense of smell) as well as aging, malnutrition, certain medications and multiple disorders (Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease to name a few) can cause damage to the olfactory system.

Once your Houston ENT has determined what is causing your loss of smell, they can plan out a treatment. If your loss of smell is caused by a cold or allergies (the most common cause), it will most likely return on its own.

If your anosmia has not subsided after a few days, this may be a sign of a more serious condition. Your Houston ENT may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection or recommend a small surgery to remove the obstruction. Sometimes, the loss of smell is permanent and cannot be restored.

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