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Anosmia / Loss Of Smell

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Diagnostic evaluation of anosmia begins with a detailed elicitation of history. The doctor asks for important associated symptoms like nasal congestion, rhinorrhoea, or both.

Diagnostic evaluation of anosmia begins with a detailed elicitation of history. The doctor asks for important associated symptoms like nasal congestion, rhinorrhoea, or both. The nature of nasal discharge in rhinorrhoea is important. Relation of anosmia to any upper respiratory infections or head injury is deeply excavated into. A history of sinus disorders; head trauma or surgery; allergies; exposure to drugs; chemicals or fumes is important. Physical examination is done to identify swelling, inflammation, discharge, and polyps.   Making the patient breathe through each nostril separately (by manually occluding the other) helps to identify obstruction. Unilateral anosmia is often unrecognised. Test for olfaction is performed. Patient is made to smell pungent odor such as from a vial containing coffee, cinnamon, or tobacco from each nostril separately. This can also help to identify unilateral anosmia.

Psychophysical assessment of odor and taste identification may be performed using commercially available testing kits. One such kit may contain sequential dilutions of an odorous chemical. Kit using a scratch-and-sniff battery of odours is also available.

A nervous system examination may be performed so as to know if any of the cranial nerves are damaged. Diplopia, difficulty speaking or swallowing, tinnitus, vertigo are asked for. A detailed mental status examination is vital, especially in the elderly; Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause for anosmia in them. When the cause is not obvious a CT of the head (including sinuses) or MRI are ordered for.

Anosmia may be part of normal aging. A slowly progressive loss of smell in an elderly patient with no other symptoms or findings may be normal. Anosmia may walk in by the age of 60 or 70.  Significant head trauma or toxin exposure results in sudden onset of anosmia. Progressive confusion and recent memory loss point to Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. Neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis are suspected in cases with waxing and waning neurologic symptoms.

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A patient with complete anosmia wil still respond to inhalation of; 1. coffee 2. ammonia 3. vanilla 4. garlic
goharpearl Thursday, July 18, 2013
I also have the problem of getting the right smell especially during winters! I have consulted a few doctors, but my situation haven't improved much. Can anyone suggest remedies for this problem of mine?
Advancells Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I could never smell as long as I remember..does anyone else have this same issue? I guess being born not able to smell. I've been reading that people had smell but lost it due to a sickness or medicines. etc. thanks
babeyorange Tuesday, April 02, 2013
I have a cold problem, DNS, and sinusitis from 14 years old and now I am 26. I did't get smell for 7 years. At first it came back time to time and then again lose, but now it permanently gone. I didn't take any antibiotics but treated some medicine like, antazole, rhinozole, alactrol, flunospray e.t.c. I didn't take medicine for 3 years also. What can I do now?
Fair_512 Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Hi suggest you to do yoga there are many poses in yoga to help you.
giri Friday, June 22, 2012
hi im 20 yr old now,im suffering from anosmia is there any reason behind it for causing in early age? is there any problem for brain ??? if there then please answer me i'll definitely consult a doctor
rajeshladi Friday, June 08, 2012
Hi. I'm a 21 year-old male. I suffered from flu-like disease a week ago. I never sought a doctor since the fever and lethargy subsided after 2 days of rest, increased fluid intake, vitamins, and self-medication of over-the-counter fever and colds drugs. So, after like 4 days, my fever was totally gone, my activity tolerance went back to normal, but my colds is still present. So I continued to take medicine for it. After a week, my colds is still present but not that severe. But, I have this loss of sense of taste and smell. At first, I thought it was just brought about by the colds, but this time, I have this phantom smell, and I can't explain it, like it's in between the smell of a freshly-cut lumber and a canned biscuits. I really am worried, since I lost my appetite, and I can't detect whether a food is already spoiled or our help already sprayed insecticide. Please help me. I'm a registered but unemployed nurse. I can comprehend complex medical terms. Please, help me. It really affects my daily activities.
chris08 Friday, April 13, 2012
Is your smell back yet? I had the same progression you described. Lost my smell for over a year while experiencing horrible phantom smells and distasteful foods. If you are still affected, Please check out my previous posts for my successful journey back to most smells and delicious foods again. Best of luck
Traci Tuesday, April 02, 2013
During a 4-week hospitalisation [loss of a kidney due to cancer] 5 years ago, I had an abdominal drain in place (via the nose) for 2 weeks plus. After this I was aware of a constant antiseptic smell and when this faded after 6 months, virtually no sense of smell at all. I also have constant stuffy nose. I do pick up occasional scents if they are very strong and sometimes detect things which don't smell right (eg. coffee doesn't smell like coffee). My GP points to nasal tract infection and says they are virtually impossible to eradicate (I only have 30% of one kidney and some medications are a no-no). Now starting to suffer loss of hearing - which might be linked via sinuses? Any advice or help would be really welcome.
SoloKid Friday, February 24, 2012
Lost my sense of smell a year ago. Went from NO smell to horrible phantom smells. 3 different physicians said there was nothing that could be done. Went to an herbalist and a chiropractor. Having great success! No longer having phantom smells [sticky sweet peach, acetone, cat urine, and soggy burnt popcorn]. Can identify some smells now and most foods are starting to taste normal. For me, I am having success with the following supplements (Zinc, Adreno-lymph, Total Thyroid, B-12, Vitamin E, Blood Build, Coral Calcium, Ultimate Green Zone, and Proactazyme). Dr. J.D. Stanfield, Chiropractor in McPherson, Kansas did a lot of research to find supplements to support nerve growth and mucous lining. He also researched some special facial techniques that have been making a difference for me. I am thrilled to be tasting food again and actually smelling things like flowers, cilantro, cinnamon, and more.
Traci Monday, January 09, 2012
How did you lose your smell? I lost mine due to a concussion. Wondering if suppliements will help me?
kimdayna1608 Monday, February 11, 2013
Hi. I hope you are already regaining some of your smell by now. I can't say supplements would help you for sure but look carefully at your diet and your hormone balance. As a vegetarian with a hysterectomy, I think these two things had an influence on my loss of smell. When I started addressing the deficiencies from both, my smell started coming back. Hopefully your brain injury just needed some time to heel. After my brain surgeries in '83, it took quite some time to regain the things I lost. Don't lose hope.
Traci Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Hi Traci, I have the same problem you had, you describe the smell I smell when doing the laundry or taking a shower or brushing my teeth.Two docters told me: to bad, nothing we can do about it. I'm really frustrated, please inform me on how you handled it. Unfortunatly I live in Belgium, so your chiropractor won't be able to help me here.
Leen-36 Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I lost my sense of smell and taste about 7 years ago. It was very gradual and I realised something was wrong when i opened up a bottle of perfume. Eventually I did see Dr. Richard Doty at the University of Pennsylvania who confirmed that I had lost both senses. I had had an MRI and CAT Scan also. Dr. Doty came to the conclusion that my many sinus infections treated with anti-biotics, a bad case of the flue and pneumonia the following year - the latter treated with more anti-biotics were the probable causes. I have recetnly begun to read more on the condition and have seen the support groups. I agree, it is very debilitating. I lost interest in so many things and although people seem supportive, they really have no idea of the effect it has on one's life. I hate to complain about it as things could be much worse, but the longer it goes on, the worse I feel about it.
SusieQ Thursday, January 05, 2012
can prolonged inhalation of paints cause anosmia
chaitanyalaxmi Saturday, August 27, 2011
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