A member asked:
help regaining sense of smell 64 year-old male gradually losing sense of smell. are there tests to determine causes-polyps, surgical procedures, non-allopathic remedies. have had occasional staph infections inside nostrils-fairly painful bumps that res
2 doctor answers
Dr. Bobak Ghaheri answered
22 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
The : The loss of one's sense of smell can have numerous potential causes. I would recommend starting with an ENT doctor, who can perform a smell test called an upsit (university of pennsylvania smell identification test) to determine the level of your smell dysfunction. Potential causes include (in no specific order): 1) nasal obstruction - if air can't get into your nose from a septal deviation or large turbinates, you won't smell much 2) nasal polyps - this can cause obstruction high in the nasal cavity, which can block airflow 3) viral infections - this type of smell loss can be very difficult to reverse, but sometimes, large doses of steroids can help to recover the sense if caught early 4) head trauma - this causes direct injury to the nerves, but happens suddenly with an obvious source 5) in extremely rare cases, growths in the smell region of the nose or brain can cause loss of the sense of smell 6) certain medicines, like nasal steroids or zinc-containing sprays, can cause loss of the sense of smell. In this specific case, the staph infections on the nostrils likely have no correlation with your smell issues. I would advise you to see an ENT doctor for further evaluation, which may include looking with a camera in your nose or a scan (either ct or mri).
Answered on Mar 22, 2020
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