TexasENT Logo

Conditions We Treat

Loss of Sense of Smell

Loss of Sense of Smell, or Anosmia, is an issue many struggle with. Learn about what causes it and potential treatment options that our ENT’s specialize in.

Woman sniffing coffee

What is Anosmia?

Loss of smell, known medically as anosmia, is an inability to perceive odors. It can be partial or complete and, while rarely the symptom of a serious condition, can still cause misery for those suffering from its effects. It is usually temporary, resulting from a cold or upper respiratory infection; but in some cases—especially those involving the elderly—the loss of smell may be permanent and a sign of a serious condition.
Portrait of smiling lady in the bathroom smelling her wrist

What Causes Anosmia?

Anosmia occurs when the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. The most common causes include colds, flu, allergies, sinusitis, and nonallergic rhinitis. Trauma is also a common cause of loss of sense of smell. Nasal obstructions such as polyps, tumors, and other deformities can block the flow of air through the nose and lead to a loss of smell.

There are many other possible causes including Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumor, aneurysm, COVID-19, diabetes, cocaine use, chemical exposure, malnutrition, hormonal imbalances, medications, Parkinson’s disease, rhinoplasty, radiation therapy, and aging, among others.

What are the Symptoms of Anosmia?

People with anosmia may notice that they are unable to smell things that they could before. This can happen gradually or suddenly. Familiar scents may also smell differently. In some cases, people with anosmia may also have a reduced sense of taste.

How is Anosmia Treated?

Anosmia can be treated in a number of ways depending on the underlying cause. In most cases, treating the underlying condition can help restore your sense of smell. For example, if you have sinusitis, then antibiotics can help clear up the infection. If certain medications are affecting your sense of smell, then switching medications may help ease your anosmia symptoms. If you have nasal polyps or another type of blockage, surgery may be necessary.

Anosmia can also be treated with lifestyle changes and home remedies. For example, quitting smoking can help improve your sense of smell over time. Nasal rinses can also help clear out any congestion or blockages that may be preventing you from smelling properly. If you have allergies, then avoiding triggers and taking allergy medication can help reduce symptoms and improve your sense of smell. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids can also help keep your nose clear and improve your sense of smell.

Our team at Texas ENT & Allergy can help determine any underlying conditions and recommend appropriate treatment.

Sick Male using nasal spray in office

ENT Care You Can Depend On

You don’t have to live in discomfort or pain from your ENT or allergy disorder. Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Common ENT Conditions We Treat

Ear Infections


Sinus and Allergy