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Some causes and treatments of lost or changed sense of smell

Photo credit: Gettyimages

According to NHS, a change in your sense of smell can be unpleasant and affect how things taste. But it is not usually serious and may get better in a few weeks or months.

Causes of lost or changed sense of smell

Changes in sense of smell are most often caused by a cold or flu, sinusitis (sinus infection), an allergy, like hay fever and growths in your nose (nasal polyps).

These can cause:

1. loss of smell (anosmia)

2. smelling things that are not there (phantosmia), like smoke or burnt toast

3. reduced sense of smell (hyposmia)

4. the smell of things to change (parosmia)

It's also common to lose some of your sense of smell as you get older.


If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.

Cleaning inside your nose can help

Rinsing the inside of your nose with a saltwater solution may help if your sense of smell is affected by an infection or allergy.

You can make a saltwater solution at home.

How to clean your nose with a saltwater solution

Some pharmacies sell sachets you can use to make a saltwater solution and devices to help you rinse your nose.

Non-urgent advice:

See a doctor if your sense of smell does not go back to normal in a few weeks

They'll check for any obvious causes, such as sinusitis or nasal polyps.

They may refer you to a specialist for tests if they're not sure what the problem is.

Treatment for lost or changed sense of smell

Your sense of smell may go back to normal in a few weeks or months.

Treating the cause might help. For example, steroid nasal sprays or drops might help if you have sinusitis or nasal polyps.

A treatment called smell training can also help some people.

Sometimes changes in sense of smell cannot be treated and may be permanent.


If you have lost your sense of smell, you may not be able to smell things like gas leaks, fires and food that's gone off.

Content created and supplied by: Kwajaffa (via Opera News )


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