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"How can I get my ability to smell back?"

ZocdocAnswersHow can I get my ability to smell back?


I have had allergies all my life. I am a white age 38 male. Despite my allergies I have always been able to smell. About three years back my ability to smell went away. This concerns me because the flame on my stove went out and I was unable to smell the unlit gas. We all know how that could have gone terribly wrong. I have contacted several doctors in my local area and tried several nasal medications with no help from anything. I can breathe through my nose very well without any to little restriction from my allergies. About a month ago I got into some poison ivy and the doctor put my on steroids to help with the poison ivy. To my surprise my smelling ability was back 200 percent, I could smell everything. My life was back, I could taste food again, smell the outdoors, and my wife’s fragrance. Unfortunately once the steroid treatment was over so was my ability to smell. My doctor has no clue on how this is possible. All I want back is my ability to smell. Can you help?


So sorry to hear about this situation. Chronic allergies and the complications that can come with them can affect your ability to smell. This is known as anosmia and is somewhat common. Your doctor should be able to refer you to an ear nose and throat surgeon (ENT), AKA otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon, to determine what you should do to make sure that you get your sense of smell back if that is possible. Unfortunately, there are some instances where losing your sense of smell can become permanent. It is thought that this is because the nerves and the part of the brain that process smells tend to lost their full ability the longer that they are not used. The fact that your sense of smell returned when you were on steroids suggests that part of the problem may have to do with your allergies. Based solely on your age and your history, there is a chance that you may have some nasal polyps that could be contributing to this problem as well. If that is the case, there may be some help available. Please speak with your doctor about a referral to see an ear nose and throat surgeon about your problem.

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