Anosmia: Prognosis, Symptoms of Anosmia: Anosmia is the total loss of smell; it also decreases the ability to perceive flavors. Its deficiency is related to the failure of the sense of taste.
This pathology occurs when intranasal inflammation or other obstruction prevents odors from entering the olfactory area; also, when the olfactory neuroepithelium is destroyed or when the filaments, bulbs, paths, or central connections of the olfactory nerve are destroyed.
Prognosis of Anosmia
Anosmia is not always treatable; for example, it is the case of patients with affectations of the nerve centers related to the nasal system or the deficiencies of old age. However, security measures such as fire detectors or smoke alarms can be taken so that these people maintain an enhanced quality of life and are safe.
Symptoms of Anosmia
The primary and most obvious symptom that a person suffers from anosmia is the loss of the ability to smell, but a change in the way things smell can also be manifested initially; those familiar to them begin not to have any odor.
Medical Tests for Anosmia
A doctor diagnoses a lack of the sense of smell by:
- Family and personal history.
- An examination of the head, neck, and nose.
In some cases, you may also have:
- Tests to understand if you can smell certain aromas or odors.
- A blood test to check for a vitamin deficiency or other health problem.
- An MRI or CT scan to form for issues in the brain.
What are The Causes of Anosmia?
Anosmia is mainly due to two reasons:
- Pathologies that prevent air from reaching the olfactory receptors located in the upper part of the nostrils:
- Common cold
- Rhinitis (allergic, vasomotor, infectious, medicated)
- Nasal septum deviation
- Turbinate hypertrophy
- The pathologies of the nervous receptor apparatus and the central fearful path influence:
- Head injuries(young adults).
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s(older adults).
Other causes include:
- Previous head and neck radiation
- Recent nasal or sinus surgery
- Nasal and brain tumors
- Toxins (the role of tobacco is uncertain )
- Drugs can contribute to anosmia in susceptible patients
It should be well-known that a loss of smell lasting several weeks in a middle-aged person may indicate the existence of sinonasal polyposis, that is, the growth of benign fleshes within the nostrils that prevent air from reaching the upper part of the nose.
Can it be Prevented?
Recommended preventive measures to avoid loss of smell include:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to toxic products or pollutants and, if unavoidable, wear a mask.
- Hydrate well
- Avoid contact with allergens
- Flu vaccination, since the flu virus is responsible for a good number of anosmias.
Treatments for Anosmia
There are no specific treatments for anosmia, but the causes of anosmia can be treated.
- Sinus infections and inflammation are treated with steam inhalations, nasal sprays, antibiotics, and, in some cases, surgery.
- Tumors are removed surgically or treated with radiation therapy, but this treatment usually does not restore the sense of smell.
- The polyps in the nose are removed, which is achieved, in some cases, to restore the olfactory capacity.
It is essential to reassure the patient since, in many cases, the loss of the sense of smell can be temporary and return spontaneously, especially after common colds or viral infections.
Once the leading cause of the loss of smell has been diagnosed, try to fix the problem by correcting the underlying disorder if possible. Although the scent does not always regain, specific reasons must be treated, even after successful sinusitis treatment.
- Non-surgicaltreatment: it would be pharmacological treatment: Sometimes, pharmacological therapy with antihistamines can be prescribed if it is an allergy problem, vitamin A, etc. The patient must avoid nasal decongestants since they usually have corticosteroids as their active ingredient, leading to increased nasal and lower turbinate congestion due to a rebound effect.
- Surgical treatment: If the cause of the loss of smell is the existence of physical obstruction of the nostrils, it will be necessary to carry out the corresponding surgical intervention to correct the problem, and may even carry out and, at the same time,, more than one of they. Nasal obstruction can be due to:
- Inferior turbinate hypertrophy: it will be necessary to carry out the procedure of induced radiofrequency of the inferior turbinates.
- Deviation of the nasal septum: it would be treated by performing a septoplasty.
- Nasal polyps: it would be treated by performing a polypectomyand ethmoidectomy.
- Sinusitis:it would be treated by performing endoscopic sinus surgery.