Anosmia and Hyposmia (Smell Loss)

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Hyposmia is condition known as the reduced ability to smell, while anosmia is the complete loss of ability to smell. Most people don’t consider losing your sense of smell as a serious condition, but in reality, losing your ability to smell can have drastic effects on your life. For instance, smell is such an important part of tasting food that people with anosmia often lose their appetite or their enjoyment of food. Our sense of smell also alerts us of dangers like gas leaks, smoke, or other noxious fumes.

What Causes Anosmia and Hyposmia

Typical causes for anosmia and hyposmia can range from viral upper respiratory infections and bacterial infections that can be treated with prescription medicine to structural problems like a deviated septum that requires surgery. Other causes for anosmia and hyposmia include:

  • Aging
  • Head Injury
  • Intracranial skull base tumor
  • Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Acute or Chronic Sinusitis
  • Allergies

Antihistamines, decongestants, antibiotics, and steroids are considered common treatments for the temporary loss of smell. But for severe cases associated with physical obstruction of the nasal passages, surgery might be required.

Treatment for Anosmia and Hyposmia

Treatment for anosmia and hyposmia needs to be approached with delicacy and precision. At My Houston Surgeons you’ll work with their elite sinus specialists to find the right diagnosis and treatment for your loss of smell.

Our sinus specialists are highly trained and have extensive experience performing surgical treatments of sinus and nasal issues. My Houston Surgeons is unique in its specialization in sophisticated surgical treatments like the removal of nasal polyps, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, and septoplasty—some of the most effective treatments for anosmia and hyposmia.

Smell even has an essential connection to our emotional life; several studies have shown that smell memory is a common way people can connect our senses with our memories. Since smell also helps us solidify our bonds with loved ones, many people with anosmia and hyposmia report feelings of depression.

Most cases of hyposmia and anosmia are temporary, but for certain people, anosmia and hyposmia lasts permanently or can’t be treated with prescription medication.

The Doctors at My Houston Surgeons have either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page last updated:


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