TREATMENTS

The Anosmia Foundation has gathered e-mails from anosmics and doctors, and from these comments has compiled the following data on treatments and clinics.

Please note that the Foundation does not endorse or recommend any of the following. It is for your information only.
ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING TREATMENT.

  • In cases of anosmia caused by sinus infections, antibiotics can clear up the sinus infection, thus curing the anosmia. It may require many months of antibiotic treatment for the sense of smell to return.

  • Some anosmics have tried having polyps removed

  • Some anosmics have tried zinc and lutein supplements

  • Some anosmics have tried having adjustments done by a chiropractor (top of neck, behind ears)

  • Cortisone-based nasal sprays or drops such as Rhinochrom

  • There are some cases of steroid-treatable anosmia

  • Dr. Robert Henkin, founder of The Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, D.C., has been credited with successfully treating anosmia, hyposmia, etc., - he also offers to attempt to treat some congenital conditions.

  • Oral prednisone

Standardized smell tests include: the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), a phenylethylalcohol (PEA) threshold kit , or an alcohol sniff test .

Please see the list of Smell Tests

The following treatment suggestions come from the Nasal Dysfunction Clinic's website:

  • Decongestants or Antihistamine-Decongestants: drugs used to decongest the nose.

  • Histamine type 1 blockers: A new generation of antihistamine, can be an effective treatment for mild, episodic allergy.

  • Antibiotics: prescribed when there is infection in the paranasal sinuses, and occasionally for infection in the nasal cavity.

  • Nasal Steroids: can be extremely effective in treating smell disorders, specifically those caused by inflammatory disease.

  • Nasal Douche: A variety of medicines are available for cleaning the nose. This helps clean the nose and in many individuals makes the nose feel more comfortable.

  • Zinc, Copper, and Other Trace Metals: Zinc and other trace metals are used occasionally in the treatment of anosmia and ageusia. The evidence for their efficacy is weak.

  • Allergy Desensitization injections: dilute solutions of the materials causing the allergy. The materials are injected in gradually increasing amounts to cause the build-up of protective (rather than allergy-causing) antibodies.

Surgeries for the Treatment of Nasal Dysfunction:

  • Septoplasty is an operation that straightens the nasal septum.

  • Rhinoplasty straightens crooked external noses

  • Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: opens the natural drainage channels for the maxillary, ethmoid, and frontal sinuses. The surgeon examines the interior of the nose and the orifices to the paranasal sinuses.

    Beware of practitioners promising recovery. Some medications/treatments that have been reported to help have significant adverse side-effects and, importantly, NONE have been approved specifically for the treatment of anosmia/hyposmia, although some have been approved for treatment of underlying problems, such as the use of steroid sprays for chronic nasal inflammation. You should always ask whether any suggested treatment has been tested in properly controlled, clinical trials whose results have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. The placebo effect is powerful, and careful double-blind studies (where neither the MD nor the patient know whether they are getting the drug or the placebo or control) are required to insure that an apparently effective treatment is truly effective. Anything that doesn’t meet those criteria must be viewed as experimental and should be tried only if you fully recognize the risks involved and are willing to be a ‘guinea pig’! Unfortunately, there are practitioners out there that are more interested in their own gain than in your health, or are well-meaning, but simply misinformed – be an alert consumer.

    - Nancy E. Rawson, Ph.D., Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, and Scientific Advisor to the Anosmia Foundation

    Have you received a successful treatment for anosmia or another olfactory disorder? Please email the details to Lisa@anosmiafoundation.org

    Also, see the anosmia discussion group on Yahoo.

    For anecdotal evidence please click here.

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