Why do people lose their sense of smell?

Loss of smell, also known as anosmia, is a condition that can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. The sense of smell plays a crucial role in our daily experiences, from experiencing the aroma of our favorite foods to alerting us to potential dangers like gas leaks or fires. When we lose our sense of smell, we also lose the ability to appreciate the subtle nuances of different scents and flavors. In some cases, loss of smell can also be a sign of a serious underlying health condition.

As an ENT practice, we often see patients who are experiencing anosmia and are looking for answers. In this blog, we will discuss some common causes of loss of smell and the treatments that are available.

Common Causes of Loss of Smell

There are several factors that can cause a loss of smell. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Sinus Infections: Sinus infections can cause inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages, which can interfere with the ability to detect odors.
  2. Head Injuries: Trauma to the head can damage the olfactory nerve, which is responsible for transmitting signals from the nose to the brain.
  3. Aging: As we age, our sense of smell can gradually decline.
  4. Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as solvents or pesticides, can damage the olfactory nerve and cause loss of smell.
  5. Nasal Polyps: Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths in the nasal passages that can block the flow of air and interfere with the sense of smell.

Treatments for Loss of Smell

The treatment for loss of smell will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. Some of the most common treatments include:

  1. Medications: If a sinus infection causes a loss of smell, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and clear up the infection.
  2. Surgery: If nasal polyps or other structural issues are causing a loss of smell, surgery may be necessary to remove the obstruction and restore normal airflow.
  3. Smell Training: In some cases, smell training may be recommended to help patients retrain their sense of smell. This involves exposing the patient to a series of different scents and teaching them to identify each one.
  4. Avoiding Exposure to Toxins: If the loss of smell is caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, it is important to avoid further exposure and seek medical treatment if necessary.
  5. Other treatments may include the use of corticosteroid sprays or other medications to reduce inflammation or the use of nasal irrigation to help clear mucus and improve airflow.

Get the Help and Treatment You Need

In conclusion, loss of smell can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, but there are many treatment options available. If you are experiencing anosmia, it is important to seek medical advice from an ENT specialist. At our ENT practice, we have a team of experienced professionals who can help diagnose the underlying cause of your loss of smell and recommend the most effective treatment for your individual needs.

Choose Your Preferred Los Angeles Location

East LA

1700 E. Cesar Chavez Ave
Suite 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Book Online Now



1577 E. Chevy Chase Dr.
Suite 330
Glendale, CA 91206

Book Online Now



1300 N. Vermont Ave
Suite 605
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Book Online Now



433 N. 4th Street
Suite 212
Montebello, CA 90640

Book Online Now



800 Fairmount Ave, #411
Pasadena, CA 91105

Book Online Now


Downtown LA

1414 S Grand Ave
Suite 123
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Book Online Now


Huntington Park

3268 E. Gage Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255

Book Online Now


South Bay

14650 Aviation Blvd, #100
South Bay, CA 90250

Book Online Now



41250 12th St West
Suite C
Palmdale CA 93551

Book Online Now


Los Angeles Center for Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy

East LA Glendale Hollywood Montebello Pasadena Downtown Huntington Park South Bay Palmdale