Saturday, October 14, 2006

No sense of smell, allergies and nasal polyps

When we got back from NYC it became apparent that something was going on. Literally overnight I was not able to smell anything. And with that loss of smell goes your sense of taste as well. It would come and go but for the most part, any olfaction (sense of smell) that I had was severely compromised.

I decided I'd go to my doctor and let him take a look. Maybe it was just a sinus infection? He is a good doctor but he said he could see nothing wrong but as a precaution, prescribed some antibiotics. These of course proved pointless. I kept having fleeting moments of olfaction but it was becoming increasingly frustrating and to be quite honest, depressing.

I had some sinus surgery a few years prior so I paid a visit to my ENT to see what he could do. After scoping me out and ordering a CT Scan he told me that I had a terrible situation with nasal/sinus polyps. They needed to come out and with luck, I'd be able to smell again.

For those that don't know, anosmia is typically caused by one of three factors.

  • Head Trauma
  • Viral infection
  • Sinus inflammation or polyps

As I'd had no head trauma and wan't truly able to pinpoint any kind of cold (virus), plus the fact that my olfaction had come and gone for some time, it seemed as if the cause was sinus inflammation caused by my polyps and constant allergies. I was relieved because if your anosmia is caused by head trauma or infection, it almost certainly will not come back.

The surgery was scheduled for the end of January 2006. Now keep in mind that my sense of smell, while greatly diminished and fleeting, did make brief returns. By brief I mean a few minutes here and there.

I was prescribed prednisone for pre-surgery and knowing very little about all of this, was amazed at how my sense of smell came back completely. My ENT had told me this would happen but to not get too excited since it would be temporary.

Well, my surgery was a success in that the polyps were removed. Unfortunately, after the prednisone wore off a few days after my surgery, my ability to smell was gone once again.

My ENT said that there was hope but that I needed to see an allergist, stay on a daily regimine of cortico-steroid sprays (for life) and needed to do daily nasal rinses. Without these, the polyps would probably come back.

As for my sense of smell, since my surgery it has virtually disappeared. There have been moments where it returned and in fact in late March of 2006 I had a spell of 3 days where it was back. Alas, as of this date, it has been gone almost entirely other than another round of prednisone with my allergist.

I am remaining hopeful. Maybe it's naive or pollyanna-ish. But I will continue to try to find a way to restore what I've lost.


tina woehler said...

Makes me think it is inviromental!! Not a doctor but goin through the same thing as far as here and gone ..depends on the day..Thanks

tina woehler said...

makes me think it is environmental . not a doctor ..going through the same thing as far as here and gone tomorrow ...thanks for information!!

Susan T. said...

I, too, have lost my sense of smell. It's been 20 years, resulting from chronic allergies (environmental & animal dander) and nasal polyps. Only when I take prednisone does it return for a few days. It's so frustrating to have people continually ask me if I have a cold. Any homeopathic remedy's would be appreciated. Thanks

jjas411 said...

Mike your situation describes mine as well. Had my first surgery in 2009 and again in 2015. Still no sense of smell and I am allergic to prednisone. Would like to know if your sense of smell came back cause I've tried everything and nothings work for me.