Will my weak sense of smell due to chronic sinusitis improve with steroid nasal drops?

Q. Can chronic sinusitis without polyps affect the sense of smell?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 08, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 16, 2023

Hello doctor,

I was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis without polyps 3.5 years ago. I would share my CT (computed tomography) scan results with you, but I am not provided with the results. Initially, I experienced symptoms such as congestion, weak sense of smell, post-nasal drip, cough, pulsatile tinnitus, and extreme pain and pressure. My ENT specialist determined that I had mild to moderate disease, and surgery was not necessary. I was advised to use nasal rinses containing steroids twice a day. At present, all my symptoms have resolved except for a weak sense of smell and mild clicking in my ears when swallowing. Will my sense of smell improve? I never lost it completely but it is still quite weak. Thank you.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern. Your symptoms suggest chronic sinusitis. You do not have polyps but are experiencing a loss of sense of smell. I would like to explain the mechanisms of smelling. Our olfactory (smell sensory) mucosa is limited to the roof of the nasopharynx, and the air we breathe must reach this area. Therefore, any obstruction in the airway may result in a loss of sense of smell. Secondly, the olfactory mucosa should be moist enough for the smelly air to stimulate the olfactory sensory cells. Lastly, active innervation is necessary. Therefore, a thorough physical examination and necessary investigations are necessary to identify the diagnosis and manage your problem. I hope this information helps you. Thank you.

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