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Q. Is it difficult to regain a normal sense of smell in chronic sinusitis?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 04, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have had chronic sinusitis for 18 months now. My ENT said I do not have polyps and have a mild disease, but I have serious problems with my sense of smell. I do not have asthma or allergies, and my ENT said surgery is not necessary in my case. With my medical treatments, the vast majority of my symptoms are controlled, but I still feel a bit of odd pressure very high in my nose. Is it difficult to regain a normal sense of smell in chronic sinusitis?

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Thank you doctor,

Sure I will wait for your response.

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Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

In chronic sinusitis, the sense of smell can be restored as long as the olfactory nerve fibers are not affected. The loss of smell in chronic sinusitis is mainly a mechanical problem because of swelling of the nasal mucosa and excessive thick mucus that prevent the odorant particles from reaching the olfactory mucosa. When the chronic sinusitis subsides, the olfaction comes again. Did you lose the sense of smell completely, or just the smell sensation is below the normal level, and you still smell?

Thank you doctor,

In your practice of patients with chronic sinusitis without polyps, do they normally recover their normal sense of smell, or do you have some patients who cannot get it back? I have had this disease for 1.5 years now. Does chronic sinusitis cause eventual permanent damage to the sense of smell?

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Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I did not meet a patient with permanent loss of smell during my practice due to chronic sinusitis. The smell gets lost for some days and then comes back, but I met patients with a complete permanent loss of smell after an influenza attack.


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