Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 154–162

Management of Smell Dysfunction

Sinusitis (ML Kowalski, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11882-012-0248-5

Cite this article as:
Kalogjera, L. & Dzepina, D. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2012) 12: 154. doi:10.1007/s11882-012-0248-5


Olfaction is an essential chemosensory system in the living world. Although less appreciated in humans, smell impairment significantly affects many aspects of quality of life. Smell disorders may be caused by an impaired nasal airway or by lesions in the olfactory system, leading to reduced or distorted smell perception. The most common causes of smell disorders are aging, upper respiratory tract infection, sinonasal disease, and head trauma. Recovery is rarely complete. Counseling is important in progressive or severe smell loss. In patients with distorted smell perception, antidepressant medication is sometimes necessary. Best response to treatment is achieved for nasal obstruction and sinonasal inflammatory disease. Treatment of olfactory impairment caused by sinonasal disease includes medication with topical and systemic steroids, or surgery for refractory cases. Although there are reports that surgical resection of olfactory neurons may lead to reinnervation and recovery of smell, adequate treatment of the smell loss remains an unmet need.


Smell dysfunction Treatment Dysosmia Hyposmia Anosmia Parosmia Phantosmia Kakosmia Troposmia Olfactory receptor Rhinosinusitis Nasal obstruction Nasal polyps Topical steroids Oral steroid Chemoreception Smell test Olfactory nerve Olfactory bulb Flavor Olfactometry Sinus surgery Nasal steroids Neuroepithelium Emotions Quality of life Neuroregeneration 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zagreb School of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity Hospital Centre, “Sestre Milosrdnice”ZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.University Hospital Centre, “Sestre Milosrdnice”ZagrebCroatia