Smell disturbance management

How is smell disturbance investigated?

In your consultation with Dr. Michael, you will be asked questions relating to your smell disturbance and general health. You will be asked to complete questionnaires and will have your nasal passageways examined with a fine, specialised camera called an endoscope. Your sense of smell will be assessed with validated smell testing kits and you may be asked to undergo blood tests and specialised imaging looking at the region of the smell nerves.

What can be done to help with smell disturbance?

We are still learning about the mechanisms and management of our sense of smell and smell disturbance. However, early recognition and treatment is thought to have the most favourable prognosis to aid with smell recovery. The modality of the management of your smell disturbance will depend upon your symptoms and findings during your examination. With causes which are suspected to be due to a conductive element i.e. blockages preventing the smell molecules reaching the smell nerve endings, surgery to clear blockage may be an option. This may be in the form of a septoplastyturbinoplasty or sinus surgery.

If it is thought that the issues lies more with the nerve endings and their pathways, then non-surgical options will be considered dependent upon the exact cause that is suspected.

What is the chance of smell returning?

The treatments for returning the sense of smell unfortunately as yet are not guaranteed. However, smell disturbance due to conductive issues has a more likely chance of being improved rather than those that occur due to issues with the smell nerve endings and their pathways.