How do you regain your sense of smell? This is an essential piece for everybody to know.
Every sensory organ in humans is invaluable, and not to be neglected when invaded by infections. Of the many sensory organs of the human body, the nose is usually on the verge of being infected in most upper respiratory cases.
A well-functioning sense of smell is something most people take for granted, until it is lost you will not know of its relevance.
The loss of smell is known as anosmia, which involves the total loss of smell while hyposmia involves a reduced sense of smell.
Overview on how do you regain your sense of smell?
Anosmia is the loss of sense of smell, it affects not only your ability to detect odours, fragrances or other things but also affects other areas of life indirectly like the exposure to harmful chemicals without detection.
It may be a partial or complete loss of the sense of smell, which may be permanent or temporary.
Common conditions that irritate the nose’s linings, such as allergies or flu, can lead to temporary loss of sense of smell, while Some serious conditions that affect the brain or nerves, such as brain tumours or head trauma, can cause permanent loss of smell.
Old age sometimes can be considered as a precipitant for anosmia or hyposmia in some cases. It is usually not serious, but it can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life.
The NIH reported that anosmia affects 3 percent of the adult population over the age of 40, and the incidence increases with age. For those over 60 years of age, the rate rises to as much as 22 percent.
Your sense of smell is directly related to your ability to taste. When you cannot smell or taste your food, your appetite is likely to reduce. This question on how do you regain your sense of smell, has become prominent in recent times.
A lot of people most especially in this era of the covid-19 pandemic have been complaining of total or partial loss of smell and taste which intrigued this write-up on “how do you regain your sense of smell”.
Quantitative Classification of loss of sense of smell
- TYPE I HYPOSMIA
- TYPE II HYPOSMIA
- TYPE III HYPOSMIA.
Each classification exhibits specific parameters of loss which result in both the pathology underlying the loss and its treatment.
- Severity of Loss – ANOSMIA > TYPE I HYPOSMIA > TYPE II HYPOSMIA > TYPE III HYPOSMIA
- Frequency of Loss
- ANOSMIA~ 2% of smell loss patients
- TYPE I HYPOSMIA~10% of smell loss patients
- TYPE II HYPOSMIA~75% of smell loss patients
- TYPE III HYPOSMIA~13% of smell loss patients
- The character of Loss – Related to presence of olfactory receptors
- ANOSMIA– total absence (~0% of normal)
- TYPE I HYPOSMIA– most olfactory receptors absent (~5% of normal)
- TYPE II HYPOSMIA– a few olfactory receptors remain (~20% of normal)
- TYPE III HYPOSMIA– olfactory receptors present but limited in number (~50% of normal)
- Treatment of Loss – Treatment relates to the severity of smell loss with efficacy related to the degree of loss – the less severe the loss the more amenable the patient is to successful treatment:
TYPE III HYPOSMIA > TYPE II HYPOSMIA > TYPE I HYPOSMIA > ANOSMIA
Treatment depends upon activation of growth factors that stimulate olfactory epithelial stem cells to initiate inauguration, perpetuation, and maintenance of olfactory receptor development.
In the absence of this quantitative classification of smell loss, it is usually difficult to understand the details of the loss of smell.
Major causes of loss of smell
“How do you regain your sense of smell”? is a very important question everyone asks once anosmia or hyposmia sets in.
Mayo Clinic reported that any condition that obstructs your nasal passage or flow of air through your nose can cause you to lose your sense of smell either temporarily or permanently.
Some of the major conditions include:
- Nasal polyps
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Coronavirus (most time)
There are some neurological conditions that can cause loss of sense of smell most especially when it involves compression or damage of the olfactory nerve which takes signals to the higher centre for interpretation.
Below are some of the neurological conditions
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumour
- Head trauma
- Exposure to harmful chemicals such as insecticides and certain drugs
How do you regain your sense of smell?
The general recovery guideline from loss of smell is dependent on the pathology that triggered the anosmia or hyposmia.
This big question “how do you regain your sense of smell” is answered in this session so read attentively.
There are specialists that have extensive expertise and can implement a plan to help you. The course of care depends upon the underlying causes.
For example, if your problem is caused by a coronavirus, then a treatment or management plan would be created by a qualified specialist.
In cases like this, your sense of smell should return at some point after the underlying problem is resolved.
If your anosmia is due to an underlying neurological condition, the good news is that your olfactory (sense of smell) nerves can regenerate, although it cannot be predicted of the time duration.
There’s also a large difference in the rate of regeneration among different individuals, for some it may take days, while for others, it may take months.
The general recovery guideline from loss of smell
- Visit a specialist, the earlier you take this action the better recovery time you get.
- Quit some activities like smoking and alcoholism
- Adhere to the specialist guidelines by taking any medication administered
- Go for healthy diets
- Exercise regularly
It is essential to note some natural procedures are perfect to regain your sense of smell especially when the cause is a flu or allergy.
Natural procedure on how do you regain your sense of smell?
- Steam inhalation: This is one remedy that can solve many problems. Inhaling steam is one of the basic steps to give away the problem of nasal congestion. It also helps in reducing inflammation and improves the smelling buds. If you have a problem with the lost sense of smell and taste, you should inhale steam twice a day to get immediate results.
- Garlic consumption: Garlic is effective in bringing back the sense of smell and taste. Boil 2-3 cloves of garlic with water. Drink the mixture when it is lukewarm. Repeating this procedure, twice a day will help in nasal decongestion.
- Taking Lemon: lemons help in strengthening the immune system. It reduces the growth of viruses and bacteria, thus making the nasal passage clear. Mixing lemon juice and honey in a glass of water is an effective remedy to treat this problem. Besides this, you can also try consuming lemon pickle, which is essential for taste buds improvement.
- Take sufficient water: Drinking plenty of water is essential to stay fit and healthy.
Usually, dry mouth is one of the leading causes of the loss of sense of taste and smell. Thus, drinking sufficient water will help you to stay hydrated and improve your overall sense of taste and smell.
FAQs on how do you regain your sense of smell?
The inability to smell, or anosmia, has emerged as a predictor of coronavirus.
Case reports suggest that anywhere between 34 and 98 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 will experience anosmia.
A study reports that COVID-19 patients are 27 times more likely than others to lose their sense of smell, making anosmia a better predictor of the illness than fever.
For most COVID-19 patients who suffer anosmia, the sense returns within a few weeks, and doctors don’t yet know if the virus causes long-term smell loss.
While not being able to smell may sound like a small side effect, the result can be devastating.