Does it feel as if you’ve lost your sense of smell? Has your spouse, child, family member or friend asked, “Do you smell that?”
If your answer is oftentimes, “No I can’t,” then it may be time to visit one of our otolaryngologists at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat in order to determine what is causing your smelling problems.
A smelling disorder is typically caused by an underlying problem, which is why it is important to visit one of our ENT locations in Lawrenceville or Johns Creek, GA in order to be evaluated by one of our doctors. Once we understand what is causing your problems, we can help you smell again.
What are smell disorders?
When talking with someone who has lost their sense of smell, it is important to make the distinction between individuals who have lost their sense of smell partially (hyposmia), and those who have completely lost their ability to smell anything (anosmia).
Hyposmia is a more common condition than anosmia, but we see and treat the underlying causes for both conditions at Northeast Atlanta Ear Nose & Throat.
What causes a person to lose their sense of smell?
Most of the time a root cause can be determined, but this is not always the case. In some circumstances, the reason for the loss of smell is a mystery, even after a variety of medical conditions known to cause hyposmia and anosmia are ruled out.
Here are a few of the most common reasons that lead people to say, “I can’t smell anymore.”
Recent head injury such as a concussion
Upper respiratory system infection or sickness
Sinus infections (long term, chronic sinus infections are often the culprit)
Tumors or polyps in the nasal cavities
Changes in hormone levels
Exposure to chemicals (are you exposed to chemicals consistently at work?)
Some medicines have been linked to a loss of a person’s sense of smell
Head and neck cancer radiation treatment can cause a decreased sense of smell
If you have experienced a loss in your sense of smell, it could be due to one of the conditions above. This is why it is important to schedule an appointment with an ENT as soon as possible (we have locations in Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville, GA).
Is losing my sense of smell a serious health concern?
It depends on the underlying root cause. In some cases losing your sense of smell is due to a recent infection of the upper respiratory system or sinus cavities, which is easily treated. Once your infections subside, your sense of smell should return.
However, it would be dangerous and irresponsible to assume that losing your sense of smell is nothing serious. It can be a sign of a tumor or polyps, and thus any loss of smell should be evaluated and serious conditions ruled out.
Also, losing your sense of smell can be an early warning signal for a variety of conditions that you may not think are related. In fact, conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, and more could be linked to problems with your sense of smell.
How are these problems diagnosed and treated?
Regardless of what is causing your difficulty smelling things, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Just as with any medical issue, early detection is key.
If you have experienced a reduction in your ability to detect certain odors, or cannot seem to smell anything at all, then we encourage you to contact one of our Northeast Atlanta ENT offices today to schedule an appointment.
You can reach us in Johns Creek at 770-623-1608, or in Lawrenceville at 770-237-3000. Or you can contact us online here to setup your appointment.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for a potentially serious issue that is not going to resolve itself. Contact us today!