The loss is usually temporary and returns as you begin to heal from the illness or condition that caused it. At Texas ENT Specialists, we can help determine the cause of the loss and work with you to find a treatment that can help it return. 

Your Treatment Options

The treatment for a temporary loss of taste and smell will depend on the cause. Our experts at Texas ENT Specialists treat patients who have a lost sense of taste and smell due to chronic sinus infections, allergies, and nasal polyps. Contact us for more information on these treatment options.

For those with sinus infections, our offices offer balloon sinuplasty to help open the sinuses and flush out any drainage. This in-office procedure is performed by inserting a tiny balloon in the nasal passageway and inflating the balloon until the passageway opens. 

For allergy patients, we offer Asensa™ allergy drops and allergy shots. The Asensa drops can be custom-formulated to your specific allergies and are taken at home by placing them under the tongue. Allergy shots involve regular injections of the allergen to increase your tolerance to it. 

For those with regular nasal polyps, we offer a surgical procedure to help remove them and limit their chance of returning. This surgery can also help those with chronic sinusitis. 

Temporary Loss of Senses

The nerves that detect smell are located in the highest regions of the nose at the level of the skull base. When the nasal passageways become blocked and swollen due to congestion, it can be difficult for smell odorants to reach these vital nerves. If the smell does not make it to the nerves, the result is a total or partial loss of smell. Because of the connection between smell and flavor, a loss of smell can also create a loss of taste. These are both common, and most often temporary. The loss of smell or taste is not typically dangerous, although it can inhibit you from smelling dangerous nearby smells such as gas or fire.

The UPSIT®

The UPSIT (The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test) is a standardized smell test that is used to objectively measure a patient’s loss of smell. It includes four booklets that have “scratch and sniff” labels for smells such as gasoline, lilac, peanuts, etc. with multiple choices for the answers. We utilize this test to help evaluate the level of patients’ sense of smell so that we can treat them if needed.

Smell Training Exercises

Smell training (or “olfactory training”) can often help patients restore their sense of smell. These exercises typically include a concentrated focus on smelling the same chosen scents each day, sometimes twice a day, for an allotted amount of time. Many patients choose familiar scents such as their favorite shampoo, perfume, fruit, or spice.

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Symptoms of Loss Taste and Smell

  • Partial or complete loss of the sense of taste
  • Partial or complete loss of the sense of smell
  • Disorder or phantom smell
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About Texas ENT Specialists

Texas ENT Specialists is a multi-location ENT provider with offices across the Houston area. We provide our patients with:

Personalized Treatment

Our providers offer personalized care to understand and treat your ENT condition.

Top-Rated Physician Network

Each of our locations is staffed with a team of experienced providers who have been independently board-certified.

Centers of Excellence

We’ve created a seamless patient experience that starts the minute you walk through our doors.

Continuity of Care

We believe in comprehensive care and are committed to helping you achieve long-term relief from your condition.

Who is Affected?

Almost any patient can experience a temporary loss of taste or smell. Patients who are most likely to experience this are those who have allergies, chronic sinus conditions, nasal polyps, have experienced a recent viral cold, or who have certain neurological conditions.

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Loss of Sense of Taste and Smell FAQ

I can’t smell. Does this mean I have Covid-19?

A loss of smell does not mean you have Covid-19, but it is possible. If you experience a loss of taste or smell and think you may have Covid-19, it is important to get tested and quarantine.

Do you lose your sense of smell and taste as you age?

Age can play a role in our loss of taste and smell, especially for those who smoke, consume alcohol, or use certain medications.

With 15 convenient locations across the greater Houston area, we’re never far away.

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