I have lost my sense of smell and my doctor says it cannot be treated


I have a question for Dr. Robert Pincus. I was prescribed oral steroids (methylprednisolone 4mg) due to loss of smell. I took the 7 day regime of oral steroids. About 10 days after completing this treatment I again lost my sense of smell. My doctor said this could not be treated. I am seeking a second opinion from you. Thank you for any information you can provide.


Thank you for your question.  It is not hopeless when you have lost your sense of smell.  There are two main reasons that we lose the sense of smell.  The first and most common is that there is congestion in the nose at the area of the cribriform plate (the top of the nasal cavity) where the smell fibers are located.  This happens when we have a cold or often from a sinus infection or nasal polyps.   Obviously, these are not only treatable, but will almost always get better.

Damage to the smell fibers themselves, either after a viral infection, trauma, breathing in certain toxins, or other causes are more difficult to treat.

At the NY Sinus Center we believe it is important to find out what has caused your loss of smell and aim our treatments at the particular cause of your problem.

The fact that your smell improved temporarily with oral steroids is an EXCELLENT sign that your sense of smell is both treatable and more likely to be regained.  We would be happy to try to help.

I hope this helps clear things up.

Robert Pincus MD

Co-Director NY Sinus Center

NY Otolaryngology Group   ” Care beyond excellence”

Tags: ENT Doctor, loss of smell, sinus infection