Purpose of review: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the causes of olfactory dysfunction, their evaluation and management, with a main focus on the gradual/progressive loss of smell.
Recent findings: As the sense of smell gives us essential information about our environment, its loss can cause nutritional and social problems while threatening an individual's safety. Recent surveys have shown quite a substantial prevalence of hyposmia (one out of four people) and anosmia (one out of 200 people) in a variety of populations.
Summary: Nasal inflammatory diseases such as allergic rhinitis and predominantly chronic rhinosinusitis account for the major and common causes of gradual/progressive loss of smell. However, they are also among the most successfully treated forms of olfactory dysfunction. The management of gradual/progressive smell deficit must always address its etiological causes. In most cases, a detailed medical history and nasal examination, smell testing, and imaging will help to establish an appropriate diagnosis. In addition to anti-inflammatory therapy, mainly nasal and systemic corticosteroids, recent investigations on smell training suggest that the controlled exposure to selected odors may increase olfactory performance.
Video abstract available: See the Video Supplementary Digital Content 1 (http://links.lww.com/COOH/A8).
aRhinology Unit and Smell Clinic, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
bOtorhinolaryngology Department, Hospital Regional PEMEX Salamanca, Guanajuato, México
cClinical & Experimental Respiratory Immunoallergy, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi I Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Correspondence to Joaquim Mullol, MD, PhD, Rhinology Unit and Smell Clinic, Otorhinolaryngology Department, Hospital Clínic i Universitari, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Tel: +34 932279872; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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