OLFACTORY (SMELL) PROBLEMS IN PATIENTS WITH ALLERGIC FUNGAL RHINOSINUSITIS

luke-curtis
Many people experience loss of sense of smell (olfaction) due to nasal problems or aging. Loss of smell can reduce safety (can’t smell gas leaks), reduce appetite, diminish quality of life, and increase risk of depression. 

 

Carl Philpott et al. Olfactory dysfunction in allergic fungal rhinosinusitis. Archives of Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery 2011;137:694-7. AND
Jens Ponikau et al. The diagnosis and incidence of allergic fungal sinusitis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1999;74:877-84.

A major cause of loss of smell involves fungi related chronic rhinosinusitis (nasal congestion). Earlier studies have reported that a majority of patients with rhinosinusitis are allergic to fungi (molds)- a condition known as allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS). One review of 101 consecutive surgically treated chronic rhinosinusitis patients repotred that 94 (93%) were diagnosed with AFRS. 
Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis is often associated with loss of smell. A study of 52 adults with AFRS reported that 41 (79%) had an abnormally low sense of smell. (Sense of smell was measured by sniffing scent sticks and by a questionnaire). Patients with larger amounts of endoscopic nasal swelling had higher average levels of smell loss.

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