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A partial or complete loss of smell (ansomia) is when the odor receptors in your nose can’t detect scents. A loss of smell can affect taste and overall appetite. It can also be dangerous, as you may not be able to tell if you’re breathing polluted air or even eating spoiled food.

Ansomia can be caused by a sinus infection or common cold, as well as:

  • Inflammation
  • Blockage by a polyp
  • Blockage by a nasal fracture
  • Nerve damage
  • Aging

UR Medicine's Treatments for Loss of Smell

Anosmia is usually diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. At your appointment, the specialist will ask you about your symptoms, examine your nose, and run tests to determine the extent of your loss of smell. In some cases, a CT (computed tomography) scan may be necessary.

In most cases, treating the underlying condition can help restore your sense of smell. For example, if you have sinusitis, antibiotics may help clear up the infection. If certain medications are affecting your sense of smell, switching to a different medication may help. If you have nasal polyps or another type of blockage, surgery may be necessary.

Your healthcare provider can help determine any underlying conditions and recommend the right treatment.

What Sets Us Apart?

Patients of the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Otolaryngology have access to a
network of specialists in multiple disciplines. Our rhinologists (specialists in the nose and sinuses) are
exposed to more complex conditions and unusual conditions than most physicians in the Rochester region.

Our state-of-the-art clinic includes four exam rooms equipped with high-definition monitors. Our exam
rooms also serve as procedure suites for in-office surgeries. We use video-capture technology to help give our patients a stronger understanding of their conditions.

UR Medicine ENT physicians are trained in non-surgical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ears,
nose, throat, head, and neck. They perform hundreds of procedures and surgeries every
year, so your care is always in the hands of well-practiced experts.

Many of our physicians are also involved in research to find new treatments for ENT-related conditions.
All our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

1 location

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Brighton

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

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