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Chem Senses. 2002 Sep;27(7):617-22.

Anti-inflammatory and surgical therapy of olfactory disorders related to sino-nasal disease.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital, University of Basel, CH-4126 Basel, Switzerland. mwolfensberger@uhbs.ch


Olfactory loss may be caused by mechanical obstruction or inflammation of the olfactory epithelium due to allergic/non-allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis with or without polyps. Treatment of olfactory loss related to sino-nasal disease is possible. Apart from surgical approaches and/or treatment with antibiotics, both systemic and topical steroids are effectively used in the therapy of olfactory loss related to sino-nasal disease. In most cases improvement of olfactory function appears to relate to the anti-inflammatory actions of the steroids used. While some details of therapeutic effect and dose regimen are not clear, systemic steroids are often helpful even in patients without nasal obstruction due to polyps or obvious inflammatory changes.

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