Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Lost sense of smell
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Lost sense of smell

Hi all

I hope someone can shed some light on this subject as both myself and my partner are bit concerned.

About 5 days ago my pregnant partner picked up a cold. Shewas suffering from a blocked nose and slight sore throat. After a few days of having the cold she tried clearing her sinuses by covering her head with a towel over a bowl of steaming water with added tee tree oil. She breathed in deeply but this started her off on a coughing fit which she recovered from after a few minutes. She didnt re-use the bowl of water/oils.

During the cold, as expected, she lost her sense of smell and taste. But, the cold has since got a lot better and all that remains is a slight blocked nose. Unfortunately though her sense of smell does not appear to have returned. Both of us are quite worried about this as she cannot sense anything when smelling/eating very garlicy cheese and other strong foods.

She has also had a few nosebleeds since. Nothing major but this is unlike her. She doesnt normally suffer from nosebleeds. Could the bowl of steaming water and oil have caused any problems? If so what would be suggested that could help her regain her sense of smell? Will it return in time? Bear in mind she is currently 4 months pregnant so this limits the medical optionas available to her. Also, could her problems be passed onto the unborn baby?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide.

Chris
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Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the sinus cavities.  Viral infections like the cold your partner just recovered from can cause inflammation of the sinuses.  After the cold is gone, it is possible for the inflammation to linger.  This inflammation can last for several weeks.  Sometimes this inflammation may linger for 3 to 6 months.  The sinuses are very important to the sense of smell.  When this inflammation blocks the drainage of the sinuses, the sense of smell may be lost.  Eventually the inflammation will go away.  Following that the blockage of the sinus drainage will clear.  Then her sense of smell will return.  However the hormone changes that happen during pregnancy also cause swelling inside the nose.  So it is common to have a stuffy nose when you
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I too lost my sense of smell during repeated infections during pregnancies & it has returned intermittently since then through  now (the "babies" are now 14 & 16).
Both kids were born with fine sense of smell & healthy (though they inherited our allergies & asthma).

You may wish to have your partner see an allergist or an Ear Nose Throat specialist.  Perhaps saline nasal rinse might help, but they'd be in a better position to evaluate and make recommendations.
Starion
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