by David W. Kennedy, MD
David KennedyInternational Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, Vol. 7, No. 6, June 2017

Olfactory loss is a significant and sometimes debilitating symptom in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and, in my experience, has proven to be the most sensitive rhinologic symptom in terms of early patient identification of disease recurrence postsurgery. Our patients are routinely made aware of the need to contact us and also intensify their own medical therapy if they develop a decrease in their sense of smell following CRS surgery. One of the primary issues that led to olfaction being the “forgotten sense” is a profound lack of therapeutic options when olfactory loss is not associated with inflammatory disease. However, increasing evidence that olfactory training may be beneficial in patients who suffer a decreased sense of smell from a broad swath of causes has renewed interest within the field.1 An interesting article from Croy et al.2 also suggested that close to 100% of the population have anosmias to specific odors, and also demonstrated that olfactory training appeared to be beneficial for these very specific defects.