My sense of smell is gone!

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by french fries, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. mrahim

    mrahim

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    I am on my 77 day. If you have zinc deficiency then taking zinc tablets from what I have heard should definitely make you better. I really hope it works! I am about two weeks away from the three month period. Then again i am not noticing any change so u don't know if I will see anything substantial in two weeks. For some people it takes six months to even notice any change.

    As for smell therapy. I bought some essential oils. And the idea is to sniff then four to five times a day and after a 12 week period you can expect to see some increase in your threshold level. I believe it helped me when I was doing it obsessively the first month. With the stress of my job right now, it has been difficult to keep up. But I want to start doing it again.

    My doctor put me on steroids a week after my URI. I also had a secondary sinus infection which made matters worse. But much like you I didn't lose everything. I have about 60% on my right nostril and maybe 10% on my left. I also took a smell test a scratch and sniff type and did well. But then again I can barely taste my food.
    I also hope we get better. Let's wait to see what happens in 3-4 months and then again at six months. A lot of people do seem to get better but it takes time. For many it takes at least a year.
     
  2. misscoffee

    misscoffee

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    Hi French Fries,

    I joined this site just to thank you for your post.  I  had totally lost my sense of smell after a sinus infection 9 weeks ago.  I went to an ENT who put me a week of prednisone and nose spray (which didn't work), however, he said it was definitely caused by the infection as he didn't see any obstructions.  

    I felt myself becoming very depressed until I found your post.  It gave me hope, and I'm happy to say that I am "slowly" beginning to smell things again.  Some days are better than others, but I definitely notice a difference.  In the beginning there was just an absence of smell - but now i can smell the change when I walk into a store from the outside.  I can also taste the first few bites of whatever I'm eating - then it fades away.  I can taste some foods (lemon, pineapple, pumpkin) much better than other foods (meats, bread, chocolate, coffee).  I can smell perfumes and soaps very good, but cannot smell when the cat litter needs cleaning (which can be good and bad!)

    I know I have a long way to go, but all of your posts giving the constant status of your condition have really been an encouragement.  I thank the Lord for letting me find your post!

    I hope you and your family are well!

    Thanks again,

    Mary
     
  3. misschocolate

    misschocolate

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    Hi Mary,

    It sounds like we are both at a very similar stage and are experiencing very similar symptoms. I lost my sense of smell and taste 10 weeks ago after a bad cold/ sinus infection. Like you I have also tried steroid nasal spray & Prednisone (which made me very sick) and both didn't work. I also had an endoscopy which showed no blockages or inflammation.

    I can certainly understand the whole depression thing. How can this happen just from a stupid cold! I can smell things up close to my nose and on rare occasions I pick up smells in the air but they seem very random and inconsistent. I catch myself doing the same thing when I walk into shops to see if I notice a smell and sometimes I sense that I can and other times I can't. I'm really struggling on the taste part though. The main thing I can taste is orange juice & like you pumpkin. I can't taste bread or meat whatsoever although I can smell them if I hold them up close to my nose. I find myself smelling coffee and jam and peanut butter on and off all day long just to make sure that I still can.

    It will be nice to share this journey with someone and fingers crossed we both come out the other end as successfully as French Fries.

    Thanks

    Kim
     
  4. misscoffee

    misscoffee

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    Hi Kim

    I was so happy to see your post. However, I'm sorry that you are suffering the same affliction. It makes me wonder if there was some kind of bacteria in the air which we both caught. It's amazing, as I read your post it was as if I wrote it myself.

    I noticed yesterday that I could taste licorice as if there was nothing wrong with me. However, when I ate a piece of chocolate today I could barely taste it.

    As you mentioned, I hope we both have the same success as French Fries. I would be happy to share our experiences. I'm also happy to know I'm not alone in this situation.

    Mary
     
  5. misschocolate

    misschocolate

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    Hi Mary,

    I am soooo happy to hear back from you.  I have been feeling sooo alone and it is very hard for anyone to understand exactly what it is like so to be able to talk to someone that is going through exactly the same thing is going to help me sooo much.

    Have you seen an ENT? If so did they give you any indication as to whether being able to get whiffs in the air and tastes now and then is a positive sign? The ENT I saw was very negative and really didn't give me any indication to suggest that I stand a better chance of recovery given I can smell things up close and get whiffs in the air. On the weekend I had my car window down and I even got the whiff of the person in the car in front smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke out the window. Surely that has got to be a good sign??

    On Saturday night my family and I went out to tea and I genuinely thought I could taste the thai beef salad that I had but then last night  when I had a chicken stirfry I could taste nothing.  It is just so frustrating. It is a real mind game and it messes with my head.

    I did find it encouraging in elelioaf's earliest post which said that there is an 85% chance of recovery in 6 months to 2 years (although 2 years seems like a very longgggg time).

    You have no idea how better I feel though to know that we can compare notes. I am sooo praying that we both are able to enjoy coffee and chocolate again SOON.

    I'm also hoping that mrahim and evelioaf give us an update soon as they too have many of the same symptoms as us.

    Talk soon

    Kim :)
     
  6. freedom19

    freedom19

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    Hi if anybody out there is still reading this thread or searching for answers to their sudden loss of smell or distorted sense smell. Here is my story: Exactly one week ago I caught a virus which I believed was the flu, I went to a local clinic(I live in the Bahamas on an island called Grand Bahama) the doctor prescribed me motrin and lorathdine , on my fourth day of taking it I noticed my sense of smell was diminishing , I was getting better my my smell was diminishing, I said well hey I'm stuffed up, fast forward to this past Monday I noticed that I was taking out the garbage and I couldn't smell it, so I started grabbing random things and just smelling it, I could smell the things(pinesol, hair grease, soap but faintly) I couldn't smell strong aromas from afar like I should like sardines or gas or even bleach, I went on the Googler and started googling, read horror stories that's literally made me cry and think about my own situation and what was to come, I have booked and appointment with a ent doctor in the mean time, he'll be coming down on the 12th, and I'm freaking out , worried and excited to see what hell tell me , I'm praying my nasal cavity is still inflamed and he can give me something to calm them down. I've also been smelling this chemical type aroma on certain stuff. In the mean time I'm doing home remedies I found online, like boilg three cloves a garlic in cup of water and drinking it, really nasty but does bring a lot of mucus out my nose, sorry for typos, using a phone to type this. Thank you to French fry as well, this thread was encouraging. I've also researched that lorathine, the meds I was on have cause a lot of Ppl loss of smell, I'm praying I have a success story to come back and tell everybody.
     
  7. freedom19

    freedom19

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    So french fry, you took absolutely nothing during your recovery of gaining your smell?
     
  8. freedom19

    freedom19

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    did your sense of smell ever come back to normal?
     
  9. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    do you have any improvements?
     
  10. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    how are you doing now?
     
  11. misscoffee

    misscoffee

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    Hello Seval,

    Next week will be 13 months since I came down with the virus which caused me to lose my sense of smell (and subsequently taste).  I would say that I am 75% healed at this time.  It is a very slow process and as mentioned by others - progress is not linear.  I am still picking up new smells everyday.  As I was starting to get my sense of smell back, some smells were distorted.  Most of them have come back to normal while others are continually progressing.  I can taste some things perfectly now, and I still struggle with other things.  However, I can now get some taste out of everything I eat - at least the first few bites (then some things fade).

    Did you lose your sense of smell due to a cold?
     
  12. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    Thank you for your reply.. I've lost my senses 13 weeks ago due to a sinus infection..I can smell most things up close but not in open air.

    So can you now smell things in open air, like ambient odors, room odors etc. Does your improvement continue? Did you have any treatment..(supplements)

    Thanks in advance
     
  13. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    Thank you for your reply.. I've lost my senses 13 weeks ago due to a sinus infection..I can smell most things up close but not in open air.

    Did you have parosmia? So can you now smell things in open air, like ambient odors, room odors etc. Does your improvement continue? Did you have any treatment..(supplements)

    Thanks in advance
     
  14. misscoffee

    misscoffee

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    Like you, in the beginning, I couldn’t smell things in the open air – only up close.  It took almost 3 months before I could smell a difference when I walked from room to room – or outside.  I can now pick up odors in the open air.  The absence of smell outside and from room to room was depressing.

    I am still improving.  Almost every day I continue to pick up new smells in the air. 

    At first I did not have any smell distortions.  As my smell started to return, some things (coffee, meat, perfumes) were distorted (parosmia) – they all smelled the same - but it was a tolerable smell.   From what I read, this is normal.  I found it hard to believe, but they were right.  Most of the distortions slowly turned into the actual smell.  I only have one or two things which are distorted now, but they are improving.

    I went to an ENT 4 weeks after I realized my smell was not returning.   He checked to make sure there wasn’t any other reason (i.e. polyps) causing the problem.  He gave me a one week prescription for prednisone and 3 weeks of Flonase spray.  He said the prednisone might jump start the receptor re-generation.  He had me come back in 3 weeks.  By then I was starting to smell a few light scents - so the ENT said if it was starting to come back, he was confident that it would all come back “eventually”.

    In the past year, I have become good friends with “Miss Chocolate”(Kim) in the above posts.  We have shared all of our experiences together, and it really helped us cope with this ordeal.

    We both purchased essential oils which our research shows is the only thing proven to help.  I bought lemon, eucalyptus, cloves, lavender and rose essential oils.  I smell them every day (in the beginning three times a day).  This smell therapy trains the new receptors to reconnect with the brain.

    We also have been taking an alpha lipoic acid supplement which is an antioxidant which is supposed to help with cell regeneration.  We both believe that helped us.  However, we started taking it 6 months after the virus – so we are not sure if it was a coincidence.

    I can only stress that healing is not linear.  One day you can smell something - the next day everything is flat.  Then it comes back again. 

    How is your taste?  We also lost our ability to taste “flavor”.  A lot of our ability to taste has also come back as our smell has improved.  Taste recovery is also linear.  Some days we can taste perfectly, other days food is flat.  I guess it all depends on which receptors have healed.  It doesn’t matter what the food is – if a food has a strong flavor, it doesn’t necessary mean you can taste it.  For example, I couldn’t taste garlic in the beginning, but I could taste bread.   

    Feel free to ask any questions.   
     
  15. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    Thanks millions..Your post means a lot for me...I think I know Kim (if we are talking about the same person) ..I talked to her too... she is also in recovery phase..It's been 13 weeks now..from the beginning  I can smell almost everything up close and I can smell things at home from distance like food cooking,shampooed hair or body lotions. But in open air I only can smell cigarette and people wearing perfume. But no air smell (I think you understand what I mean) and room odors are also so faint. When I enter a shop I can smell faintly. My ENT prescribed prednisone with low doses and also nasonex. I am on prednisone now.

    But I wonder if parosmia is a "must" for recovery. I remember Kim not having parosmia. Am I wrong? I don't have any parosmia and distortion. I smell things as they are and my taste is as you said one day ok one day bad. I hardly can taste meat. The other tastes are a little different but not extremely awful. So you started to smell after 3 months in open air? 

    I am in deep depression. I feel like I'm stuck in this situation as I read horror stories.I keep thinking "what if this is i"t after 13 weeks. I am smell training from the beginning. But I don't know if it works for smelling from distance. I am also taking ALA from the beginning. How did you cope with all this, did you take any antideps. I have a little baby girl and it's hard to take care of her since I'm a wreck.

    Once again Thanks millons
     
  16. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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     by the way did you have any bad yucky smells like smoke, wire or something burning ?
     
  17. misscoffee

    misscoffee

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    Hi Seval - I will private message you with a response.
     
  18. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    ok thanks
     
  19. speakers

    speakers

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    I stumbled across this forum and first - congrats everyone for your optimism! Sounds like a lot of virus related stories here and mine has that at the root. I had a severe sinus infection in the winter that morphed into neuralgia. Super stressed, lost job etc so tried a Chinese herbal remedy which was to be smoked. 5 minutes later I lost much of my smell and also nerve sensation in my nose. I feel for all of you and it has taken some time to get over the self-loathing and guilt from self medicating. I can smell - after 4.5 months- the same as I could the day after the "remedy" - no mild odors , can smell food cooking if strong, garbage, cleaners, oranges , pineapples, perfume. Outside though fresh air now consists of exhaust smells, cut wood, dryer vents. Pretty rough stuff. Doctors also say "time will tell". I am taking Lipoic acid and trying to stay away from allergens - including quitting smoking- did anyone have an improvement in their smell prior to six months?
     
  20. seval erkut

    seval erkut

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    So did you lose your sense after the sinus infection or due to the herbal remedy? After researching a lot I have came up that the magic number is 12 + months if we are lucky..it depends on the amount of cell damage I guess...