Has recovering from a viral infection left you without a sense of smell? Or maybe you’ve noticed a change in how you smell, and now aromas you used to love are making you grimace.
This is not an uncommon side effect, and you can actually rewire your nerve fibers to smell properly again through a process called olfactory training. This is a great way to reintroduce smells to your brain. Moreover, it is cost-efficient and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
What Causes the Sense of Smell to Diminish?
According to the Mayo Clinic, special cells in our nose and upper throat contain odor receptors. These receptors detect smells and send messages to the brain to let us know we recognize, like, or dislike an odor.
Your ability to smell normally can be affected by several factors, including a stuffy nose, nasal passage blockage, nerve damage, or a brain function condition. The results could be a total loss of smell or a change in how you remember things smelling.
Are your chronic allergy symptoms causing you more grief than just a loss or change of smell? Contact Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center to find relief today.
Does Olfactory Training Only Work for People Who Have Completely Lost Their Sense of Smell?
There are a few different ways your sense of smell can be affected. And olfactory training can help restore your ability to smell, whether that be a total loss or just slight differences from how you used to smell.
Anosmia is a complete loss of smell. Furthermore, this can also result in you not being able to taste your food.
A change of smell is Parosmia. You may notice that things you once enjoyed smelling now smell rotten or like burnt tires. Some patients even begin to enjoy the aroma of things that once completely grossed them out.
A decreased sense of smell is called Hyposmia. You’re still able to smell and taste, but at a lesser level than your brain remembers.
No matter the initial cause, a prolonged loss or change to your ability to smell is typically due to incorrect wiring of your nerve fibers upon regeneration during your recovery. But you don’t have to be stuck without a sense of smell. Instead, you can practice olfactory training to rewire those nerve fibers to function correctly again.
Olfactory Training Does Not Require a Medical Doctor’s Supervision
Olfactory training, or smell training, is a simple process you can do at home without the supervision of a doctor. This process helps to rewire the regenerated nerve fibers that went awry during a viral infection or whatever initially caused your loss of smell.
Basically, you’ll introduce different familiar scents for your brain to relearn to smell again.
Do you suffer from sleep apnea or chronic allergies? Contact Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center to find relief today.
How Do I Start Regaining My Ability to Smell?
These five easy steps could help you to regain your ability to smell.
1. Purchase Essential Oils & Vials
First of all, purchase essential oils or extracts that have familiar aromas.
The most commonly chosen scents are rose, clove, lemon, and eucalyptus. However, Dr. Pasha likes to include the smell of coffee, too. Just make sure to choose aromas that you were familiar with before experiencing a loss or change to your sense of smell.
Then, purchase small vials with screw top lids. These can be very tiny, as they only need to hold two to three drops of liquid each. For the purpose of olfactory training, choose vials with a solid color lid rather than a clear lid.
2. Place Label Under Cap
Write the name of each scent on a small label and place one under the cap of each vial. This part is important. Throughout your olfactory training, you’ll want to challenge yourself to name each aroma on smell alone without unintentionally reading the label first.
3. Place 2-3 Drops of Essential Oil in Each Vial
Now, take each essential oil and place two to three drops into the vial labeled with its scent. Do this with each essential oil, double-checking that the label corresponds with the scent.
[Related: Six Ways Peppermint Can Help With Your ENT Problems]
4. Get Your Olfactory Training Routine Down
Now you’re ready to start your olfactory training routine.
At least twice a day, sit down with your vials of aromas. As you begin this process, unscrew the lid and look at the label as you take a whiff from the vial. This will help to reintroduce the aromas to your nerves and neurons in your brain. Smell each scent for about 20 seconds, then follow with a one- to two-minute break before smelling the next scent.
Many clients like to do this in the morning before they start their day. Then they do their second daily round either in the afternoon or evening right before bed. Choose a routine that works for you, and make sure to go through the process twice daily.
5. Continue for at Least 2-3 Months
You’ll continue this twice-daily routine for at least two months. After the first few rounds, try keeping the lids label-down so that you can challenge your brain to see if you recognize the scents correctly.
Do what feels right for you. Some patients find that they must continue for three to four months to completely restore their sense of smell. This is a painless process that many people have been able to do routinely with successful outcomes.
Find Relief from Chronic Symptoms With Lasting Results
Whether you are suffering from Anosmia or chronic sinusitis, you don’t have to suffer alone. At Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center, we successfully help patients identify the cause of their allergy, snoring, and Anosmia symptoms with proven solutions. Contact Dr. Pasha’s office for a virtual appointment. Start your journey to finally find relief.