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How do you treat someone with a loss of sense of smell?

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Doctors treat someone with a loss of the sense of smell, or anosmia, through surgery or antibiotics, depending on the cause of the anosmia, states WebMD. For instance, an individual with a head cold can experience loss of smell due to nasal congestion. This problem resolves itself without treatment or with over-the-counter medications. If the cold and resulting anosmia is due to a bacterial infection, then a doctor prescribes antibiotics for treatment.

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Sometimes there are blockages in the nose that interfere with the sense of smell, according to WebMD. Surgeons treat this by surgically removing this obstruction or polyp. If certain medications are causing anosmia, the individual needs to consult with a doctor before discontinuing use. If anosmia is a result of age or another untreatable condition, there are ways to manage without the sense of smell, such as relying on smoke detectors instead of scent to detect possible fires.

Anosmia can occur for several reasons, some of which are treatable, such as nasal polyps, blockages and sinus infections, explains WebMD. Other causes, including head trauma, exposure to toxic chemicals, and medical conditions, make treatment more complicated. Sometimes anosmia occurs due to treatment for another problems. For instance, radiation that treats cancer in the head can cause a loss of smell. Medications that treat heart disease can cause anosmia as a side effect.

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