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JAMA Otolaryngology Patient Page
July 15, 2021

Olfactory Loss and Olfactory Training

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online July 15, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.1507

Loss of sense of smell is also known as olfactory loss, which can occur for many different reasons.

Common reasons for olfactory loss are sinusitis, nasal allergy, and respiratory viral illnesses. Olfactory loss is much more common with COVID-2019 than with other types of respiratory viral illnesses. Less common reasons for olfactory loss include head injury, sinus or nasal tumors, medications, and toxins. Olfactory loss can be the first sign of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer or Parkinson disease.

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