Anosmia is a condition in which a person loses his/her sense of smell. Smell is one of the five senses a human being possesses. The odor molecules in the air surrounding us enter our nostrils, and are detected by the olfactory receptors. These receptors send a signal to the brain center via a nerve where the smell is identified, this is how we identify different smells and odors. Loss of smell makes a person unable to perceive pleasant odors (like fragrances) and also sense danger situations that can be detected by smell (like gas leakage or smoke). Our sense of smell also plays a significant role in how food tastes, and so anosmia can also lead to a loss of taste (ageusia) and lack of interest in eating. A person may suffer from partial or total loss of smell (conditions known as hyposmia and anosmia respectively). Loss of smell can be present since birth, in such a case a child is born without any sense of smell. Anosmia may be temporary or permanent depending upon the cause behind it.
Homeopathic Treatment Of AnosmiaHomeopathy offers natural and effective treatment for anosmia. These medicines are suitable to treat anosmia in people of all age groups. Since these medicines are made of natural substances, they treat the condition in a safe, effective manner. They treat the root cause of anosmia to bring about excellent recovery.
Homeopathic Medicines for AnosmiaThe top indicated homeopathic medicines for anosmia include Natrum Mur, Silicea, Pulsatilla, Calcarea carb, Kali Bichromicum and Lemna Minor.
1. Natrum Mur – For Anosmia With Nasal AllergiesNatrum Mur is an effective homeopathic medicine for anosmia where there are nasal allergies present. The guiding features to use Natrum Mur include loss of smell along with other nasal discharges and dryness in nostrils. In a few cases, nasal discharges (that look like egg white) may be present. Other features include nose blockage that makes breathing difficult, and violent sneezing (especially during the morning). A very specific squirming sensation of a worm crawling in nostrils may be present with the symptoms mentioned.
2. Silicea – For Anosmia Linked With Chronic ColdSilicea is a well-indicated homeopathic remedy for anosmia where the person suffers from chronic cold. The people needing Silicea have a history of yellowish, chronic, offensive, fetid nasal discharges prior loss of smell. For using Silicea, the symptoms that may be present along with a loss of smell include a burning sensation in nostrils, dryness in nostrils and the presence of hard crusts in the nostrils. In some cases, soreness and itching in the nostrils may also be present.
3. Pulsatilla – For Loss Of Smell With Loss Of TastePulsatilla is an effective medicine for anosmia attended with loss of taste. In some cases, the person may experience loss of appetite. Other attending features include thick greenish nasal discharges and sneezing, especially during sleep. The symptoms tend to worsen indoors and are better in the open air. In some cases, itching in nostrils during the evening time may also be present. Stoppage of the nose in the evening while going to bed is another symptom that may be noted.
4. Calcarea Carb – For Anosmia And Nasal Blockage
This medicine offers great help when there is loss of smell and nasal blockage. Nasal blockage makes breathing through nose difficult especially at night. There may also occur nasal dryness while in some cases yellow colored nasal discharge flows. It also offers best help when loss of smell is linked with nasal polyps.
5. Kali Bichromicum – For Anosmia with Sinusitis
Kali Bichromicum is a natural homeopathic medicine for anosmia that is linked with sinusitis. The main symptoms that indicate the need for Kali Bichromicum include constant stuffiness in the nose, stringy/sticky nasal discharge and fullness at the root of the nose. A sinus headache also appears along with nasal symptoms. Other accompanying symptoms include a tickling sensation in the nostrils and postnasal discharge of mucus.
6.Lemna Minor – Homeopathic Cure for Anosmia with Nasal Polyps
Lemna Minor is an important homeopathic medicine for anosmia in cases of nasal polyps. The person requiring this remedy experience loss of smell, obstruction in nostrils, and frequent sneezing attacks. The other symptoms include a thick, viscid or excessive purulent (pus-like) discharge from the nose. The nasal symptoms tend to get worse in damp surroundings and rainy weather.
7. Hepar Sulph – For Loss Of Smell Associated With Cold Or Sinus Infection
This medicine can be used when there is loss of smell along with cold or sinus infection. A characteristic symptom present is sneezing and nasal blockage when inhaling cold air. Discharge occurs from the nose which is thick and sometimes blood stained. At times there occur dripping of mucus from back of nose into throat. The mucus is often blood stained. Pain in bony part of nose may also be felt.
8. Phosphorus – For Loss Of Smell And Alternate Nasal Discharge And BlockageThis medicine is useful when a person complains of loss of smell and an alteration between nasal discharge and blockage. It can be attended with frequent sneezing. Sometimes there is painful dryness in the nose. The nasal discharge may dry into a crust form and stick to the nostrils. The nose may be sore to touch.
Symptoms Attending AnosmiaDepending on the cause behind anosmia, a person shows symptoms like nasal discharge, post nasal drip, sneezing and nasal blockage. Persons having anosmia may also have loss of taste Complete loss of smell may make it difficult to sense a dangerous circumstance and take measures to stop it, for example if there is gas leakage from cylinder or fire, a person suffering from anosmia may be unable to sense it and seek help. Sometimes loss of smell may lead to depression.
Causes Of Anosmia
The reasons behind anosmia are variable. Anosmia may arise due to swelling in the nose, blockage in the nose that hinders odors reaching the top of nose or due to damage to brain /olfactory nerve (that sends signal of smell from nose to brain) /olfactory receptors. However, in approximately 20 per cent of the cases, anosmia has no cause (a condition known as idiopathic anosmia). The causes of anosmia are summed below:
Causes related to nasal irritation or congestion:1. Sinusitis (acute or chronic) –Inflammation of the lining of paranasal sinuses. 2. Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) – Nasal allergy where inhalation of allergens like dust mites, pollen leads to symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, itching in nose or eyes, watering from nose. 3. Common cold – viral infection of upper respiratory tract 4. Influenza – viral infection of respiratory tract caused by influenza virus 5. Non – allergic (vasomotor) rhinitis – In this condition, symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis appear, but without any known cause. 6. COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) – An infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus
Causes related to blockage / obstruction of nasal passage:1. Nasal polyps – soft, non-cancerous growths in lining of nasal passage or paranasal sinuses. 2. Tumours in nose 3. DNS (deviated nasal septum) – displacement of thin wall separating right and left nasal passage to one side.
Causes related to damage to brain or nerve1. Ageing 2. Parkinson’s Disease – A nervous system disorder characterized by hand tremors, slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, impaired posture and balance 3. Alzheimer’s Ddisease – A neurological disorder that leads to decline in memory, forgetfulness and problems with thinking, reasoning and communication 4. Brain tumours 5. Multiple sclerosis – A disease in which there occurs damage to myelin sheath of nerve cells which impairs communication between brain and the rest of the body parts 6. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), diabetes, head/brain injury, epilepsy (tendency to get fits) 7. Chemical exposure that causes burns inside nose, certain medicines (like antibiotics, antihistamines) 8. Zinc deficiency, poor nutrition 9. Smoking, alcohol misuse 10. In some cases a baby is born with anosmia, then condition is called congenital anosmia.
Anosmia linked with COVID-19
Loss of smell is one of the prominent symptoms of COVID-19 but the mechanism behind it is unknown. It is also one of the earliest and most common symptoms reported in COVID-19. This symptom is more prominent predictive factor for COVID-19. Researches are still trying to find the underlying mechanism behind it. Certain research has found that COVID-19 does not cause permanent anosmia.