It’s April – But Some People Cannot Smell the Flowers

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Hudson Valley ENT notes that allergies are not always to blame.

Spring flowers are starting to bloom, filling the air with their fragrance. Some people, however, cannot fully enjoy their aroma … or any smells at all. Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) notes that while most cases of anosmia (loss of smell) are caused by common conditions, some cases may warrant a visit to a doctor.

“Most often, when people lose some or maybe even all of their ability to smell, the cause is a cold or seasonal allergies,” explains Mark S. Driver, MD, at Hudson Valley ENT. “This type of anosmia usually resolves on its own. But, a loss of smell that is sudden, complete, and long-lasting can be the sign of a potentially more serious problem.”

Dr. Driver points out that conditions leading to anosmia often are based in either the nose or the brain. A bone deformity or polyps inside the nose can block the flow of air and prevent aroma molecules from reaching receptors in the mucous lining of the nose. Nasal surgery often corrects breathing and the ability to smell. In a person with a brain tumor, head injury, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and various brain disorders, signals do not reach the brain nerve centers that are involved in the ability to smell. Other causes of anosmia include diabetes, certain medications, multiple sclerosis, and malnutrition.

“People may be surprised to learn that certain types of nasal spray decongestants constrict the blood vessels in the nose and can themselves contribute to the loss of smell,” says Dr. Driver. “We encourage anyone who can’t smell the flowers for more than a few days to a week to avoid self-medicating and instead consider consulting with a doctor to rule out causes that may be more serious.”

Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Building B, Suite 220, Middletown, NY. For more information, please call 888.350.1368 or visit

About Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat
Hudson Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C., has been redefining the healthcare experience in the Hudson Valley for more than ten years. Its board-certified physicians, supported by licensed audiologists and dedicated staff, have established a reputation for superior care in treating patients with allergies, gastroesophageal reflux, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, hearing and balance disorders, nasal and sinus disease, head and neck cancer, sleep apnea, snoring, and pediatric ear and throat disorders.

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Kimberly Sawicki
Co-Communications, Inc.
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