Relationship of smell loss length prior to treatment to degree of smell and taste loss
When patients develop smell loss it may persist without spontaneous return. When losses do occur, patients exhibit varying time periods of smell loss prior to their attempt at treatment. These periods vary from weeks to months to years. It is of interest to discover whether the degree of smell loss varies related to the period prior to their attempt at treatment.
Whereas patients may be acutely aware of their smell loss they may not seek immediate help. When they do seek treatment it may not be adequate which prolongs the period during which their loss persists. Patients may try various techniques and procedures to correct their loss but this may be ineffective. Thus, patients may have prolonged periods during which their loss persists. On the other hand some patients may actually seek help soon after their loss occurs.
Are there any differences in degree of taste or smell loss of patients who present to the Taste and Smell Clinic soon or after prolonged periods of loss?
To answer this question we compared the initial responses of loss prior to any treatment of patients who experienced losses of smell and taste one year or less after the loss occurred to patients who experienced their loss for periods as long as 30 years. We compared results of 32 patients with losses less than one year with responses of 62 patients with losses of more than one year.
Responses of taste loss for all tastants (salt, sweet, some bitter) were similar regardless of the length of time taste loss has occurred. Thus, detection, recognition and estimation of taste intensity were similar regardless of the length of loss period.
Responses of smell loss for all odorants (pungent, banana –like, petroleum-like or sweet were also similar regardless of the length of time smell loss occurred. Thus, detection, recognition and estimation of smell intensity were similar regardless of the length of the loss period.
Thus, regardless of the length of the loss period the character and intensity of the loss were similar when it was initially evaluated a The Taste and Smell Clinic.