When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Loss of smell caused by colds, allergies or sinus infections usually clears up on its own after a few days. If this doesn't happen, consult your doctor so that he or she can rule out more-serious conditions.

Loss of smell can sometimes be treated, depending on the cause. Your doctor can give you an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection, or remove obstructions that are blocking your nasal passage.

In other cases, anosmia can be permanent. After age 60, in particular, you're at greater risk of losing your sense of smell.

Apr. 10, 2014