Olfactory Training Technique

Olfactory training is for patients who have lost their sense of smell for an extended period of time, due to any number of serious reasons—including COVID-19. These patients may notice that their sense of taste is also reduced. When we eat food, we experience “flavor,” which is a combination of both our sense of taste and sense of smell. So when our sense of smell is reduced; the flavor of food is affected.

There are no medications proven to regain your sense of smell. However, regular exposure to a series of different scents has been proven through scientific studies to be helpful in regaining your sense of smell.

The technique of olfactory training is based on the fact that sense of smell nerve (Olfactory nerve) has the ability to regenerate, and exercising the olfactory nerve may strengthen it. The amount of benefit for each individual can be quite different. Improvement can take a long time, from months or even up to 2 years. It is important to practice these exercises daily to get the best results.

To help in retraining your sense of smell, ENTSC has compiled an Olfactory Training Kit, available to current patients who have ruled out other treatable causes of their loss of taste and smell. Training consists of smelling four different odors twice a day every day. The odors are Rose, Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Clove. These were chosen as they each belong to a different odor family.

  • Pick one odor and hold the container with the odor under your nose and breathe slowly and deeply for 15 seconds. Try to remember what the odor smelled like
  • Break for 10-15 seconds
  • Repeat with another odor until they have all been sampled
  • Repeat this process twice daily

To see if an Olfactory Training Kit might be an option for your treatment, please contact ENTSC to set up an appointment for evaluation by calling our main number: 612-871-1144.

For further information, please refer to these websites, and our educational blog post: