Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell

Date:
April 2, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery
Summary:
Traditional Chinese acupuncture, where very thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body to elicit beneficial therapeutic responses, may be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from persistent post- viral olfactory dysfunction, according to new research.

New research suggests that traditional Chinese acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from persistent post- viral olfactory dysfunction.
Credit: iStockphoto

Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), where very thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body to elicit beneficial therapeutic responses, may be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from persistent post- viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD), according to new research in the April 2010 issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Related Articles


Olfactory dysfunction can arise from a variety of causes and can profoundly influence a patient's quality of life. The sense of smell determines the flavor of foods and beverages and also serves as an early warning system for the detection of environmental hazards, such as spoiled food, leaking natural gas, smoke, or airborne pollutants. The loss or distortions of smell sensation can adversely influence food preference, food intake, and appetite.

Approximately 2 million Americans experience some type of olfactory dysfunction. One of the most frequent causes of loss of smell in adults is an upper respiratory tract infection (URI). Patients usually complain of smell loss following a viral URI. The smell loss is most commonly partial, and reversible. However, occasionally patients may also present with parosmia (a distortion of the sense of smell), phantosmia (smelling things that aren't there), or permanent damage of the olfactory system.

To date, there is no validated pharmacotherapy for PVOD, but attempts have been made to establish a standardized treatment. In the literature, systemic and topical steroids as well as vitamin B supplements, caroverine, alpha lipoic acid, and other drugs were used to treat patients. The researchers point out that in addition to these treatments, complementary and alternative medicines are currently being employed by many patients on their own, and that exploration into their usefulness by traditional Western medicine should be validated.

In the current study, 15 patients presenting to an outpatient clinic with PVOD were treated by TCA in 10 weekly 30-minute sessions. Subjective olfactometry was performed using the Sniffin' Sticks test set. Treatment success was defined as an increase of at least six points in the sticks test scores. The effects of TCA were compared to matched pairs of people suffering from PVOD who had been treated with vitamin B complex. Eight patients treated with TCA improved olfactory function, compared with two treated with vitamin B complex.

The authors acknowledge that their study is limited by its size, and that further studies should be conducted in a larger population. However, the authors write "…the observed high response rate of about 50 percent under TCA was superior to that of vitamin B complex or that of spontaneous remission, and offers a possible new therapeutic regimen in postviral dysosmia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia Vent, Djin-Wue Wang, Michael Damm. Effects of traditional Chinese acupuncture in post-viral olfactory dysfunction. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 2010; 142 (4): 505 DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2010.01.012

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. "Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401085342.htm>.
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. (2010, April 2). Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401085342.htm
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. "Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401085342.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins