J Rhinol.  2019 Nov;26(2):106-112. 10.18787/jr.2019.26.2.106.

The Effects of Olfactory Training with Intranasal Corticosteroid Spray in Korean Patients with Olfactory Dysfunction

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea. miky@cu.ac.kr


Olfactory training is an alternative treatment based on modulation of the regeneration process of the olfactory system via repeated exposure to odors. Our study aimed to investigate the impact of olfactory training with intranasal corticosteroid in Korean patients with various causes of olfactory dysfunction.
Our study population comprised 134 adults with olfactory dysfunction of different etiologies (postviral infection n=85; post-traumatic n=18; and idiopathic n=31). For training, patients exposed themselves to four different odors twice a day. All patients used fluticasone nasal spray (two sprays in each nostril once daily). Olfactory function was evaluated at baseline and again at three months, and results were quantified as patient TDI (threshold, discrimination, and identification) score
Olfactory function improved in 74 of 134 patients (55.2%). Etiology of olfactory disorder, sex, and age had statistically significant influence on the improvement rate of olfactory function, among which etiology of olfactory loss was the most important. However, initial severity and duration of olfactory loss had no statistically significant influence on the improvement rate. The TDI score at three months of olfactory training showed remarkable improvement, primarily because of improvements in the discrimination and identification components.
The present study showed that olfactory training with intranasal corticosteroid was beneficial to improve olfactory function in patients with olfactory dysfunction, particularly in postviral infection patients.


Olfaction disorders; Postviral; Post-traumatic; Olfactory training

MeSH Terms

Discrimination (Psychology)
Olfaction Disorders


  • Fig. 1 Improvement rates of olfaction after olfactory training according to the etiologies. Olfactory training appeared to be particularly useful in postviral infection patients (p<0.05).

  • Fig. 2 Comparison of improvement rates of olfaction after olfactory training according to sex and etiologies. *: p<0.05.

  • Fig. 3 Improvement rates of olfaction after olfactory training according to age in total patients (A) (p<0.05) and postviral patients (B) (p>0.05).

  • Fig. 4 Improvement rates of olfaction after olfactory training according to the initial severity of olfactory loss (p>0.05).

  • Fig. 5 Improvement rates (%) of olfaction after olfactory training according to the duration of olfactory disorder (p>0.05).

  • Fig. 6 Comparison of threshold/discrimination/identification (TDI) score means at baseline and 3 months later. TDI score at 3 months of olfactory training showed remarkable improvement (p<0.05). The TDI score increased primarily because of improvements in the discrimination and identification components.


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