Millions of people suffer from varying degrees of nasal dysfunction or diminished sense of smell, but recent pioneering endoscopic surgeries have successfully been able to reverse these conditions in some instances. For one English grandmother who recently regained her sense of smell, 37 years of life without scents and aromas are now just a memory.
June Blythe, 65, of Norfolk, England, had always been an exceptional cook. Mastering aromas with keen taste buds, the grandmother won awards for her culinary abilities. Blythe’s life suddenly took an odd twist just prior to the birth of her second child in 1975. She developed a chronic case of rhinosinusitis, leaving her unable to breathe through her nose while also irritating her asthma. Much to June’s surprise, drastic effects of this ‘super cold’ including the appearance of large nasal polyps remained for almost four decades. June’s sense of smell quickly disappeared.
Rhinosinusitis is the inflammation of nasal passageways and the sinus cavities. Typically caused by infections or allergies (mild to major), this sickness, if untreated or accelerated, breeds nasal polyps.
Layers that line the nose are known as mucosa. When inflamed by ailments like rhinosinusitis, these non-cancerous growths appear. The polyps create an especially restrictive airway within your sinus cavity, often causing loss of smell. Exceptionally large polyps grew in the nose of June Blythe, effectively blocking scents from passing her nose.
After 37 years and several surgeries to attempt to remove her massive polyps, Blythe finally underwent successful endoscopic surgery at the James Pagent University Hospital, Britain’s only NHS Smell and Taste Clinic. Small incisive instruments were used to remove every polyp during the three hour operation. A thorough cleansing of her sinuses immediately followed.
10 days after her June 26th surgery, when inflammation had subsided, June received the shock of a lifetime. All it took was one powerful whiff from the zest of a grated lemon to send her into an emotional frenzy. Her sense of smell had returned.
Born again into a refreshing world of wonderful floral, coffee, lemons, spices, cotton, fresh cut grass, the ocean and bacon; June began to experience not only the pure joy of aromas lost almost four decades ago, but their strong emotional element as well. Buried memories of her children and grandchildren as babies suddenly shot to the surface as she walked through her old nursery. The smell of classic cars, engines, and oils from her husband’s auto garage transported her to a time decades ago when they were first married.
The removal of nasal polyps is administered by an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon. Although there are alternative methods to reducing the size of polyps temporarily, the only guaranteed method to get rid of them is with endoscopic surgery. If you are experiencing problems with airways or loss of smell in your nasal passages and are interested in a reconstructive surgery like rhinoplasty or nasal polyp removal, please contact us at the Plastic Surgery Forum or search for a physician in your area..