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Acupuncture is associated with a positive effect on odour discrimination in patients with postinfectious smell loss-a controlled prospective study


Smell disorders are common in the general population and occur e.g., after infections, trauma or idiopathically Treatment strategies for smell loss range from surgery, medication to olfactory training, depending on the pathology, but they are limited This study examined the effect of acupuncture on olfactory function.

Sixty patients with smell loss following infections of the upper respiratory tract were included in this investigation Half of the study group were randomly assigned to verum acupuncture and the other half to sham acupuncture Olfaction was measured by means of the „Sniffin‘ Sticks“ test battery (odour threshold, discrimination and identification).

Compared to sham acupuncture, verum was associated with an improvement of smell function as measured by the TDI score (p = 0.039) The improvement was largely determined by improvement in odour discrimination, and was significantly better in patients with a shorter duration of the disorder.

The present results suggest that acupuncture is an effective supplementary treatment option for patients with olfactory loss.

Tanja Drews, Thomas Hummel, Bettina Rochlitzer, Bettina Hauswald, Antje Hähner

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 May 25. doi:10.1007/s00405-021-06872-9

Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00405-021-06872-9

Akupunkturpunkte: Bl 3, Du 23, Di 20, Di 20‘, LSP, Lu 7, Di 4, MP 6, Ma 44

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