Taste and smell impaired after using bleach


Q: Hi Doctor,

Two days ago, I used undiluted thick bleach (chlorine) to clean my bathroom. It is a small area, lacking ventilation. It took me a bit more than 1 hour to finish, during which I was exposed to this chemical. Soon after that, I noticed that my taste/smell had been impaired and it hasn't recovered yet. I am scared that I have damaged the sensory epithelium and I am worried if I will ever get my full senses back again. Could you please help me? Is this serious? Is there something I can do?
Any information would be much appreciated! I'm 25, healthy and never had this kind of issues before.

Kind regards,


Symptoms:  Poor smell and taste

A:   Hello,
Thanks for the query.

This could be an acute reaction to exposure to chlorine and will eventually settle down. There is nothing for you to worry about. Try steam inhalations and it will help you to regain your olfactory senses. Also in case of a common cold, you may not be able to smell things well.

Hope this helped.

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