Parosmia is the term that refers to the disruption of the normal sense of smell. Parosmia can cause a loss of sensitivity to smell, meaning that an affected person may not be able to detect scents. It can also cause a distortion of the sense of smell, meaning that certain items may take on a disagreeable or unpleasant smell or a distorted odor. Symptoms of parosmia therefore include a constant sense of a revolting or unpleasant odor or difficulty noticing certain scents. The symptoms may be worse around foods, leading to nausea and loss of appetite.
Parosmia is usually caused by damage to the olfactory sensory neurons that are found in the nose. This damage can occur from an infection such as a cold or viral infection (including COVID-19). Damage to the parts of the brain that process smell sensations can also cause parosmia. Toxins, chemicals, neurologic conditions, and certain medications may also disrupt or distort the sense of smell. The symptoms of parosmia may vary in severity.
Other causes of parosmia
- Bacterial Infections
- Cancer Chemotherapy
- Certain Chemical Exposures
- Certain Medications
- Radiation Exposure, Such as Radiotherapy
- Temporal Lobe Seizures
- Toxin Exposures
- Viral Infections
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Causes of Parosmia
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Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
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A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary brain tumor are headaches, seizures, memory problems, personality changes, and nausea and vomiting. Causes and risk factors include age, gender, family history, and exposure to chemicals. Treatment is depends upon the tumor type, grade, and location.
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV)
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Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
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Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
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Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
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Upper Respiratory Infection (URTI)
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