- When to See a Doctor
Smell and taste are interrelated. Most of the time, your sense of smell affects your sense of taste. The most common causes of temporary loss of taste and smell are colds and flu.
Other causes include:
- Viral infections, such as:
- Head injury
- Fractures of facial bones
- Severe blow to the nose
- Nasal polyps
- Hay fever
- Certain medications
- Hormonal disturbances
- Cushing's syndrome
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Dental or mouth problems
- Cigarette smoking
- Constant exposure to certain chemicals, such as:
- Paint solvents
- Radiation therapy for head or neck cancer
- Cocaine addiction
Medical conditions that cause a complete lack of sense of smell or taste include:
What medications can affect taste and smell?
Medications that can affect your sense of taste and smell include:
- Antibiotics, such as:
- Medications for:
- Thyroid medicines
- Antihistamines (medications for cold and skin allergies)
- Anti-inflammatories (medications for joint and muscle pains)
- Antifungal medicines
What are smell and taste disorders?
Smell and taste disorders are conditions that result in a decreased, absent, or even distorted sense of taste and smell. Five out of 100 people suffer from one of these disorders.
The most common smell and taste disorders include:
What are complications of smell and taste disorders?
Smell and taste disorders can affect your overall quality of life, affecting your ability to enjoy food and drink. In some cases, this can lead to depression.
Sometimes, smell and taste disorders can cause risks such as the inability to identify dangers such as fire, leaking gas, or spoiled foods.
How are smell and taste disorders treated?
Your doctor will try to identify the cause and treat you accordingly. Typical treatments include:
When should you see a doctor?
It is normal to experience decreased or loss of sense of smell with a cold or flu. However, this problem usually goes away within 2 weeks. If the problem persists even after 2 weeks, or if the problem is unrelated to a viral infection, you should see a doctor.
Your doctor will take your medical history and ask about other signs and symptoms. They will likely refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Can Cause Disorders of Taste and Smell Related Articles
Fun Facts About Your TongueIs your tongue the strongest muscle in the body? Can you see your taste buds? How long is the average tongue? Learn fun facts about your tongue and taste buds!
What Is a Possible Cause for My Loss of Smell and Taste?What can cause loss of smell and taste are numerous factors, such as COVID-19, nasal blockage, deviated septum and more. If you can’t smell or taste, consult your doctor on how to get your taste buds back and your nose smelling properly.
Smell DisordersReduction of the sense of smell is termed hyposmia. Total inability to detect odors is termed anosmia. Smell disorders have many causes. Most people who develop a smell disorder have recently experienced an illness or an injury.
Taste DisordersThe most common taste disorder is phantom taste perception; that is, a lingering, often unpleasant taste even though you have nothing in your mouth. We also can experience a reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami, a condition called hypogeusia. Some people cannot detect any tastes, which is called ageusia.
What Are Some Taste Disorders?The most common taste disorders involve phantom taste disorders, hypogeusia, ageusia and dysgeusia. Taste disorders may be related to diabetes, high blood pressure, poor nutrition, poor dental hygiene, COVID and nervous system disorders.
What Are the Ten Basic Smells?The science of smell may be too complex to categorize. As per researchers, the scent receptors in the human nose are designed to help us identify the foods we need for a healthy body and the foods that need to be avoided.
Brain and Nervous System: What's Causing My Loss of Smell and Taste?If you plug your nose, nothing tastes the same. Taste and smell issues are common with age and allergies, but they could also be a sign of something more serious.