What is causing my loss of taste and smell?

There are a number of variables to consider when uncovering what’s caused your loss of taste and smell. Some of those variables include:

  • Age
  • Illness or infection
  • Obstructions
  • Certain Medical Conditions
  • Medications
  • Vitamin Deficiencies 

However the right sinus treatment may help alleviate these symptoms.

Isn’t loss of smell or taste an early symptom of COVID-19?

There are still studies underway but so far experiencing a loss of smell and/or taste is a potential indication of having COVID-19 as a recent study shows (PubMed Central). It can occur suddenly and with varying timelines for when your senses will return back to normal. It’s also not uncommon for upper respiratory infections such as the common cold or flu to affect our senses of taste and smell. 

How do my senses of taste and smell work together?

Did you know that the olfactory area in your nose controls both your sense of smell and, in part, your ability to taste? When you chew your food it causes odor molecules to travel that are then picked up in the back of your nose. In tandem, your taste buds direct your senses to differentiate between sweet, sour, bitter, or salty. Your sense of smell will further specify what you’re tasting.

What is the cause of loss of taste and smell?

There are many variables that cause the loss of taste and smell. Before anything else you’ll want to receive a proper diagnosis to better understand what you’re experiencing from a medical professional, such as an ENT or primary care doctor.

Age: The ability to smell depends on having a healthy lining of the nasal cavity, open nasal passageways, and overall function of the olfactory nerves. It’s natural as we age to lose the sharpness behind our taste of smell because you lose olfactory nerve fibers.

Illness or infection: Anything from the common cold and sinus infections to COVID-19 and allergies can irritate and inflame the inner lining of your nose, which can affect your ability to smell and taste.

Obstructions: If the air passageways are blocked your sense of smell suffers, therefore affecting taste. Noncancerous tumors such as nasal polyps can also cause obstruction. Just the same, a deviated septum can negatively impact both your sense of smell and taste.

Medical Conditions: Sometimes, loss of smell and taste can be early warning signs of diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Other medical conditions can impact certain brain functions which can also lead to loss of smell and taste.

Medications: Prescription medications, like antibiotics or blood pressure medications can drastically alter your perceived sense of taste and smell. 

Vitamin Deficiency: Our bodies have ways of warning us about things like vitamin deficiencies. Typically, if you lose your sense of smell and taste, you’re less inclined to eat like you did before. This can lead to not receiving enough nutrients.

Our Ear, Nose & Throat Services

Each location offers a full-suite of clinical and surgical care ranging from evaluations to treatment of ENT conditions and surgery by our expertly trained surgeons. 

  • Sinus Treatments
  • Head and Neck Treatments
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery
  • Otology & Ear Surgery 
  • Thyroid Treatments
  • Voice and Throat Treatments
  • Pediatric ENT Treatment
  • And more

Request a Consultation

To book a consultation or to see if our team can help you find the best way to improve your ENT health condition, please call and schedule an appointment at one of our three locations.