Loss of Smell and Taste in Adults

Smell and Taste Loss

Welcome to this symptom guide regarding loss of smell and/or taste. We're sorry you're having this problem!

This symptom guide is designed for persons who have noticed problems with smell or taste (or both) and would like to find out more about these symptoms.

Please keep in mind that this guide cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with your own health care provider. It is meant to provide helpful information while you are awaiting evaluation or to supplement what you may have already learned after evaluation with your doctors.

In this guide, you'll be asked a series of questions about some of the most common conditions that may explain your symptoms. This guide will cover the most common reasons for problems with smell and taste; however, it won't cover every cause.

So, if none of the conditions covered in this guide seem to apply to you, keep in mind that sometimes no cause is found. Or, you may have a rarer cause of a smell or taste problem that is not covered here.

Okay, let's get started.

The first questions are aimed at the possibility of a serious or dangerous cause of your symptoms.

Did your smell or taste problems begin after a head injury?

Or, did your symptoms start along with any of the following?

- A severe headache

- Weakness on one side of the body

- Slurred speech

- Inability to walk

Yes, I had a head injury and/or have those other symptoms.

No, I've had no head injury and don't have those symptoms.

Good, glad to hear that. We ask because head injury is a fairly common cause of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell).

Certain conditions can cause loss of smell along with loss of taste. In fact, losing ability to smell often reduces how intensely one experiences food flavors. But, they may occur separately, so we'll address one at a time.

Which of the following applies to you?

The main problem is impaired sense of smell.

My problem is only loss of taste.

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