Recent Blog Articles
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
Stories connect us
Wondering about a headline-grabbing drug? Read on
Respiratory virus cases tick upward: What parents should know
Hope: Why it matters
Will new guidelines for heart failure affect you?
Want probiotics but dislike yogurt? Try these foods
Is our healthcare system broken?
What’s the relationship between diabetes and dementia?
Loss of Smell and Taste in Adults
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 doctor.
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.
If your loss of smell is new, it could be an early symptom of COVID-19. Contact your doctor today, and then return to start our guide.
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
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.