Losing your sense of smell?

How to know when it signals a bigger health issue.

You may take it for granted that a loss of smell is just part of aging. And to some degree, you're right. "After age 65, many people lose some sense of smell, and we don't know exactly why," says Dr. Eric Holbrook, assistant professor of otology and laryngology of Harvard Medical School. But if loss of smell lasts longer than a few weeks, it may indicate an underlying problem.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • 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
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »