Smell/Taste Disorders

Loss of Smell and Taste

Hyposmia is a decreased sense of smell, or a decreased ability to detect odors through your nose. Anosmia is the inability to smell anything.

Symptoms of Hyposmia or Anosmia

Symptoms of hyposmia or anosmia may be noticed gradually or suddenly, and include:

  • Decreased or absent sense of smell
  • Decreased sense of taste
  • Nasal blockage or congestion
  • Nasal inflammation
  • Respiratory infection
  • Decreased desire to eat and drink

What Causes Hyposmia or Anosmia?

The most common cause is nasal blockage. Having inflammation in the nose from a cold, allergies, or an upper respiratory tract infection can cause swelling, which blocks smell particles from reaching the top of the nasal cavity. A deviated septum, tumors or nasal trauma can also cause hyposmia or anosmia. Lastly, a decreased sense of smell is part of normal aging.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Treatment for hyposmia or anosmia starts with figuring out the cause using a CT scan, MRI, or nasal endoscopy. After determining the cause, your rhinologist may decide to treat nasal inflammation or obstruction with topical and/or oral medications to reduce inflammation. Another option is smell retraining therapy.