Loss of Smell - St. Augustine ENT

Olfactory nerve cells (smell) and gustatory nerve cells (taste) play major roles in helping us recognize and live in the world that surrounds us. These clusters of tissue in the nose and mouth transmit numerous sensory signals to the brain. There is a broad range of conditions that can negatively impact these mechanisms resulting in dysfunction of smell and/or taste. Taking medications, exposure to certain chemicals, respiratory infections, cigarette smoking, oral diseases and lifestyle issues are all potential culprits.

An otolaryngologist can perform a thorough examination of a patient's head and neck to determine if signs of infections, inflammation or physical obstruction may be contributing to a loss of smell or taste. Whether a person's loss was sudden or more gradual, can shed light on probable causes. Although the impact of aging on sensory loss has been well-documented, elderly patients should never dismiss a loss of smell or taste as strictly age-related. At any age, our ENT specialists can help patients restore quality to their life.

Treating Smell and Taste Disorders

An alteration in taste or smell may be a secondary process to the onset of serious disease or other unhealthy conditions. Individuals who suffer from anosmia (no odors) and ageusia (no taste) may have underlying causes to include:

  • obstructions (nasal polyps)
  • degenerative nerve disease
  • exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • head and neck cancers
  • chronic respiratory infections
  • radiation therapy
  • dementia, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's
  • traumatic head injuries
  • hormonal disturbances
  • diabetes, hypertension or obesity

Loss of smell can reduce your ability to recognized spoiled food or detect important warning signs such as smoke from a fire. If you have noticed a change in your senses, call us at 904.461.6060 or use this website's convenient contact form for a prompt email response.

DISCLAIMER: This website provides information for educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be used for medical diagnostic purposes nor is it intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical or surgical condition. If you believe you have a medical condition, please contact your physician or healthcare provider without delay.

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