Every year, thousands of people lose their ability to smell. According to the National Institutes of Health, 12% of adults in the United States have had some loss of their sense of smell.
A loss of smell can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Because smell and taste are linked, most people with a smell disorder are unable to properly taste their food. Most importantly, they may not be able to detect smells that warn of danger such as smoke or gas.
The inability to smell is typically the result of a problem occurring in the nose, brain or nervous system. One’s loss of smell can be partial or reduced (hyposmia) or complete (anosmia). In both cases, a loss of smell can be temporary or permanent.
Several conditions can lead to hyposmia; they include:
- Nasal allergies
- Hay fever
- Sinus infection
- Deviated septum
- Hormonal imbalances
Anosmia can develop as a result of:
- Head trauma
- Upper respiratory viral infections
- Nasal/ sinus diseases
- Nasal polyps
- Bone deformities of the nose
- Alzheimer’s disease
If you have lost or have had a decline in your ability to smell, you should see a doctor immediately. Your doctor can perform a physical examination, review your medical history and request a series of tests to determine possible causes. Treatment for smell disorders is based on underlying causes and can include medication or surgery.
To schedule an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7110.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.