Smell and Taste Disorders

Written by Leanna Serras

How common are smell and taste disorders?

Smell and taste disorders are more common than people think. Over two hundred thousand people visit the Doctor each year with this same problem. Scientists believe that many more people haven’t received medical treatment for their disorder. Some disorders have a chemical issue where the system may misread or not be able to detect a ? certain smells, odors, or fragrances. When symptoms start many complaints are from the loss of smell and taste.

What are the dangers involved with smell and taste disorders?

Losing the ability to smell and taste can be a more serious problem than people think. Our sense of smell and our ability to taste things can warn us of dangers such as; fire, fumes, poisons, and even spoiled food that if consumed one may get sick. If a certain job position is held, such as a firefighter, one will not be able to smell toxic fumes and hidden dangers during a fire; this could lead to a job loss. When loss of the senses occurs, this could mean something more serious like sinus disease and even brain tumors; serious illness and disease can mean the loss of life if appropriate medical attention is not received.

How does smell and taste work?

Smell and taste senses belong to our chemical system. Olfactory nerves are smell nerves found in a tiny patch of tissue in the naval captivity connected to the brain. As we grow older, usually when a person hits 60 the sense of smell declines. Tiny molecules released around us from flowers and food stimulates our senses and allows us to smell different things. Without all of these little nerves, smells like fire, perfume, and flowers would be un-noticeable.

Gustatory is the taste nerve. These nerves are located in the mouth and the throat; they react to different foods and drink by mixing with saliva in the mouth. The tongue can detect multiple tastes at one time, such as sugar and salt.

What causes a smell or taste disorder?

There are different things that can cause smell and taste disorders. Some of the most common things are:

Smell and Taste Disorder Causes Resources

How are smell and taste disorders diagnosed?

Doctors will take the patient’s medical history and do a physical examination. For diagnostic testing they might have the patient:

How are smell and taste disorders treated?

The majority of smell and taste disorders are treated by medication; this can go two ways. First, the patient stops taking medication that is causing the disorder, Second, the patient is put on anti-allergy drugs that can improve the senses. In certain smell disorders there are polyps, which are nasal obstructions and can be removed to bring back proper air flow; doing this will correct any abnormalities for smelling and tasting. Some patients with respiratory infections or seasonal allergies just wait for their illness to run its course.