What is Smell Taste Disturbance?
Issues with our smell or taste can significantly affect our daily lives. The senses of smell and taste play an essential role in stimulating our appetite, which not only nourishes our bodies but also enhances our social interactions. If our sense of smell and taste is impaired, we tend to eat poorly, become less socially active, and feel less satisfied. Moreover, these senses also serve as warning signals for potential hazards like fire, toxic fumes, and spoiled food. Losing the sense of smell may indicate underlying conditions such as sinus disease, nasal growths, or even brain tumors in some cases.
What causes loss of smell and taste?
Some instances of the loss of smell and taste can be attributed to upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, or head injuries. However, other causes of the loss of these senses include the presence of polyps in the nasal or sinus cavities, nasal obstruction due to deviated septum or enlarged turbinates, hormonal imbalances, and dental issues. Prolonged exposure to specific chemicals, such as insecticides, and certain medications may also contribute to these problems.
How do you treat smell or taste disorders?
Determining the underlying cause is the first step in treating hyposmia or anosmia, which underscores the importance of consulting an ENT specialist for these conditions. The diagnostic process typically involves conducting a comprehensive medical history and a nasal examination, which may also include a CT scan or MRI of the nasal cavity and sinuses. Specialized tests to assess the degree of smell loss may also be administered.
Once the root cause is identified, the ENT specialist may recommend treatment options such as reducing nasal inflammation or addressing any obstructions. These treatments may involve using topical and/or oral medications to alleviate inflammation, prescribing antibiotics, or performing simple office-based procedures inside the nose to improve airflow to the smell center.
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