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I haven't been able to smell anything or taste for a while now, what can be the cause for this?

Related Topics: Smell, Taste

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Family Medicine
61 Answers
3,336 Helpful Votes

Our senses of smell and taste are intertwined. Our ability to smell is what makes us able to “taste” the flavor of the foods we eat. Many things can interfere with the ability to smell and taste. 

Among the most common offenders include allergies, nasal polyps and sinus infections. In these cases, the loss of smell often comes on gradually. There can also be a gradual loss of smell and taste as we age. Infections in the mouth may cause problems with both taste and smell as well. 

 A sudden loss of smell is more likely caused by a virus (like the flu) or head trauma. Zinc deficiency is also known to affect the sense of smell. Some zinc nasal sprays, on the other hand, have been implicated in complete loss of smell.

Both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease can affect the sense of smell, but other symptoms would likely be present first. Rarely a tumor in the brain or sinuses can be the cause of a decrease in smell or taste. 

You will have to see your doctor to get to the bottom of this. And depending on the cause, you may need to see an allergist, ear nose and throat specialist, or dentist to finally get some relief. Good luck to you!

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