It’s not uncommon to lose your sense of smell when you get a head cold. Swollen nasal passages can block the flow of both air and scent, and chronic swelling—as in the case of chronic meningitis or sinusitis—can mean going long periods with a reduced sense of smell.
Anosmia is the scientific name for a lost sense of smell. In cases where anosmia is caused by a swollen or inflamed nasal passage (the majority of cases), the solution is as simple as reducing the swelling. This can be achieved by treating the underlying cause of the swelling, whether it’s a sinus infection, stuffy nose, or allergies.
In rare cases, chronic anosmia can be caused by damage to the brain’s temporal lobe. If you lost your sense of smell following a head injury or traumatic accident, you may need a full head and neck examination.
What if I Don’t Treat My Anosmia?
The sense of smell is more than a luxury. While it allows us to fully taste and enjoy food, it’s also an important survival tool, allowing us to sniff out gas leaks, fires, and other potential hazards. Anosmia has also been linked to diminished appetite, weight loss, and depression.
Another important reason to address anosmia is that it’s often a symptom of an underlying condition. A loss of smell that persists for more than a few weeks may indicate a chronic infection, a structural problem, or even a nasal tumor. If you’re concerned about your sense of smell, please contact us by calling or requesting an appointment below.