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What is Anosmia? causes, symptoms, and treatment

16 October, 2020 Ayesha Khanam


Anosmia is the partial or entire loss of the sense of smell. This loss may be short temporary or permanent. Common circumstances that disturb the nose's lining, such as allergies or a cold, can lead to temporary anosmia.

More severe conditions that alter the brain or nerves, such as brain tumors or head trauma, can cause permanent loss of smell. Old age sometimes causes anosmia.

Anosmia usually isn't severe, but it can have an intense effect on a person's quality of life.

People with anosmia may not be able to completely taste foods and may drop interest in eating. This can lead to weight loss or malnutrition. Anosmia can also head to depression because it may reduce one's ability to smell or feel and taste pleasurable foods.

What Causes Anosmia?

Anosmia is usually caused by inflammation or blockage in the nose that blocks odors from going to the top of the nose. Anosmia is sometimes occurred by an obstacle with the system that transmits signals from the nose to the brain.

Below are the Main Causes of Anosmia:

Irritation to the mucus membranes lining the nose

This can result from:

  • sinus infections
  • common colds
  • smoking
  • the flu, or influenza
  • allergies (allergic rhinitis)
  • chronic congestion not linked to allergies (nonallergic rhinitis)

A cold is the most usual cause of partial and temporary loss of smell. In these circumstances, the anosmia will go away on its own after some days.

Blockage of the Nasal Passages

Loss of smell can happen if something is physically preventing the passage of air into the nose. This may include:

  • tumors
  • nasal polyps
  • bone malformations in the nose or a nasal septum

Brain or Nerve Damage

There are receptors inside the nose that transmit information through nerves to the brain. Anosmia can happen if any part of this pathway is disabled. Many situations can cause this damage, including:

  • old age
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • brain tumors
  • Huntington's disease
  • hormonal problems
  • underactive thyroid
  • medications, including some antibiotics and high blood pressure medicines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • schizophrenia
  • epilepsy
  • diabetes
  • exposure to substances that burn the inside of your nose
  • brain or head injury
  • brain surgery
  • malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
  • radiation therapy
  • long-term alcoholism
  • stroke

In rare cases, people are born without a sense of smell due to a genetic disorder which is called congenital anosmia.

How is Anosmia Diagnosed?

The loss of smell is hard to measure. Your doctor may ask you some issues about your present symptoms, check your nose, do a complete physical examination, and ask about your health history.

They may ask inquiries about when the problem began, all or just some types of odors are affected, and whether you can taste food or not?depending on your answers, your doctor may also conduct one or more of the following tests:

  • CT scans, which use X-rays to create a complete image of the brain
  • MRI scans, which uses radio waves and magnetic waves to view the brain
  • X-ray of the skull
  • nasal endoscopy to look inside your nose

What are the Complications of Anosmia?

People with anosmia may drop interest in eating and foods that they tend to love, starting to malnutrition and losing weight.

People who have anosmia should make sure to have functioning smoke alarms in their houses at all times. They should also be careful with food storehouses and the use of natural gas because they may have difficulty detecting spoiled foods and gas leaks. For any medical facilities, you can order medication from 3MEDS - the best online medicine purchasing the app.

Recommended precautions include:

  • Properly identifying foods with expiration dates
  • Reading labels on chemicals like kitchen soaps and insecticides
  • Using electric appliances

How is anosmia treated?

Treatment depends on the causes and symptoms. If the lack of smell occurs with a cold, allergy, or sinus infection, it typically will rid up on its own in a few days. You should ask your doctor if the anosmia doesn't go once the cold or allergy symptoms have fallen.

Treatments that may help fix anosmia caused by nasal irritation include:

  • decongestants
  • antihistamines
  • steroid nasal sprays
  • antibiotics, for bacterial infections
  • reducing exposure to nasal irritants and allergens
  • cessation of smoking

Loss of smell is caused by the nasal difficulty which can be treated by eliminating whatever is clogging your nasal passage. This extraction may involve a procedure to remove nasal polyps, straighten the nasal septum, or eliminate the sinuses. For any prescribed medications you can buy online medicines in Delhi from 3MEDS.

Old age adults are more susceptible to losing their sense of smell permanently.

There is no cure and treatment possible for people with congenital anosmia.

People with a partial loss of their sense of smell can add concentrated additive agents to food to enhance their enjoyment.


Anosmia is a disorder of the sense of smell in which people lose their sense of smelling for temporary or may be permanent. still, there is no cure or treatment for anosmia. the temporary smell can be regained after sometimes. if you are having and seeing these signs and symptoms of anosmia do consult your doctor before it gets worse.