Taste and Smell Abnomalities

Causes of smell or taste disorders may include:
  • Head trauma
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Hormone abnormalities
  • Sinusitis and nasal polyps
  • Chemical exposure
  • Medications
  • Radiation to the head and neck region
  • Dental problems
  • Mouth infections
  • Cancers in the head and neck
  • Cigarette smoking

Taste and smell disorders may be a sign or symptom of other underlying conditions such as:
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid issues
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Electrolyte and vitamin deficiencies
  • Neurologic conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc)
  • Food allergies

To be appropriately diagnosed and treated, a full head and neck exam by an Otolaryngologist is important. Some smell and taste disorders do not have any exam findings and further testing such as imaging (CT or MRI), blood work, and smell tests may help.
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