What are the causes of a loss of taste and smell

* People over the age of 30 tend to gradually lose their ability to smell aromas. This may be due to a degeneration of the nerves which control smell and a loss of sensitivity in ones taste buds.

* Men, regardless of age have a lower ability to distinguish between odors.

* Smoking causes damage to the nasal membranes and reduces one’s ability to identify odors. Foods will also become tasteless as a result of smoking and one may even lose his/her ability to smell aromas.

* Certain nervous system diseases or radiation treatment for cancer patients may result in a lack of taste and smell.

* Nasal polyps or growths blocking the nasal passages or sinus cavities diminish ones sense of smell as aromas will not reach the receptor areas where ones sense of smell is formed.

* A small percentage of the world’s population is born without the ability to smell. This condition is called congenital anosmia.

* Another cause for a loss of taste and smell may be that one may have an upper viral, respiratory infection.

* Sinusitis or blocked nasal passages cause a blockage in the flow of air, therefore reducing the amount of aromas reaching the smell receptors.

* A trauma to the head may lead to partial or permanent loss of smell as the nerves responsible for smell may be damaged or contain scar tissue.

* In rare cases ones loss of smell may be due to a non-malignant brain tumor.

* Gingivitis or gum diseases may predispose one to having a loss of taste or smell.

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