Smell and taste disorders can cause odors, tastes, or flavors to be diminished, misread or distorted. They may cause the detection of a bad odor or taste from something that is normally pleasant.
The most common smell and taste disorders are:
Anosmia- the loss of smell
Ageusia- the loss of taste
Hyposmia- the reduced ability to smell
Hypogeusia- the reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, or salty things.
These disorders can affect quality of life and be a sign of an underlying condition or health problem including:
High blood pressure
Nervous system diseases including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis
It is possible to be born with a smell or taste disorder. But most are caused by:
Illness including cold, flu, sinus infection, allergies
Dental or mouth problems
Use of drug or tobacco products including cocaine or cigarette smoking.
The treatment of smell and taste disorders will depend on what may be causing it. Treatment options may include the correction of the underlying medical problem, surgical removal of obstructions that may be the cause or counseling.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.