Smell and Taste Disorders
Smell and Taste Disorders can be quite concerning if you experience this. There are major nerves responsible for both functions, with the nerve of smell sitting at the very top portion of your nasal/sinus cavity. Our sense of taste and smell are closely linked, and often people perceive both a loss of taste and smell when there is a problem with being able to smell. Sometimes people completely lose the sense of smell, which is called “anosmia”, and this can occur suddenly or gradually over time. This can be obstructive, where inflammation blocks airflow in your nose from accessing the smell receptors, or neurologic, where there is no obstruction but the nerve does not function appropriately.
There are also conditions where you can smell something that isn’t there, called “phantosmia”. Chronic sinusitis can cause a sensation of smelling something very foul. ENTs are expertly trained at evaluating the cause of taste and smell disorders and providing appropriate treatment. Nasal endoscopy to evaluate the internal anatomy of your nasal airway, CT of your sinuses to evaluate for obstructive causes, and/or MRI to evaluate for neurologic causes may be pursued to find a potential cause.