Conditions and diseases
Loss of smell
Symptoms and causes
You may experience various symptoms such as:
- complete loss of the sense of smell
- reduced sense of smell
- perceiving smells as foul odours
- perceiving smells that are not there
- changes in the sense of taste
The loss of smell can be caused by the following:
- Swelling or congestion in the nose itself, which prevents the smell from reaching the olfactory fibres (e.g. due to common cold, nasal congestion, nasal polyps, sinusitis and a benign or malignant tumour in the nose).
- Damage to the nerve fibres themselves: after a viral infection (e.g. Covid-19), a benign or malignant brain tumour, smoking, certain medication, an accident, poor position during birth and the onset of dementia.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis is made based on a clinical exam with a nasal endoscopy, smell testing and a CT and/or MRI scan.
Given that there are various causes for the loss of smell, your physician will prepare a tailored and individual treatment plan for you. A cortisone nasal spray and/or smell training are customary treatments.
Treatment centres and specialisations
Latest publication date: 28/06/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith