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5 Reasons Why You Might Be Losing Your Sense of Taste & Smell

Contributed by: Priayaish Srivastava

Introduction

Smell and taste are two important senses that go hand-in-hand.

The taste buds, a small organ located on the tongue help determine the taste. It then sends signals to the brain about the taste, enabling it to decide whether you should have the food/beverage or not. 

The olfactory nerve fibres in the nose help determine the sense of smell.

Several factors can influence the functioning of these sense organs, leading to anosmia (loss of sense of smell) and ageusia (loss of sense of taste). 

This article will take you through five factors responsible for the onset of these conditions and some measures that can help manage them.

Ageing

Ageing or getting older directly impacts health in several ways and also affects how the brain responds to the five senses – smell, taste, touch, vision & hearing.

As you get older, the chances of losing some olfactory nerve fibres increase significantly, affecting the ability to taste and smell. 

People above the age of 60 are more likely to experience anosmia and ageusia, finding it hard to notice the flavour of the foods.

Illnesses & infections

You can experience loss of taste or smell if you are affected by conditions such as:

Covid-19
Cold & flu
Sinus infections
Allergies
Nasal congestion

Commonly, the symptoms of these conditions may disappear in some time. But if they are persistent, you must seek immediate medical intervention.

The symptoms you should be aware of include:

Stuffy nose
Itchy nose
Drippy nose
Runny nose
Continuous coughing & sneezing
Repeated episodes of fever
Headache

Head injuries

The brain is the control centre that helps send and receive all the information throughout the body via nerves.

An injury to the head, neck, or brain can harm the nerves that connect the nose to the brain, affecting the ability to taste and smell. 

Depending on the severity of the injury, the sense of taste and smell can return in a short time or can also take a long time.

Vitamin deficiencies

Vitamins are crucial for your overall well-being. They help improve bone health, ease wound healing, and strengthen the immune system.

Loss of smell and taste are the key indicators of vitamin deficiency and vitamin A, B6, B12, and zinc are closely associated with both these senses.

In case you avoid your meals because of preexisting anosmia and ageusia, it can also lead to vitamin deficiency.

Smoking

Smoking is undoubtedly one of the leading contributors to the loss of smell and taste and can also increase the risk of fatality due to several smoking-related illnesses. 

This habit can also increase the risk of several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular ailments.

According to research, smoking is responsible for making more mucus, minimizing the number of taste buds, and reducing the functioning of sensory cells.

Steps to manage the loss of smell & taste

Seek doctor’s advice for your diet, especially if you are an older adult
Seek medical intervention in case of a head injury
Infuse vitamin-rich foods and supplements into your diet
Exercise regularly
Quit smoking

Final thoughts

The above-mentioned are five factors that can lead to anosmia and ageusia, along with some steps to help manage the conditions effectively.

Many people may find it difficult to keep their sense organs healthy as they are unaware of the steps to help them.

Get brief information about the five sensory organs and how to keep them healthy – here.

Furthermore, you should also opt for preventive health checkups.

These health checks provide you with a comprehensive insight into your health, allowing you to take necessary precautions to stay at the top of your health.

Book The Full Body Health Checkup Today!

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