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Took medicine for flu. Lost taste and smell. What is going on?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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i had very bad flu from 17th December 2012, took benelyn chesty .cough medicine, which help to reduce my cough and loosen catarh. my tempertureb was 38. . i lost my taste / smell and i found out i had bronchitis on 07.01.13 after going to A +E. i was priscribed antibiotics.

my taste / smell still have not returned since then and i can only smell burnt hair. i am very worried about this and need to know what is going on will my taste / smell return soon.
Posted Wed, 6 Mar 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 42 minutes later

Thanks for using health care magic.

A flu under usual circumstances causes a transient or temporal loss of smell, and rarely taste. The taste buds and smell buds transmit their impulses to the brain through sensitive nerves. These two sensitive nerves happen to have the same sensitive pathways to the brain.
It shall be worth knowing if since then , other signs of flu like nasal obstruction, catarrh, chronic mucous secretions or headaches have been noticed. This could be an indication of sinusitis.
If not, it is most probable that there should be a lesion somewhere along the transmission line of the sensitive taste and smell impulses. Common causes of lack of taste can include fractures of the base of the skull, sinusitis, polyps and other tumours. A rare syndrome called Kallman's disease usually associates pituitary tumours to loss of smell.

A ct scan might be required. Consulting an ENT specialist shall be quite helpful for a complete Ear, Head and Nose examination to appreciate these senses and a probable CT scan. Depending on the case further investigations or involvement of a neurologist could be sort in the long run. Arranging a visit with the ENT specialist is an ideal solution.

Pray this helps as I wish you good health. Feel free to ask further questions or clarifications if need be.

Thanks and best regards,
Luchuo, MD
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