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What causes altered sense of smell?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2349 Questions
I am a 64 year old female. I have developed, in the last three months, a severe reaction to the taste or smell of nearly all foods. All tastes and odors a repulsive. I am living on Ensure. I have a recent history (3 months ago) of a severe digestive tract reaction to an antibiotic. Long-term history of a nasal cyst that hurts on inhale, too far up to be accessed for treatment, showed up on a brain scan.Taking musinex. Short term - 6 mo. - loss of taste and smell 10 years ago. Cured with thophlin...sp? Local ENTs shrug their shoulders. Any ideas?
Posted Tue, 26 Aug 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please the answer below...

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting the query. I have gone through the query thoroughly and understood your problem. I'll try my best to help you out with this.

Parosmia or altered sense of smell is an uncommon condition. The conditions wherein Parosmia is noticed are:
1. Tumours of the olfactory lobe in the brain or disorders of the olfactory nerves
2. Parkinson's disease
3. inflammatory bowel disease
4. Temporal lobe epilepsy, etc.

In your case, I do strongly feel, the Parosmia may be because of the nasal cyst which could be blocking the sensation of smell. Or, there may be damage to the olfactory epithelium causing parosmia. In either of the case, a thorough evaluation is required.

You will require MRI of the brain with contrast to identify the extension of the cyst into the olfactory area and other tests such as UPSIT for assessment of smell and PET scan to determine the dopaminergic function in the brain and treatment will plan as per diagnosis.

Hope I have answered your queries; I'll be available for the follow up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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