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What causes decrease in sensation of taste and smell?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 6941 Questions
I have noticed my smell and taste has been gradually going away. Now sometimes I smell like hot melting plastic. Today when I came home it smelled like lighter fluid. It's so bad I run around the house making sure nothing is on fire. The hot plastic smell is quite often, no one smells it but me. Have been looking on line and seen allergies may be a problem. Have recently had a major allergy attack. I went crossedeyed and 2 eye doctors told me it was allergies. They did a MRI to rule out brain tumors. It cleared up on its on.
Posted Sun, 23 Feb 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 41 minutes later
Brief Answer: Suspected brain lesion Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX The sensation of taste and smell are carried by receptors on the tongue and nose respectively. These sensations are carried by nerves to particular areas of the brain. Any disease like infection, inflammation or growth of that particular part of the brain will lead to alteration in these sensations. Your doctor was right in advising MRI of brain to look for any lesion in the brain. You can get MRI done and wait for the results of the report. If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer. Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes decrease in sensation of taste and smell? 2 hours later
The doctor at the hospital didnt find anything on my MRI, except a real small spot on left side a little back from my eye. Forgot what he called it but said it wasn't anything to worry about. Should I have another MRI?
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 19 hours later
Brief Answer: Consult your ENT specialist, MRI not required Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome again, Normal MRI report rules out any tumor in the brain. You needn't get MRI repeated. The altered smell and taste sensation can be possibly due to local cause at the level pf receptors. Upper respiratory tract infections can lead to altered smell and altered taste sensations. Besides infection, allergies can also these symptoms. Consult your ENT specialist for examination of the upper respiratory tract. A normal MRI rules out any lesion of the brain. If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer. Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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