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What Could Be The Reason For Loss Of Smell?

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Posted on Sat, 1 Feb 2014
Question: At age 74 I have lost my sense of smell...eg. can't smell a strong skunk smell that makes my wife gag...just getting old or is there some other problem??
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (47 minutes later)
Brief Answer: it is called anosmia Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic The complete loss of smell is called anosmia, if it is only decreased it is called hyosmia. There are quite a lot of causes for anosmia such as: (1) nasal congestion due to allergies or a viral infection such as the common cold (2)head injury (3)nasal polyps which are outgrowths in the nose, usually benign (4)hypothyroidism- this is a condition where there is a low level of thyroid hormone (5)liver or kidney disease (6) brain growth (7)vitamin b 12 deficiency (8)stroke (9)diabetes (10) parkinson's , MS (11) side effect of some medications You may want to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment to determine the cause. He or she will take a careful history and examine your nose, conduct an examination of the nerves in the face (called cranial nerve examination). Other investigations would be suggested based on the findings. the treatment would be dependent on the cause. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16809 Questions

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What Could Be The Reason For Loss Of Smell?

Brief Answer: it is called anosmia Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic The complete loss of smell is called anosmia, if it is only decreased it is called hyosmia. There are quite a lot of causes for anosmia such as: (1) nasal congestion due to allergies or a viral infection such as the common cold (2)head injury (3)nasal polyps which are outgrowths in the nose, usually benign (4)hypothyroidism- this is a condition where there is a low level of thyroid hormone (5)liver or kidney disease (6) brain growth (7)vitamin b 12 deficiency (8)stroke (9)diabetes (10) parkinson's , MS (11) side effect of some medications You may want to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment to determine the cause. He or she will take a careful history and examine your nose, conduct an examination of the nerves in the face (called cranial nerve examination). Other investigations would be suggested based on the findings. the treatment would be dependent on the cause. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions