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What could be the reason for loss of smell?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 10287 Questions
At age 74 I have lost my sense of can't smell a strong skunk smell that makes my wife gag...just getting old or is there some other problem??
Posted Sat, 1 Feb 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
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
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