Anosmia Definition, Diagnosis, Signs and symptoms, Reason, Treatment

Anosmia Definition

Anosmia is a condition where the sense of smell is impaired, which is characterized by a complete loss of the ability to smell. This condition is different from hyposmia, which is when the ability to smell decreases but does not disappear completely.

In addition, in those who experience anosmia, the taste of the food consumed can also be perceived differently. However, anosmia is not a disease in itself. Rather, it is a symptom or condition that can be a sign of other health problems. According to Medical Centric Anosmia, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Anosmia Reason

Anosmia can occur as a result of various disorders that affect the sense of smell. Conditions such as nasal congestion due to a cold, allergies, sinus infections, or poor air quality are some of the main causes of anosmia.

Other causes of anosmia also include:

  • Nasal polyps, which can be characterized by the presence of benign lumps in the nasal cavity that block the flow of air through the nose.
  • Injury to the nose and olfactory nerve due to trauma or surgery.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as pesticides or solvents containing certain chemicals.
  • Certain medications, including certain types of antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medications, heart medications, and so on.
  • History of using illegal drugs, such as cocaine.
  • Old age, when the sense of smell, like the senses of sight and hearing, can also weaken with age. The ability of the sense of smell is known to begin to decline after the age of 60 years.
  • Certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal disorders.
  • History of having received radiation therapy to treat cancer in the head and neck area.

Anosmia Symptoms

The symptom of anosmia is the complete loss of the ability to smell. This can be realized if a person feels familiar with the smell of an object, but then cannot smell it again when complaints begin to arise.

Anosmia Diagnosis

To determine the underlying disease of anosmia, the doctor will conduct a detailed medical interview, physical examination, and certain supporting examinations if needed.

During the medical interview, information about other signs and symptoms of anosmia that may be related to anosmia will be obtained, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, history of allergies, history of injury, use of certain drugs, exposure to chemicals or smoke, and so on. On a physical examination, the doctor will evaluate for swelling, inflammation, production of fluid or mucus, as well as if there are polyps in the nose.

In certain conditions, when the diagnosis cannot be determined through a medical interview and physical examination, the doctor may recommend the patient undergo a supporting examination. Usually includes laboratory tests, imaging using X-rayscomputerized tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Treatment of anosmia depends on the disease that triggers the complaint. For example, if a person is suspected of having an infection of the nasal cavity, sinuses, or the like, the doctor can prescribe the necessary treatment for that specific problem.

Similarly, if found the presence of nasal polyps. The doctor can conduct an evaluation to determine if further action is needed to overcome it.


Because the causes of anosmia are quite varied, prevention also depends on the health problems that trigger the onset of anosmia. Some conditions such as advanced age, radiation therapy, serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or nose injuries, for example, cannot simply be prevented.

However, there are several things you can do to protect your sense of smell. Among others, by staying away from the use of narcotics and other illegal drugs; also not carelessly consume and become dependent on other types of hard drugs. Also keep your olfactory organs from too much exposure to chemicals in artificial scents of body fragrances, room deodorizers, insect repellents, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

1. How do you get rid of anosmia?
1. decongestants.
2. antihistamines.
3. steroid nasal sprays.
4. antibiotics, for bacterial infections.
5. reducing exposure to nasal irritants and allergens.
6. cessation of smoking.

2. What is the most common cause of anosmia?
Ans: Most commonly, anosmia is caused by: The common cold. Influenza (flu) Sinus infections (acute sinusitis)

3. Does anosmia affect taste?
Ans: unlike smell, the sense of taste is very resistant to damage, and what actually is lost is the ability to sense flavor.

4. How long will anosmia last?
Ans: The anosmia lasts 2-3 weeks

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