Smell loss

Anosmia is the partial or complete loss of the sense of smell. This loss may be temporary or permanent. Common conditions that irritate the nose’s lining, such as allergies or a cold, can lead to temporary anosmia. Although loss of smell is rarely a symptom of a serious condition, even a partial loss of smell could cause you to lose interest in eating, which could possibly lead to weight loss, malnutrition or even depression. 



  • sinus infections
  • common colds
  • smoking
  • the flu, or influenza
  • allergies (allergic rhinitis)
  • chronic congestion not related to allergies (nonallergic rhinitis)
  • tumors
  • nasal polyps
  • bone deformities inside the nose or a nasal septum
  • Old age
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • brain tumors
  • Huntington’s disease
  • hormonal problems
  • underactive thyroid
  • medications, including some antibiotics and high blood pressure medications
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • schizophrenia
  • epilepsy
  • diabetes
  • exposure to chemicals that burn the inside of your nose
  • brain or head injury
  • brain surgery
  • malnutrition
  • radiation therapy
  • long-term alcoholism
  • stroke
  • In rare cases people are born without a sense of smell due to a genetic condition. This is called congenital anosmia.