Smell & Taste Disorders in Tarzana

Smell & Taste Disorders - Marc Cohen M.D, Tarzana Surgeon

Smell & Taste Disorders

Smell and taste as a pair that belongs to the human sensing system referred to as chemosensation.

These sensory organs are so important that the smell and taste cells are the only cells in the nervous system that get replaced when old or damaged. However, smell and taste disorders can arise, resulting in a decrease, distortion, or absence of the sense of smell and taste. The process may be sudden or gradual, and is often associated with sinus diseases, growths in the nasal passages, head injuries,nervous system diseases, viral infections, and other health problems, as well as certain medications and hormone changes.

Common smell and taste disorders include:

  • Anosmia - complete lack of the sense of smell
  • Hyposmia - reduced sense of smell
  • Parosmia - smells being different than expected
  • Phantosmia - perceiving smells that are not there
  • Hypogeusia - reduced ability to taste sweet, salty, bitter, or sour things

Smell disorders are more common than taste disorders, though many people confuse them  

Diagnosis and treatment of smell and taste disorders

Short-term smell and taste changes are pretty common with respiratory tract infections. But if the problem doesn't seem to be improving in two weeks, you should visit your ENT specialist for an endoscopic examination and other tests for comparing different smells, identifying smells, measuring the strength of smells, and taste tests on different areas of the tongue.

Depending on your case, Dr. Cohen may also perform tests for nasal allergies and request MRI or CT scans to help reach a diagnosis. Afterwards, he will recommend a personalized treatment plan to help restore your sense of taste and smell.