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How To Regain Sense of Smell and Taste

How To Regain Sense of Smell and Taste

Your body reacts to a bad cold and takes a toll on your body. Aside from the usual muscle ache, you feel your sense of smell and taste becomes dull and you might lose your appetite along the way. Knowing how to regain sense of smell and taste helps to get back to your healthy self.

Causes of Losing Your Sense of Smell

A cold can be one of the reasons why people lose their sense of smell or taste. Anosmia is the term for losing one’s sense of smell, while hyposmia is when your smell sensitivity becomes less. These terms are used to express what the person is currently experiencing as the sense of smell is subjective and may be different from one person to another.

There are other reasons for losing your sense of smell aside from your common cold. The following gives some light on what these are and how to regain sense of smell.

Old Age

It is possible that you lose your sense of smell and taste when you reach the age of 60. Your body may lose some of the nerve endings and less mucus is produced compared to what you have before. These factors help the nose identify the smell. Also, there are diseases related to old age which affect your sense of smell such as Alzheimer or Parkinson disease.


Your sense of smell can also be affected by adaptation. This is when you are continuously exposed to strong smells that you sometimes don’t even know are there.

An example of this is when your work entails you to use different chemicals and smells that after a period of time it becomes normal to you and not for others.


There are a lot of illnesses that can cause loss or make your sense of smell less sensitive. Nasal congestion is one of the symptoms of illnesses that can affect your sense of smell. These include common colds, flu, allergic rhinitis, and at some point your smoking habits.

Another symptom is abnormal growths or nasal polyps which affect nerves inside the nose to make your sense of smell dull. How to regain sense of smell is a matter of treating the illness properly.


Head injuries impacting the nose can also affect your sense of smell. Much like illnesses, the nerves used to send signals to the brain may be damaged because of the trauma.

It is important to mention that losing your sense of smell affects your sense of taste. Your mouth is located just below your nose and it complements each other. The smells found in your food make it more appetizing aside from the taste that your tongue processes. Having a cold or blocked nasal cavity can make your food taste bland.

Ageusia is the term for loss of sense of taste.

How To Regain Sense of Smell

Depending on the cause of the anosmia or hyposmia, there is a corresponding next step to regain your sense of smell. For mild colds and allergies, these illnesses can be treated by staying hydrated, relieving the symptoms with over-the-counter medications, avoiding allergens, and rest. Once it clears up, your sense of smell will return.

Some doctors give nasal sprays or drops to treat nasal blockages and polyps. It is best to take medicine that is prescribed by your doctor, especially when using antibiotics.

Your nasal nerves recover and regenerate over a period of time so most of the causes take your sense of smell and taste temporarily. If it still persists after being given medicine and treatment, consult your doctor or medical practitioner to identify what is wrong with your condition. It may take more tests and can lead to surgery depending on their diagnosis.

Key Takeaways

How to regain sense of smell can be easier when consulting with your doctors. There are different causes of anosmia and hyposmia and their treatment can be different. If there are concerns about how you perceive smells and tastes, consult your doctor to help you get back to normal.

Check out other General Health Knowledge here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


How Smell and Taste Change as You Age, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/smell-and-taste, Accessed July 24, 2021

Anosmia (loss of smell), https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/anosmia-loss-of-smell, Accessed July 24, 2021

Lost or changed sense of smell, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lost-or-changed-sense-smell/

Smell – impaired, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003052.htm, Accessed July 24, 2021

Anosmia – loss of smell, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/anosmia-loss-of-smell, Accessed July 24, 2021

Loss of smell, https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/loss-of-smell/basics/definition/sym-20050804, Accessed July 24, 2021

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Written by Elaine Felicitas Updated May 11
Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD