About Taste and Smell


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When you make your appointment you will receive an information packet, which includes a comprehensive personal history questionnaire. You will need to complete the questionnaire and bring it with you when you come for your evaluation. This questionnaire asks about your medical history, and about your particular smell and taste problems. This information, along with your examination and testing, are needed in the evaluation and diagnosis of your disorder.


When you arrive you will be seen by the neurologist who will discuss your history with you and do a brief neurological examination. You will then undergo the battery of smell and taste tests described above. This entire process can take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


After all of the testing is completed you will visit with the neurologist again to discuss the results. Depending on the outcome, you may be advised that further studies are indicated, such as an MRI or CT scan of the head and sinuses, or possibly blood tests. These blood tests may include, B-12 and thyroid levels, kidney and liver function tests. A neurologist may also recommend further evaluation by an ear, nose and throat specialist.


Over two million Americans have problems with smell or taste and over 250,000 visit a physician each year for this problem. Many more smell and taste disturbances go unnoticed. People with a faulty sense of smell and taste can be deprived of an early warning system that we all take for granted. Poisonous fumes, leaking gas and spoiled foods can interfere with our health and safety if not recognized. Loss of smell may be a symptom of sinus disease, growths in the nasal passage, or a nervous system disorder. Some professions require a keen sense of smell, for example, a chef or a firefighter. Therefore, disorders of smell and taste in these kinds of professions can lead to job loss and serious economic hardship. For the rest, smell and taste disorders may simply mean a diminished quality of life.