Children's Hospital is part of the UPMC family.
Anosmia (say "ay-NAWZ-mee-uh") is the loss of the sense of smell. It can be a problem by itself or a symptom of another health problem. It can last a short time, such as when you have a stuffy nose from a cold, or it can be permanent.
Some people have a reduced sense of smell. This is called hyposmia (say "hy-PAWZ-mee-uh"). These people may be able smell some scents but not others. Or scents may smell different than they used to.
The sense of smell is closely tied to the sense of taste. If you can't smell the aroma of food, you will likely have trouble tasting food. This could lead to not eating enough and losing weight. You also may not get the nutrients you need.
Anosmia can affect your mood. It can make you feel sad or depressed, because the aromas of food, flowers, and other things add to the joy of life.
Lack of a sense of smell also can be dangerous. For example, you wouldn't be able to smell a gas leak or smoke from a fire.
Many people lose some of their sense of smell or taste as they get older. But lack of the sense of smell is usually caused by an injury or a health problem. Anosmia can be short-term and get better when the health problem goes away. But sometimes it's permanent.
Anosmia can be caused by:
A doctor diagnoses lack of the sense of smell with:
In some cases, you also may have:
Treatment depends on whether the cause is something that can get better on its own or be fixed. Your sense of smell should return if, for example, a cold that caused your loss of ability to smell gets better or if you stop taking a medicine that caused you to not be able to smell.
If an injury, disease, or surgery caused damage to the nerves that control your sense of smell, you might not be able to smell again. Or your sense of smell might return, but it may be different than it was before. Sometimes the sense of smell will return on its own.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology
Current as ofMay 4, 2017
Current as of:
May 4, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to: