Losing sense of taste has a negative effect on health as well as the overall quality of life. Almost 15% adults have a problem with taste or smell but do not approach a doctor for it. Over 200,000 people take medical help every year for inability to taste or smell.
However, you may wonder why that will happen to you, how can you get back to normal, and what things can you do to deal with it.
You may experience many other symptoms with a temporary loss of taste. Some people have a reduced taste of flavor (hypogeusia), while others may taste flavor when there is nothing present (phantom taste perception). Here are some other common symptoms associated with a temporary loss of taste:
Be sure to seek immediate medical help if you have any of these abovementioned symptoms along with weakness or numbness on one side of your body or you have a very high fever. You should also talk to your doctor if you notice any change in speech or vision.
Loss of sense of taste can be temporary or permanent depending on the cause. It is gradual but not as noticeable as loss in sense of smell. There are many reasons of lost taste. Medications and illness can make it worse. If the transfer of taste sensations to the brain is interrupted, or if the interpretation of sensation of taste by the brain is hampered, loss of taste occurs.
Some of the common causes may include:
Medications like antibiotics or antihistamines cause a bad taste in mouth or impaired taste. Bitter or salty taste in the mouth for extended periods is called dysgeusia and usually affects older people. This happens due to medications and oral health problems.
Individuals who receive radiation around the nose and mouth region suffer from loss in sense of taste and smell due to side effects. Old people who lose larynx or voice box also suffer from inability to smell or taste anything.
When people are exposed to some insecticides or solvents, they can experience loss of taste. Getting medical help in such conditions is essential.
Tobacco is the most common form of chemical exposure pollution. It is also reported that when smokers quit smoking, they tend to have a better sense of taste.
Ear, throat and tooth surgeries can cause taste loss, especially wisdom tooth extraction or middle ear surgery. Sometimes, head injuries can also cause impaired taste. Damage to the taste nerves by being cut or blocked or as a result of physical damage during a head injury can lead to loss of taste.
Ear infection and infection of the tongue can also bring about taste loss. Respiratory or middle ear infections like flu can cause impaired taste or taste disorders. Infections caused by fungus, like oral thrush, yeast-candidiasis and glossitis can also be the culprit.
There is slow degeneration of the nerves which control the sensation of taste and smell with increasing age. This causes reduced sense of taste in older people. Congenital anosmia is a condition where people are born with an inability to smell and this can cause impaired taste in the future.
Doctor's advice should be taken for all the possible treatment options available and the ones which are most suited to the condition depending on the cause. When the underlying cause is treated or gets resolved, the sense of taste returns to normalcy.
It is also possible to try some home remedies for good results, especially when you know your impaired taste is not the result of any serious medical condition. For instance:
If the sense of taste cannot be restored, you may require a medical visit. Changes can be made in the diet to make it more appetizing and taste better.