Why you may have a Smell Disorder

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 27, 2014
Quick Bites

  • There could be many causes for smell disorders.
  • It could be an indicator of a serious health issue.
  • Smell disorder can also be due to ageing.
  • Not all types of smell disorder are curable.

The smell of early morning rain travels through the cracks of a window and lies down beside us, giving us the promise of a soft day. It is this and much more that makes this life worth living.

We experience delightful aromas of our favourite foods; we find peace in the fragrance of flowers, in the smell of new books, or the sudden smell of yesterday. But all this can most definitely fade, you may lose your sense of smell, it certainly has a negative impact on your life. Imagine the threat of an impending danger, like a leaking gas that you can smell will no longer be a threat. You will never know that your gas is leaking, not even when you are just about to light it up. But what are the causes of a smell disorder? It could be an age related issue, and can be more common in men that women. It could also be an indicator of a serious health issue.

smell disorder causes

Common Causes for Smell Disorder

There can be many causes for smell disorder, and some of these causes are pretty obvious than the others. It has been found that people who develop a smell disorder may have had experienced recent illness or injury. Some very common causes for smell disorder are:

•  People can suffer from smell disorder as they begin to age, much like how it happens with hearing and ageing.
•  People who have sinus and upper respiratory infections often suffer from smell disorder.
•  Smokers can also tend to lose their sense of smell over time.
•  Any kind of growth in the nasal cavities can disrupt smell.
•  A head injury can also cause smell disorder.
•  If you experience dental problem, you may have difficulty in smelling.
•  Chemical exposure such as insecticides and solvents can cause the same.
•  If you are taking too many medications, including some common antibiotics and antihistamines, you may suffer from loss of smell.
•  Radiation treatment for head and neck cancers.
•  Certain conditions tend to affect the nervous system, and thus they can have a side effect on your sense of smell. Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s are two such diseases.

The Types

All the above causes can be divided into different groups and you can define them as follows:


This is the loss of the sense of smell that is the most common. This smelling disorder can be temporary or permanent.


This is distorted sense of smell, and this is that sort which causes a person to hallucinate unpleasant odors. This is caused by medical or mental conditions.

the causes of smell disorders


Interestingly, smell disorder can also mean that you have an increased sense of smell. This is exactly what it means.


This is experienced by all. It means decreased sense of smell and it is usually a temporary condition which is caused by the flu.


A common cause for losing your sense of smell if ageing; this means the loss of smell that occurs when a person ages.

It should be noted that people with smelling disorders should not smoke, and should always avoid whatever it is that they are allergic to. The bad news is that not all types of smell disorder are curable.

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