Anosmia (/ænˈɒzmiə/) is the inability to
perceive odor or a
lack of functioning olfaction—the loss of the sense of smell. Anosmia may be
temporary, but some anosmia (including traumatic anosmia) can be permanent.
Anosmia is due to a number of factors, including an inflammation of the nasal
mucosa, blockage of nasal passages or a destruction of one temporal lobe.
Inflammation is due to chronic mucosa changes in the paranasal sinus lining and
the middle and superior turbinates.
When anosmia is caused by
inflammatory changes in the nasal passageways, it is treated simply by reducing
It can be caused by chronic meningitis and neurosyphilis
that would increase intracranial pressure over a long period of time,
and in some cases by ciliopathy
including ciliopathy due to primary ciliary dyskinesia (Kartagener
syndrome, Afzelius' syndrome or Siewert's syndrome).
Many patients may experience
unilateral anosmia, often as a result of minor head trauma. This type of
anosmia is normally only detected if both of the nostrils are tested
separately. Using this method of testing each nostril separately will often
show a reduced or even completely absent sense of smell in either one nostril
or both, something which is often not revealed if both nostrils are