Can A Sinus Infection Make You Lose Sense Of Taste
A sinus infection can make you miserable, and thats not a surprise at all. But when foods that you would normally enjoy seem tasteless, its even more miserable. So why does this happen?
Whether you realize it or not, your sense of taste is linked to your sense of smell. In fact, much of what you taste is actually what you smell. When you have a sinus infection, the congestion that causes the infection can actually block your sense of smell. This is why you can seem to lose your sense of taste during a sinus infection.
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection can vary from person to person, but they often include at least a few of the following:
- Sinus headaches and facial pressure
- Sore throat and cough
While some sinus infections may require antibiotics or prescription medications, many times there are ways that you can treat the symptoms of your sinus infection at home.
- Hot, steamy showers to help loosen mucus
- A Neti pot or saline spray
Treating your symptoms as early as you can is important because if left untreated sinus infections can have a lasting or even permanent impact on your health.
Loss Of Smell And Taste
A side effect of nasal congestion is that you will find it challenging to smell or taste. Again, the swelling is to blame since the scents and aromas you are used to cant reach the top of the nose.
Sometimes, the inflammation presses down on the nervous system, impacting the signal that triggers taste and smell. Allergies and a cold can also cause these symptoms, which is why its vital to speak to a professional ENT doctor if youre concerned.
How To Tell The Difference Between Covid
Allergy and sinus symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms. An otolaryngologist explains how to tell them apart and when you should seek treatment.
Allergy season has become more complicated since the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have allergies or sinus problems, you may not be sure how to tell the difference between those symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. Jessica Southwood, MD, otolaryngologist, offers expert guidance to help you better understand these three conditions.
Since sinus and allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms can seem similar and have some overlap, it is important to familiarize yourself with the differences. That way, you and your provider can manage your health care appropriately.
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How Can I Get My Sense Of Taste Back After A Sinus Infection
The best place to start is focusing on reducing the inflammation in your nasal passages. If you can open up your sinuses and facilitate drainage, your smell will return faster.
Saline irrigations are helpful to wash out signs of infection and clear inflammation. You can purchase over-the-counter options like NeilMed Sinus Rinse at any pharmacy.
Topical steroid sprays like Flonase can also help to reduce inflammation.
If necessary, an ENT doctor can prescribe a compounded irrigation treatment. This is much like a saline rinse, but the solution also contains antibiotics or steroids to treat the sinus infection more aggressively.
Important To See Your Doctor
When a sinus infection develops and causes jaw pain or headaches, it is important to see your doctor to make sure it isnt a sign of an underlying sinus problem. If it is, it may be necessary to have surgery to clear up the infection and remove the swelling. If you have structural/base abnormalities, it could lead to bone spurs that form in your teeth. These will also cause severe headaches that are often mistaken as sinusitis infection symptoms. Home remedies can help alleviate some of the pain, but they wont get rid of structural/base problems.
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Smell Loss Related To Colds Allergies Sinus Issues And Covid
Anosmia is the lack of sense of smell and frequently goes hand in hand with the lack of taste. Since the smell receptors are in the upper portion of the nose, anything that can prevent air from reaching these smell receptors can affect your ability to smell. The receptors are located on both sides of the nose, so complete blockage of both your nasal passages may lead to loss of smell, but blockage of one side or the other can also cause this in some people.
Usually, when your nasal breathing improves, so does your sense of smell. Although congestion and obstruction are often the cause of smell issues, there are several other reasons not related to nasal obstruction why people can lose their sense of smell, including recent or repetitive head injury, a viral cold, COVID-19 infections, and many others including chronic nasal and sinus conditions, such as polyps.
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What Are Symptoms And Treatment
Typically, youll have facial pain/pressure, headaches, nasal drainage and congestion, decreased or loss of sense of smell, tooth pain and sore throat. Treatment depends on the cause but can include medications to decrease inflammation and treat the infection. Sometimes rinsing out your sinuses can help. At home this can be done by using a nasal saline solution or Neti pot. In severe cases, you may need to be treated by an ear, nose and throat doctor.
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Best In Class Treatment For Sinus Infections
If youre experiencing the symptoms of a sinus infection, the experienced ENT specialists at Chicago ENT can correctly diagnose your symptoms and help you breathe better.
Our team will work together to customize the ideal treatment plan for your needs. Schedule an appointment at Chicago ENT in Chicago, IL, and get the relief from chronic sinus infections you need!
Sinusitis Can Cause Loss Of Smell And Taste
According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12% of all American adults suffer with sinusitis which equates to over 30 million people. If you havent heard of the term previously, it actually refers to inflammation within the sinuses and the main symptoms include a plugged nose, thick nasal mucus, sore throat, headaches, and a cough . However, theres also another symptom that can come from sinusitis loss of smell and taste.
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How Can I Prevent Loss Of Taste In The Future
Preventing sinus infections from developing in the first place is the best way to ensure you keep enjoying your meals.
If youre prone to seasonal allergies, make regular sinus irrigation a habit during the seasons that affect you the most.
You may also want to talk to an ENT doctor about treating your allergies more aggressively with prescription allergy medications to prevent the swelling that blocks the sinuses.
Your Sense Of Taste Is Connected With Your Sense Of Smell
If your sense of taste is dulled because of a sinus infection, chances are that your sense of smell has become blunted too!
Remarkably, the sense of smell governs about 80% of what you and I taste.
So, in the absence of your sense of smell, your taste buds are limited to the five main sensations. These include, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami.
Aside from these, every other flavor we experience, itâs because of our sense of smell.
Suffice it to say, the sense of taste is somewhat linked to the sense of smell. They perform their distinct roles, though.
Thus, your taste buds simply aid in telling the difference between tastes. The nerves in your nose, on the other hand, aid in the identification of smell/odor.
Regardless of their functions, the olfactory region within your noise controls both senses of taste/smell.
So, anytime you ingest food/drink, the two senses kick into action. Upon chewing, odor molecules are transported to the back of the nose.
Subsequently, your taste sensors pick the flavor of the food, communicating to you whether itâs sweet, salty, sour, or bitter.
On the other hand, your sense of smell allows you to savor the foodâs aroma. In addition, it helps you to figure out the specifics.
Therefore, it enables you to tell if that sweet taste is one of a grape or an apple.
As a result, itâs crucial to take steps to get your sense of taste and smell back as quickly as possible.
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Facial Pain Or Pressure
Another possible sign of a sinus infection: facial pain. Sinus infections can cause a feeling of pressure, squeezing, or congestion in the cheeks, between the eyes, or in the forehead, says Dr. Gudis. You may notice that the pressure worsens when you lean forward, like to do something like tie your shoes, he says.
Treating Loss Of Taste And Smell
If you lose your sense of taste or smell, you should talk to a healthcare professional. They will work to identify the cause of your loss. That will determine what treatment is used.
If your loss is due to a medical issue, addressing that can help return your sense of smell. This might mean changing medications, getting treatment for congestion, or starting an allergy medication.
In other cases, like with COVID-19 or a concussion, youll have to wait for your senses of taste and smell to return. Some people experience a spontaneous return or their sense of taste and smell but, in rare cases, the conditions can be permanent.
You can also adopt lifestyle changes to enhance sensations of taste and smell. Cooking with aromatic ingredients, using bold colors, or adding spices can increase your satisfaction from meals. Counseling can also help with the emotional side of losing your sense of taste and smell.
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What Can I Expect If I Have Anosmia
If youve been diagnosed with anosmia, your healthcare provider can help manage your symptoms until your sense of smell is restored.
How long can anosmia last?
It depends on the underlying cause of your anosmia. Most of the time, your sense of smell returns once treatment is complete.
How long is anosmia after COVID?
People who have anosmia as a COVID-19 side effect usually regain their sense of smell in approximately two to three weeks. This is an estimate recovery times can vary.
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Throat Irritation And Cough
As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
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Is A Loss Of Sense Of Smell And Sinus Infections Related
Watch the video above as Jing Shen, MD explains Smell Disfunction
You probably take your sense of smell for granted, but do you ever wonder what it would be like if you had a loss of sense of smell? A total loss of smell is known as anosmia. When you don’t have a sense of smell, your food will taste different, you won’t be able to smell flowers and you may even find yourself in dangerous circumstances unknowingly .
Below we go over how your sense of smell works, the impacts of a loss of sense of smell, and if sinus infections can cause a loss of sense of smell.
The Importance Of Diagnosis
Losing smell or taste might sound minoruntil you experience it. Smell and taste are both important for overall health. A strong sense of smell can help you identify dangers like a gas leak or spoiled food. A sense of taste is important for feeling satisfied while eating. People with loss of taste and smell are at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
âSinusitis or rhinosinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection, is an inflammation in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses,â says Kavita Shanker-Patel, MD, a family medicine physician at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. âA sinus infection typically lasts less than four weeks.â
The most common causes of sinus infections are viruses. But you can also have a bacterial rhinosinusitis, though itâs less likely. These occur in only about 0.5 to 2 percent of sinus infection episodes, according to Dr. Shanker-Patel. âThis happens when bacteria secondarily infect an inflamed sinus cavity, and most commonly occurs as a complication of a viral infection,â she explains.
Typical sinus infection symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
How A Disordered Sense Of Smell And Taste Relate
The senses of smell and taste are very closely linked. Most people who visit a doctor because they think they have lost their sense of taste are surprised to learn they have a smell disorder instead. Generally, a smell or taste disorder will fall into these four categories:
Anosmia: Loss of sense of smell.
Ageusia: Loss of sense of taste. .
Hyposmia: Reduced ability to smell.
Hypogeusia: Reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, or salty things. .
According to Dr. Wendy McConnell, About 80 percent of taste disturbances are actually related to changes in a persons sense of smell. Most often changes in smell are caused by temporary conditions that cause irritation or swelling in the nasal cavity, like a sinus infection, allergies or a cold, she says.
Dr. McConnell, who is a board certified INTEGRIS Health otolaryngologist and an expert in sinus disorders and rhinology, says that loss of taste, or disturbance of taste, is not uncommon with sinus infections or colds. In fact, Most people will notice their taste is altered, and some foods may taste different or not as distinct as before, she says. Thankfully, Treating the cause of nasal swelling will usually resolve the alteration of taste.
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How To Stop Postnasal Drip
A combination of preventative measures and medications can help put a stop to postnasal drip. Healthcare providers may recommend:
Staying hydrated, which can also help to thin mucus
Use a humidifier or vaporizer to keep the air moist
Propping yourself up with extra pillows when you sleep, so the mucus doesnt collect in the back of your throat
An oral medication such as guaifenesin , which can thin mucus
Its important to keep in mind that treatment for postnasal drip usually depends on what might be causing it. For instance, if your symptoms are caused by allergies, the first step might be trying to pinpoint what you are allergic to and avoiding those foods or triggers to the extent possible.
As a next step, there are several over-the-counter and prescription medications that can provide additional relief. They can help treat postnasal drip by calming down inflammation and thinning or drying up the mucus. Lets take a look at the different types of medications that you and a healthcare provider can consider to help stop postnasal drip.
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Is There A Way To Determine If You Have Sinusitis Or Covid
Typically, the loss of sense of smell associated with a sinus infection is going to be accompanied by more significant symptoms such as facial pain/pressure. COVID-19 symptoms tend to have more fatigue, cough, shortness of breath and may have gastrointestinal symptoms, too. Because symptoms can overlap, I recommend discussing your condition with your physician and/or getting tested if you think youve got COVID-19. If you get a COVID-19 test, remember to mask up and stay away from others until you get your test results. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
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How To Get Your Taste Back After A Sinus Infection
David Cuthbertson, MD
Youve been dealing with a nasty sinus infection for a few days. Its a little annoying, but youre pushing through.
Then it happens. Youve been looking forward to your favorite lasagna all week. You sit down to the special meal ready to relish it. But that first bite Oh no! Its flavorless mush! Youve completely lost your taste!
Whats happening? Can a sinus infection cause that? Do you have COVID-19?
If youve ever found yourself wondering how to get your taste back after a sinus infection, look no further.
How To Clear Your Sinuses In 20 Seconds
To clear your sinuses, use this 20-second trick. According to Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, this technique causes the vomer bone to rock back and forth. This loosens congestion, and allows the sinuses to drain.
1. Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth and press your thumb between your eyebrows.2. Continue to apply pressure and hold for 20 seconds. When you release, your sinuses will begin to drain.
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Schedule An Appointment With Independence Ear Nose & Throat
At Independence Ear, Nose & Throat, we have the expertise and experience to diagnose your symptoms and prescribe the proper ear, nose, & throat treatment to make your life easier. All you have to do is call us today at 772-888-1880, and well book you an appointment with one of our hearing health professionals.
What Are The Key Differences Between The Two Infections
Typically with a sinus infection, youll have that telltale congestion, facial and/or ear pressure, and mucus, but you wont see all the other physical symptoms that you do with COVID-19 , says Dr. Shanker-Patel. Symptoms of a rhinosinusitis are mostly centered around the upper respiratory tract, she adds.
That being said, Many of the symptoms are very similar and, for this reason, it is most appropriate to talk to your health care provider if you develop any symptoms of either, Dr. Shanker-Patel adds.
To make things even more complicated, you can have a sinus infection and COVID-19. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can have both at the same time, and thats where things become tricky, says Dr. Del Signore. The thing that sets apart is really those systems systematic changesthe fevers, the total body chills and intense fatigue, and a dense loss of smell and taste.
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