El resfriado con congestión nasal es la causa más frecuente de la pérdida de olfato parcial y temporal. También es frecuente la obstrucción de las fosas nasales, especialmente por pólipos o fracturas nasales. También es posible que el envejecimiento normal ocasione pérdida del olfato, la cual puede ser progresiva y convertirse en completa y permanente.

What is smell?

Smell results when individual molecules, suspended in the air, are inhaled and attach to receptors in the mucous membranes of the nose, stimulating nerves that connect directly to the brain. Any problem within this olfactory system — congestion or obstruction in the nose, inflammation of its lining, nerve damage, or altered brain function — affects your ability to smell normally.

While total loss of smell is fairly rare, and the more common causes improve with time, symptoms are sometimes severe enough to result in significant problems or distress. An intact sense of smell is necessary to accurately taste and enjoy food; losing this sense could cause you to lose interest in eating, potentially leading to weight loss, malnutrition or even depression.

Problems with the inner lining of your nose

Conditions that cause temporary irritation or congestion of the mucous membranes lining the inside of your nose are the most common cause of loss of smell. These may include:

  1. Sinusitis aguda (sinus infection)
  2. Resfriado común
  3. (allergic rhinitis)
  4. Influenza (gripe)
  5. Rinitis no alérgica (chronic congestion or sneezing not related to allergies)

Obstructions of your nasal passages

Conditions or obstructions that block the flow of air through your nose can include:

  1. Bony deformity inside your nose
  2. Pólipos nasales
  3. Tumors

Damage to your brain or nerves

Less commonly, the nerves leading to the olfactory center of the brain or to the brain itself can be damaged or deteriorate due to:

  1. Aging
  2. Enfermedad de Alzheimer
  3. Aneurisma cerebral
  4. Brain surgery
  5. Tumor cerebral
  6. Chemical exposures to certain insecticides or solvents
  7. Enfermedad de Huntington
  8. Kallmann's syndrome (inability of testicles to produce sperm)
  9. Síndrome de Klinefelter (a condition in which males have an extra X chromosome in most of their cells)
  10. Korsakoff's psychosis (a brain disorder caused by the lack of thiamin)
  11. Malnutrition
  12. Medications (for example, some high blood pressure medications)
  13. Esclerosis múltiple
  14. Atrofia multisistémica (AMS) (a progressive disorder of the nervous system)
  15. Enfermedad ósea de Paget (a disease that affects your bones, sometimes facial ones)
  16. Enfermedad de Niemann-Pick (a form of dementia)
  17. Radiation therapy
  18. Rinoplastia
  19. Esquizofrenia
  20. Síndrome de Sjögren (an inflammatory disease that generally causes dry mouth and eyes)
  21. Toxin ingestion
  22. Zinc deficiency
  23. Zinc-containing nasal sprays (taken off the market in 2009)

Las causas que aquí se muestran se asocian comúnmente con este síntoma. Trabaja con tu médico u otro profesional de atención médica para obtener un diagnóstico preciso.

Nov. 16, 2016