Loss of taste is a common symptom of various health problems, from cold to smoking. However, if it persists for more than a few days, it may be an early sign of a more serious condition, such as COVID-19. If you are experiencing a loss of taste, you must consult a doctor for a diagnosis. Other possible causes include nutritional deficiencies, radiation to the head or neck, and an age-related condition. In any case, the best advice is to savor every bit of food you can.
Some prescription drugs affect the sense of smell. Captopril, a medication for high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, can alter the ability to taste. Antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and antibiotics can also impair taste and smell. Other factors that affect the sense of smell are exposure to chemicals, such as perfumes and air fresheners. Fortunately, the majority of these problems can be treated without invasive surgery.
Why can’t I Taste Anything?
- If you’re wondering why can’t I taste anything, there are many possible causes. Some prescription medications, such as captopril, affect the taste, and this medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Other prescription drugs can affect your ability to smell, and other medications can alter your sense of smell. Other common causes include viral infections and exposure to certain types of chemicals.
- Some prescription medications can affect the ability to taste. For instance, the drug captopril can change your sense of smell. It is used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure and has side effects, including the inability to taste. Some people with this condition also suffer from allergies, genetic disorders, or infections. These symptoms can also be caused by a nutritional deficiency.
- There are many potential causes of loss of taste. Some people suffer from nasal polyps, upper respiratory infections, or sinus infections. However, rare cases can indicate more serious medical problems, such as an endocrine disorder, tumor, or nutritional deficiency. If your taste is affected by a medical condition, it is best to seek help as soon as possible.
- The most common cause is a lack of sensory neurons in your nose. Two main types of nerves help the tongue detect different flavors and aromas. There are also specialized cells in the mouth, tongue, and throat. When chewing food, the olfactory cells release aromas that activate the sense of smell. If the channel to the nose is blocked, odors will not reach the brain. This results in a mouth without taste.
When you can’t Taste Anything, What Should you Eat?
Ageusia, or loss of taste, can be a natural part of aging or a side effect of certain medical disorders and treatments, such as nasal troubles, chemotherapy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other neurological concerns.
As a side effect of COVID-19, there has been an upsurge in persons losing their taste recently. In fact, it’s the fourth most prevalent adverse effect, with about 20–30 percent of COVID-19 individuals reporting some degree of taste and smell loss.
1. Pay attention to your other senses.
If you’re having problems tasting food, consider focusing on your other senses while eating.
Take a moment to consider the looks of your food, for example. Take note of the colors, textures, and variety in the environment. You might opt to add different colors to your meals or spend time garnishing your dish with garnishes to make them more aesthetically appealing.
Slow down while you chew and pay attention to the minute variations in sensations and noises with each bite. You might want to include crunchier items in your meal to excite your senses of sound and touch.
Add aromatic spices, herbs, and other items if you can still smell them. This may make your dinner more pleasurable by bringing back memories and establishing a pleasant ambiance.
Finally, attempt to incorporate other parts of eating and food preparation, such as interesting food presentations, establishing an engaging social atmosphere, and experimenting with new recipes.
2. Experiment with a variety of foods.
Even though you have a limited capacity to taste food in general, you may be able to taste particular foods more than others. Experimenting with different meals and determining which ones you can taste more or less can help you enhance your dining experience.
Additionally, this might be a wonderful time to incorporate some healthful items into your diet that you generally avoid. For example, if you don’t like particular veggies, this is a wonderful time to incorporate them into your meals.
Some people opt to consume more bland food to lessen their expectations of a tasty meal. As a result, try out different meals to find what works best for you.
3. Eat meals that you like.
People who don’t enjoy eating are more likely to become malnourished.
This emphasizes the need to focus on any aspect of eating that you find fascinating and enjoyable since this will inspire you to feed your body.
If you prefer the flavor of certain foods over others, make an effort to include them in your diet more frequently, even if they are less healthy. For instance, if adding a high-salt condiment to your plate makes it easier to consume, go ahead and do so.
This may also imply eating the same meals daily. While a varied diet is generally suggested, it is preferable to not eat at all if you are more inclined to consume a few chosen things you appreciate.
People with specific medical illnesses or dietary restrictions, such as high blood pressure or celiac disease, may need to consult a nutritionist or other medical practitioner to ensure they’re eating both satisfying and appropriate meals.
4. Eat more frequently and in smaller portions.
Eating a huge meal might be a chore for some people because it’s less pleasurable without the flavor.
As a result, snacking or eating smaller meals throughout the day might help you receive enough nourishment fast and comfortably. You may want to eat every 2–4 hours in this instance.
At least two carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats should be included in each small meal or snack.
5. Maintain proper dental hygiene.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene might help you enjoy your meal more.
Floss and brush your teeth regularly to keep your mouth clean. Also, brush your tongue to get rid of any food particles. Brushing one’s teeth 10–20 minutes before eating might also be beneficial.
You can use an oral rinse to keep your mouth clean between meals. Here’s how to prepare a quick rinse at home:
- 2 cups (500 mL) water plus 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
- Fill a sealable bottle halfway with the solution.
- Shake the container well before each use and pour 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the solution into a cup.
- Spit out the solution after swishing it in your mouth for at least 30 seconds.
- At the end of the day, discard the leftover solution.
How to Diagnose the Loss of Taste?
It’s fairly unusual to have a problem with your sense of taste. Before the epidemic, more than 200,000 individuals in the United States went to the doctor every year because they couldn’t taste or smell anything. According to some estimates, 5% of Americans have dysgeusia, and almost one in every five Americans over the age of 40 has a change in their sense of taste.
Otolaryngologists are specialists who can diagnose and treat both smell and taste problems. These specialists specialize in ear, nose, and throat problems and head and neck ailments.
The doctor may examine the mouth and nose for growths, listen to the patient’s breathing, and look for any indicators of illness. They’ll also look through the person’s medical history and inquire about any drug usage or probable harmful chemical exposure.
A person’s mouth and teeth will also be examined by the doctor to look for symptoms of illness and inflammation.
The doctor may apply specific chemicals directly to the individual’s tongue or mix them into a solution that they swirl in their mouth to assist in identifying the loss of taste. How a person reacts to these compounds can help determine which part of the taste is impacted.
It might take some time to figure out what sort of sensory loss the person is having and what the underlying issue is, but getting the right diagnosis is the first step toward getting the right therapy.
Can Taste Loss be Treated?
It is possible to lose your sense of taste or smell for a short time, but it is also possible to lose it permanently. Nasal polyps, for example, may be surgically removed, but cells lost due to the aging process cannot be replaced.
- Severe infections (such as those that cause Bell’s palsy)
- Stroke or a concussion (most likely permanent)
- Radiation or chemical exposure
- The loss that can be treated:
Following the cure of acute illnesses such as strep throat
- Antihistamines can be used to treat allergies.
- If you stop smoking, you can reverse the effects.
- When you use drugs that induce dry mouth, you may lose taste, and this is because saliva includes crucial chemical messengers that the brain needs to perceive flavors. In this situation, speak with your doctor about switching to a different medicine or finding alternative ways to deal with dry mouths, such as chewing sugar-free gum and drinking plenty of water.
- Due to flavor’s nutritional and social components, it is essential to seek resolution of loss of taste if feasible. Long-term or untreated loss of taste can lead to malnutrition and despair. If your taste loss is permanent, it’s critical to consult with your doctor to reduce your nutritional and depressive risks.
How Common is it to Lose your Taste Sense?
Most people who see their doctor because they can’t taste anything have a problem with their sense of smell. Every year, over 200,000 people seek medical help because they have lost their sense of taste.
While not everyone seeks medical help when they lose their sense of taste, it is believed that roughly 15 out of every 100 individuals have issues with this sense.
How to Prevent the Loss of Taste?
A loss of taste may not always be preventable, and certain cases may result from underlying disorders that require medical attention. People can, however, adopt the following methods to lessen the risk of ageusia caused by infections:
- keeping hydrated and eating a nutritious diet
- Getting lots of rest and cleaning your hands properly
- Managing stress by hiding one’s face in public
Several medical conditions can interfere with your sense of smell. For example, nasal polyps, upper respiratory infections, and sinus infections cal alter your ability to smell. Sometimes, people with these conditions will lose their ability to taste. But these conditions are usually temporary and can be easily treated with various natural remedies. A few things to avoid will make your mouth taste better.
Some prescription medicines can also affect your sense of smell. For example, captopril, a medication for high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, can alter the ability to taste. Other drugs, such as decongestants, antibiotics, and muscle relaxants, can also change your ability to smell. Furthermore, exposure to chemicals such as paint and perfumes can trigger the disorder.
There are several other causes of lack of taste. You may not have the capacity to detect odors properly. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can interfere with your taste. In addition, ACE inhibitors can affect your sense of smell. If you have a low vitamin B12, your symptoms could be caused by this condition. You should contact a healthcare professional immediately if you think they are affecting your ability to taste.