Anosmia or Loss of Smell from Brain Injury

Question: 

My friend had a brain hemorrhage from a blow to the head 10 years ago and has completely lost his sense of smell. Apparently, the part of his brain that controls his sense of smell was permanently damaged.

Is it possible that even though the brain does not recognize or register any kind of smell, the effects of that smell still be experienced? For example, even though he can’t smell coffee or lavender, could he still get stimulating effects of the coffee aroma or the relaxation effects of the scent of lavender?

Answer: 

Smell loss following traumatic brain injury is often overlooked as doctors tend not bother to ask about or test for loss or change in smell — or taste for that matter. Many times, people with brain injury first report changes in taste when they lose or notice a change in their ability to smell. Typically, complete loss of smell — or what is called anosmia — will be quite noticeable to a person following a traumatic brain injury and may affect numerous aspects of their life. Unfortunately, there is no good treatment cure for post-traumatic anosmia. Typically, if a person doesn’t regain his ability to smell six months after the injury, the loss will likely be permanent.

Because of the complex mechanisms involved in olfaction — a person’s sense of smell — it’s difficult to determine the reason for the loss. Problems with smell loss can result from craniofacial trauma, specifically damage to nasal passage ways, shearing injury of the olfactory nerve, or injury to primary or secondary smell centers in the frontotemporal regions of the brain. There are also other non-traumatic causes for smell impairment including Alzheimer’s disease and smoking, to name just two. This is why it’s important for people with this type of problem to seek out appropriate evaluation by a doctor familiar with post-traumatic smell loss.

If your friend is truly anosmic, that is, he has totally lost his sense of smell, then he would probably not recognize or register any kind of smell since the olfactory nerve is responsible for scent recognition. Therefore, your friend would not benefit from smelling any substance. That said, we don’t have a lot of research on this. Some people have anecdotally described “blind smell” similar to blind sight (a phenomenon in which people who are perceptually blind in a certain area of their visual field demonstrate some response to visual stimuli), and it wouldn’t hurt for your friend to try and experiment with smells.

 

Posted on BrainLine September 20, 2010. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

Comments (286)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I blacked out 6 days ago, falling backwards on to our ceramic tile floor. Fractured occipital skull and concussion. I have lost all smell and taste capabilities, and have bright light flashes to the left of my left eye. Hoping to see my neurologist this week, as he was NOT the attending that treated me in the E.D. when I fell. (He has been my spinal surgeon for 3 years, and also specializes in brain issues. I trust him.) I'm a retired Medic, and had never heard of anosmia or loss of taste, post head trauma. How long have you had it?

I'm 16 and I recently got into a car accident with my mother. My mother hit the back of her head on the sidewalk and she hasn't been able to smell or taste since then. It's been 5 months and I'm scared it's permanent. I was driving so this is all my fault. I feel awful everyday as she brings up small things like "can you smell this or taste this for me". I ruined my mothers life. She only gets to live half of it now since she loved cooking and everything like that. I don't know why I wasn't injured at all. I deserve some sort of punishment! Maybe this is it, I watch my mom suffer for what I've done. I don't know how to cope with any of this as I'm the reason why she can't smell or taste. She forgives me but I can never forgive myself. If anyone has any advice or just wants to say something to help, please do. I check this everyday so I'll be patient.

I had a 15 minute seizure and fell from a standing position and hit concrete. Cracked my skull. major brain trauma to the cerebellum part of my brain. There was a 3 inch crack in my skull and the hospital should have put a plate in my skull but did not do it. Then a piece of my skull broke off and went into the frontal lobe of my brain and as a result I too lost my smell and taste. It has been 9 months and they said I would never get it back. People just understand how bad it is and how depressing it is to not be able to smell flowers or taste good food. I would love to be able to talk to someone else who is experiencing and going through the same thing that I am. God bless anyone else that is going through this. Like the old saying says, "you don't know what you got until it is gone."

I slipped and fell hitting the back of my skull so hard that it broke the eye sockets! I spent 3 days in ICU. They wouldn't let me eat or drink for two days because I may have needed surgery. I remember saying to myself that the food had no taste. I got home and realized the food at home was bland too, so I called the nurse and she told me it was most likely anosmia. No treatment, no cure. I lost my will to eat! I would take a couple bites and get angry that I could not taste the food. While I can still "sense" spicy, sweet, salty, I can't smell. The up side is water and air smell and taste the same, and that I have lost 13 pounds in three weeks! Don't try it at home, I would grab a hammer and go to town if I could get my smell to return! My jokes about myself is the only way to cope, no offense offered.

Hi there, two years ago I was putting some stuff away under the sink in my bathroom I stood up and blacked out and fell backwards fracturing the back of my skull. I vaguely remember waking up at some point of time sweating profusely then passed out again. When I came to again I was in my bed in which I don't remember getting off the floor at all. I got out of bed walked around the corner to see a stranger sitting on the couch. She asked if I was okay and I replied who are you, where am I, who am I? I then passed out again. The stranger turned out to be my wife. She then got me to the emergency dept and I woke up five days later in intensive care from a drug induced coma. Days later I realised I didn't have smell or taste. I get the phantom smell every now and then so strong it makes me vomit. The smell is the smell of the smoke that comes off matches when you first strike it. I would like to know if anyone has this dilemma of always feeling hungry even when you have just eaten a huge meal. I was told because my brain doesn't register smell or taste it doesn't register eating therefore telling me I'm hungry. I was diagnosed with depression but have refused to take any antidepressants prescribed because I just don't want to go down that road. I always had a good memory but now I find large chunks of memories have been erased like my 21st birthday party. Its frustrating but life goes on. I'm alive and thankful for that. 😊

I lost my sense of smell (and taste) in an accident about four months ago (slightly fractured skull, heavy concussion and some bleeding). I was also 33 weeks pregnant. Everything healed and have a beautiful baby girl. But smell and taste....Occasionaly have some phantom smells. Apples give me a soapy taste in the mouth. Stuff with a lot of sugar give me metallic tastes in the mouth. I am still hoping for some recovery. Smells I don't really miss (perfume, cleaning detergent). But smells and tastes of food and drinks I do miss. I still enjoy food, but I am sad that the taste is so weak compared to when I could smell. I like fruits, yoghurt, cereal, spicy food, pizza and burgers. Smoked salmon. Tomatoes.Goat cheese. Sushi.  But I want to enjoy everything again! I am so happy to read stories of people who's sense came back after a year or ever longer...

I lost my sense of smell after falling off a horse at the age of 10. I had a concussion. I didn't know it at the time that my sense of smell was gone. It was in 1974. I remember telling my friends I couldn't smell after that. I had a MRI at the age of twenty that confirmed the injury to that part of my brain. I suffer from depression and have always had a hard time concentrating. Losing your sense of smell takes a lot of pleasant things away. Like all the good memories it could trigger. Also I don't get excited about a lot of things people with smell do. The smell of foods baking or flowers and perfumes. The good thing is I can maintain a good weight because I'm not tempted by the smells of certain foods. It has effected my sense of taste.

Hi I'm Jake,

I haven't been able to smell since 1997 TBI Skateboard accident. Looking for solutions not sob stories. How do we fix it? How do we regenerate nerves?. 

interesting to read the amount of people with anosmia.  I had elective surgery for cancer, which resulted in the removal of my olfactory nerves.  And with it my sense of smell.  Its been about a year, and every so often i have those phantom smells.  Pretty much always the same one.  I'm lucky in that its partially sweet in odor.  Really sucks not being able to smell, and you don't truly miss something until its gone for good.  I find that i can now cut onions at will, and i have no fears of using public restrooms.  But the loss in taste really isn't cool.  Though in some ways i'm rediscovering foods that i didn't like previously, since my taste has changed.  I also find that i fear left overs, maybe more so than fire.  with left overs, i never know if something is bad so i tend not to eat them ever.  Thank you for sharing your information, it was enlightening to see the different experiences of so many.  Best of luck to everyone as they learn to live with anosmia.

I had a head injury in December 2015 it's now September 2016 and I lost my sense of smell and taste. Is there anything that I can do to regain my senses back?

Hello. I suffered a fractured skull, concussion and subdural hematoma after having a seizure and falling off a fork lift and landing on a concrete floor at work. I was unconscious for a few hours and awoke in a hospital bed. The accident occurred on June 15 of this year. Two months later, I still have complete anosmia. I have noticed only a slight difference in my taste. I hope that it is not permanent but, I have accepted it and feel fortunate that the injuries were not worse!

My bf was in a severe car accident in 2013 and luckily we both survived but he unfortunately suffered a tbi and has now fully recovered. He noticed very quickly during recovery that his taste and smell was not good and his taste did come back with time but smell did not. Sometimes he can tell an odor is strong like cleaning products, bleach, etc but if I held up lemons he couldn't tell me what the scent is. He used to be a police officer and wants to go back but it worries me they won't let him if they know, or is this discrimination? Out of all the doctors you all have seen has anyone said any kind of treatment? I am curious and as a nurse I don't really think there is since its nerve related but I'm just curious. Nice to see he isn't alone

Hi, i wonder if anybody has got any advice for me, i haven't been able to taste or smell anything for 7 weeks, it all happened after a had an endoscopy the day after i came down with a really bad case of sinusitis followed by a chest infection, has anybody else had a similar experience, i know mine isn't due to an head injury but as u can imagine its quit stressful not been able to enjoy something so simple in life like the smell of flowers or your favorite chocolate bar, everything's so bland, the drs i've seen have treated me we antifungal medicine as they thought i had oral thrush which is no longer the case and has now after all these weeks referred me to see ent, which i haven't got an appointment for 6 weeks, i duno how else to cope its making me very anxious n depressed. Please if anybody has any advice its very welcome. Thanks

I have this also! Through a sheared olfactory nerve from a bang on the head. Then i hear on the news olfactory nerves grow back and im like 'what!?' Makes no sense to me. Strange thing is no smell equals a very limited taste palette. Strangely i cant remember the sensation of smelling. Funnily though i sometimes do get a sensation up my nostrils 2 or 3 times a year that always seems to trigger a thought of a burnt match. Its all a very confusing malarkey!

Lost my sense of smell and taste due to slipping in bathtub.

Hit the right side of my head. That was a year ago this month. Doc said may come back, may not. I'm betting it won't. Just have to learn to live with it.

Hey My son had an accident he was 3 nearly 4, may 2014, he had a depressed skull fracture, Bassline skull fracture, nose and orbit roof fractured, and frontal lobe damage. We noticed his sense of smell had gone august 2014, he can't smell a thing. He can taste but not smell, I'm so sad for him that I know it will never come back, how do you guys go about day to day with out sense of smell? I'm worrying for when he's older about him living on his own! I know it's a fair way off xx

I'm so glad I'm not alone. I was in a vehicle collision two months ago and had whiplash, a concussion, and other injuries. (5th whiplash in 5 years, 2nd concussion in 3 years. Eight not-at fault vehicle collisions in 5 years.) As the weeks went on after this most recent collision, I realized I couldn't smell my vanilla body spray, coffee, or the smell of bacon cooking. And then I realized I couldn't smell anything at all. There was one exception--a pizza delivery guy was walking past me with a huge bag of hot pizza, and all I could smell was the faint scent of dry dog food. Disgusting. As far as taste goes, I can only tell if something is sour, sweet, or spicy, but I can't tell what kind of food it is since there is no flavour. When I eat jalapeños, I feel a sting in my mouth but no flavour. When I brush my teeth, I feel a tingle in my mouth but no taste. Drinking coffee is like drinking hot water. I hate it. I'm trying to compensate by using fresh herbs and colourful veggies, and just generally trying to make food look a bit like art so that I can get at least some enjoyment out of it. The other day, I had to ask my maintenance man if the raw meat I had sitting in my freezer for a while was still good since I couldn't smell it. I feel awkward if I'm a guest at someone's house for dinner. I don't know what to say because I can't say the food tastes great, because I really can't taste it at all. Can anyone who has had whiplash or a concussion relate? As much as I would like to fix this, I don't know how. I am going to be grateful that since food is no longer interesting, I will be dropping some extra weight. I will finally be able to quit drinking coffee. I will buy meat and cook it while it is fresh then freeze it in single servings so I won't have to worry about it going bad. I will only buy exactly the food I need for a week and use it up right away. I will skip going out to eat and save money, since there's no more attraction to do that if I can't taste the food anyway. Since the concussion, I never leave home without ear plugs and sunglasses, a notepad and a day planner. I wish there was a how-to formula on how to fix these things or a time frame for how long it takes to recover from a concussion. If anyone can direct me to a "helpful things that you can do or tools to get to compensate for a brain that is not working properly" forum or website, I would be so grateful. Thank you!

Crazy!!!! I have the same problem I was in induced coma for 30 days, thanks to God and my mother in heaven and prayer chains in my honor I'm alive. But I owned a restaurant at the time and I would walk in the kitchen, one of my cooks put a sauce in front of my face.. He then asked me "does this smell bad " I replied naww I don't smell anything.. Then my brother walked in, I mentioned to him. I don't think I smell anything. He replies.. " oh yea I forgot they said you would loose your sense of smell or taste.. 💣 ... It's been since 2008 ... I get this feelings I can smell stuff randomly as well!!!!' What's really bad is sometimes they've left the burner knob turned on our stove and I can't tell or a bad gas leak on my vehicle.. Those are my fears... "Everyone who finds out .... First stupid question is always" (if I fart you won't know)

To the woman who posted in 2015 that she feels like she smells random odors even though she has anosmia, I have the same thing.

I lost my sense of smell about 15 years ago from a blow to the back of the head and I was concussed.  I didn't realize it until a few months later when I was clipping lilacs and couldn't smell them.  My MRI showed that my olfactory nerve was fried and the doc said if my smell didn't come back in a couple months then it probably wouldn't ever.

Well, I have those random 'smells' too and have for years.  I call them 'hallucini-sniffs' because most of them don't have a localized cause so I think my brain is just randomly throwing smell memories at me.

I'm wondering if anyone on here has other cognitive issues post-trauma?  I've started to notice some odd things like saying random words that aren't related to the conversation I'm having and not having any recollection of it, almost like turrets and I wonder if there is a correlation from the head trauma.

I fell down a flight of stairs and had bleeding on the brain and had to have emergency surgery. As soon as I woke up from the accident and the surgery was complete I had no sense of taste or smell. The accident happened in August of 2015. After a few months I started to have weird sensation of tastes and smells. Everything is starting to taste like something now, but not what it is supposed to taste like. It's very hard to explain but I hope that is a sign of the nerves repairing themselves. Has anyone experienced this? So hard to find someone to talk to about this. Thanks for your help!!

I had brain surgery February 29 I loss my sense of smell can't smell anything. Loss my taste of food but I have one smell in my nose on and off more on than off smells like a chemical drives me crazy and makes me feel dizzy I have to breath though my mouth to get a break from it weird how can I smell something if I can't smell noting confused

Like another poster below, I lost my sense of smell from a horse accident, in 1981.

I too, can taste things just fine but smell absolutely *nothing*.

My "neurologist" was furious when I told him I could taste food just fine.

My family blew it off and often makes thoughtless comments lke "Oh, skunk! You're lucky you can't smell!"

In the years that have passed, I have acquired crippling phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and my life is a living hell.

Since I can not tell if something I'm near is 'dangerous' to me, I have come to assume ~everything~ is.

Life is so far beyond miserable, I have no words to describe it.

I cannot take care of myself.

I need someone to always check and recheck whatever I eat, drink, get near, etc.

Their efforts to comfort me no longer work.

I always think that just because a smell/chemical/etc won't hurt *them*, it might somehow still hurt me.

This anosmia has utterly devastated my life.

I was a very smart young woman, talented and expected to do big things.

Instead, I am a housewife, trapped in my own prison, terrified every time I go outside.

I do not work, due to fear of coming into contact with those "dangerous things" I can no longer smell.

I am a worthless creature, contributing nothing, cringing in fear, instead.

*Everything* is visually examined to the point that it takes me forever just to eat or drink anything.

If I see something "off", I freak out.

It has given me a bizarre form of "bulimia", kind of.

No, I don't eat and throw up; I throw up on an empty stomach if I even *think* I may have breathed in anything 'scary', got too near something toxic or accidentally swallowed something 'bad'.

~That~ side-effect is killing me.

I cannot help it.

The fear of swallowing anything toxic is crippling.

God, I would give anything to be able to smell again.

It has destroyed me.

All of your stories break my heart.

I know how you suffer.

:(

I lost my sense of smell after being thrown off the front of a truck backwards and hitting the back of my head on the ground. It was gone for a solid 5 years and then I noticed that it started to come back and now, 10 years later, it's I'd say at 90% depending on the weather

I have a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle accident in 2012 and I've basically lost my sense of smell but it seems to be a multiple level issue. Sometimes I can smell usually it comes at around 3am when I have to go to the bathroom and I am able to smell the bathroom. And on occasion I can kinda smell other stuff though most of the time I can't smell anything

i fell off a 4 wheeler 3 weeks ago, hit the back of my head  hard on the pavement lost  consciousness and was in the hospital two days, after i couldnt smell and my taste was at 20%, i can taste sweet, sour, but greatly diminished, i tried the home remedy of warm castor oil in the nostrils with head hanging from bed and i was able to smell bengay ointment slightly today, it is working! i will keep you posted but will also try  the chiropractor methods and acupuncture  as soon as i can, def recommend the castor oil remedy,
 

August 19, 2009... Haven't smelled a thing since. My taste is fine although for the first month or so after the injury it was gone too. It's sad, I miss it but I've accepted that it's never coming back so what the hell, hey? C'est la vie

I'm coming up on 1 year since I hit my head. Haven't been able to smell or taste since. I hit the back left side of my head. I've had an MRI and everything is fine except that I can't smell or taste, and it looks like it will never come back. I do actually smell one scent and it never changes and when something has a strong smell, that ONE scent becomes stronger, and I can't describe what that one scent is, but at least it's not a bad scent. Like others I can recognize sweet,sour,salty, and bitter and I think I have smelled things for a split second, like a cigarette once, and 2 times I think I tasted Dr. Pepper for a split second. It's actually pretty scary, but theres nothing I can do about it, so I deal with it. I'm just thankful that I lost the 2 least important of the 5 senses. I still have my sight, hearing, and touch.

I fell backward during a tennis game, fracture my  scalp and bled. Was in hospital for 10 days. My taste was fine while in the hospital, I can taste stinky pureed fish, caramel pudding, beef barley soup. But after I come home, I lost my sense of smell and taste. Can't even smell garlic. Can one lost the sense of taste and smell later 2 weeks after the brain injury?

I've suffered 3 rear-end collisions in the last 5 years, due to drivers texting or talking on their cell phones. My sense of smell was affected by all three accidents. After the second accident, I couldn't smell very well, only smells that are very strong. After each accident, I smell things that are not present; burnt taco shell smell after first accident and a musky smell after the third accident, especially when I am stressed. Doctors would merely shrug their shoulders when I complained about my inability to smell after the accidents. The insurance company with whom I'm trying to settle has humiliated me; opposing counsel's attorney insinuates that I am not injured (her client was traveling 55 mph when they hit me). I'm 56 years old and never filed an insurance claim for an injury, before the first rear-end accident when I was 50--if I was some low-life, trying to collect insurance money, I think I would have started this practice years ago. I truly feel sad for folks who suffer with the debilitating affects of an inability to smell and to constantly smell something that isn't present.

I lost my sense of smell when I was 16 (hit by car) 28 years ago. it can be frustrating but as in my case it has never returned and it will not now. You do get used to it over time, the worse part eventually is friends and family asking you to smell things, forgetting you can't. It seriously impairs your taste and you find yourself giving compliments on the food your eating (even though it tastes bland) I will say I saw some healers on TV once, healing people with the same condition and claimed to bring it back! I say it's best to just accept it.

I lost my smell 31 years ago after falling off of a horse.The back left side of my head hit the ground and I ended up in the hospital for 8 days. The doctors do not seem to believe me that I can taste but not smell. It has been very frustrating because I consider smell as important as sight . I fear fire a lot and have had nightmares of the house being on fire because of it.

There seems to be some hope. I can smell coffee from time to time, and I smell the cat poop for the first time since age 15. Other than that I have had to do without for some time  Hopefully the medical field will give us more attention.

I had lost my sense of smell from a skull fracture when I was 5.  Two years ago (when I was 42) I was swooped by a nesting bird and it hit me behind my right ear and it really hurt.  It was only when I started mowing the lawn that afternoon that I realised I could smell the cut grass!  It has been nice to smell things that remind me of my childhood as it had been a really long time.  Kim B, Townsville,  Australia

8 years ago I had a head injury which resulted in the loss of smell, occasionally I do sense rather that smell strong odours such as burning or acrid smells.  I am sad that it now appears the loss is permanent I do miss the perfumes in my garden I still wear scent which previously gave me great pleasure. But have become resigned to the loss.

yes i lost my smell august of 2014 and I smell a phantom smell but it smells like burning or something burnt when it does happen

I had a fluke fainting episode in November of 2013. I feel backwards and struck the back of my head on the tile floor. I woke up not knowing what had happened and was in severe pain. I went in the next day to the ER and found out I had suffered a skull fracture and concussion. No bleeding or hemorrhage was found but I was in severe pain for weeks. I remember the first day I was able to think clearly that I not only could not taste anything but also that I could not smell anything. I started researching it immediately realizing it had to be due to my head injury. Doctors that I ask have no idea and almost seem perplexed when I ask about it and if it will come back. They almost act as though it's very rare and never heard of it. It's been 2 years and a month ( to the day) and I can taste mildly but have zero sense of smell. It is so frustrating. I used to love smelling everything from my perfume to lavender, fires at the cabin, fresh rain, baking cookies, my girls hair, my husband, everything that I loved to smell! It's very sad but I also can feel very thankful that I have my memory, health,mobility and life. That is a lot to be grateful for and I am still hopeful for my sense of smell to heal and return.

I am so sorry for those of us that have lost our sense of smell. The only thing that my neurologist can tell me is that when my head impacted the asphalt, the thousands of nerves between my brain and nasal passage have been severed. This part of the brain will not heal, from what I am told. It has been a month and the irritability and short tempered attitude are beginning to reveal themselves. The depression is starting to kick in. I miss the smell of my wife's perfume, hair and several things throughout my life. All I sense is this constant phantom smell of an unfamiliar odor. Never had smelled this before, so not sure what it is, it's very hard to describe other than 'organic fleshy'. Anyone else?

i wrote on this blog a few months back & had a very small sense of recovery. i injured myself in the summer of 2014 due to a golf cart accident. I instantly lost my sense of smell and could not smell anything at all. Not even garlic. It was been over a year ( which doctors say after a year you have no hope) but.... the other day i smelled vanilla. today I put Irish cream coffee creamer in my coffee and i smelled it. And two days ago i was able to taste sourdough bread. I am just writing to let you all know that recovery is still possible after a year. I did entirely was to much reading about anosmia. The brain cells do regenrate. We just have to be patient. i dont know if any of the fallowing we actually a part of why i am improving, but ill going to share anyway incase it is.... if you want to try....

i take zinc whenever i can

i take vitamin b12 when i can

and when i work out, my senses are stronger.

To the journeyman iron worker, I lost my sense of smell in 2000 at the age of 17. I developed a terrible temper, I was impulsive, and I had to work hard to reprogram myself. I honestly woke up from a coma a completely different person. It has been just over 15 years and many people I know have never seen me angry, to the point of being made fun of at work because I never get mad. Keep your head up, I am a metal fabricator and when you feel your leg getting warm it means you're on fire! Having no sense of smell sucks, but on the other hand, I am still breathing, that's alot to say after falling out of a pickup truck!

This July I had an accident while longboarding with my boyfriend. I don't remember anything of that day before waking up in the hospital. I suffered a coup contra coup, essentially my brain pinballing against the inside of my skull when my head struck the pavement. They had me in the stroke ward for ten days. I realized about five days in I couldn't smell anything, but could still taste. After a two or so months, I would catch some scents,and joke that my nose is operating at 20% or such. Then I started getting phantom smells, not pleasant, but vaguely rotting and chemical. They've gotten worse in the past month or so, to the point where I'm unable to eat, as its effecting my taste now too. I'm almost wishing I had just stayed at smelling nothing. I've been told that this is perhaps my smell returning to normal as my brain heals, and I hope that's the case. It comes and goes, but seems to come more and more often. I'm terrified I'll end up in the hospital again.

Hi,I’m suffering same situation happen to you. I wonder what happens now? Have you gotten your sense of smell? And how long it takes?
Would you like to share more after that then?

Thank you
Chrystine

I feel your pain guy. I stepped out of a car going 45+ mph and woke up in a ditch for a whole thirty second with my short term memory just shot. No idea how I got there but I knew it was bad and I was fucked up despite feeling no pain. Couple days under an induced coma. Cracked jaw skull and a lil road rash. Subdural hemotoma and bruised brain. Taste buds and smell were gone but toast came back. It's dull but smell is different and usually not there. At first I smelled nothing but phantom smells on occasion. Like some kind of burning metal. Faint but annoying. Pretty sure it might have just been in my head, a phantom smell. After a year I started picking up a few smells but sometimes distorted. All chemical things like aerosols, body spray, household cleaners all had the same smell. Just kinda like some chemical all the same. Then I smelled coffee after year and a half it blew my mind lol. I started kinda forcing it a little bit and more things come but it's threes years later now and I can kinda smell but it's so weak I rarely do.

I was in a bad car wreck dec 2012, fractured my skull on the mid to right back side of my skull. I was in a coma and life support for two days. I didn't realize I lost my smell til I was at my drs office days out of the hospital and he asked me if I could smell. I could smell nothing but I can still taste, only a little dulled.

Every now and then I would have a smell "stuck in my nose" is the only way to put it. I would not know what, when or where I smelled whatever the smell was but it would be there for minutes, to hours. Sometimes it would be so strong that everything tasted like it. One time it smelled like a smoking firecracker was shoved up my nose, and grass freshly pulled up from the ground. They would go fewer and further between. Sometimes I think its my perfume I can smell because it is always the same smell and I walk through my sprays. I would try plugging my nose to try to stop it, but it really does nothing. 

This could happen every couple months but recently when it happens it is for a long time and becomes almost debilitating. I have sometimes been able to pin point the smells. For instance, this lady smokes cigarettes in the stairwell and I will pass her sometimes. Yesterday I could smell cigarettes and the longer the smell lasted the stronger it got. It smelled as though a campfire was burning in my nose at one point, an hour into the smell. Then it gradually turned back into a cigarette. I read that using nose spray helps "block" your sense of smell. I tried but it didn't really work that time (had previously). 

I think I may try to find a good specialist to see if there are any remedies when these situations arise. It looks like my sense it trying to work but is very very confused and generally only regaining bad smells. It is a curse and a blessing and different for everyone, at least were all alive!

I had a concussion after hitting our tile floor after passing out. I had loss of smell and taste. After approx. 9 months or so I went to a chiropractor on a unrelated reason (migraines) and got an adjustment for the first time in my life. I left and IMMEDIATELY was able to start smelling things again and my sense of taste also improved. While it's still not 100%, it has continually gotten better as I go to my chiropractor once a month. I'm not sure if these results are typical, but I certainly recommend it as something to try! It blew my mind when I left and smelled something for the first time in so long! Good luck!

It's been 7 years since my accident and I lost my sense of taste only for the first month after and I also lost my sense of smell and the doctor told me that if it doesn't come back after 6 months it will never be back but you know what I never lost hope and I proved them wrong 3 years after the accident I had my second child and at that time I smelt his dirty nappy and I said to myself if he has done something that means my smell is back...... I don't think I've ever been so happy to see that he had done something cause it meant just by having faith and hope that no doctor could ever tell me that you would never regain the sense of smell again.

I never thought diesel exhaust would smell so good. That is what it has come to for me. Now I treat eating like it's a job. The faster I eat the less depressed I feel. I've become more irritable than depressed. I'm glad someone else knows exactly how bad this affects someone. The doctors sure and the hell don't.

I can only smell very strong odors like diesel exhaust, my body spray, etc. But I only get a few seconds of smell. I can taste sweets, salts, and sour. Except for today, I am able to smell my body spray and my car air fresheners since this morning. Hopefully I won't loose it when I wake up. It's been 4 years since I lost my smell & taste and it's really depressing.

On September 19th 2015 I was assaulted I was hit from behind. As I fell my head hit a car bumper and then smacked the pavement. My brain was bleeding from two different parts and I was minutes from dieing two weeks later I saw a neurologist and I have been told it might take up to 1 year and half to two years for my smell and taste to come back if they don't come back by then they never will I am a 26 years male I wake up every morning dizzy head pounding no smell no taste. It really does suck I really hope someone can either find a cure for this or know how two fix this I really do miss smelling coffee the fresh air my girls perfume I miss tasting food now I don't know what analyzing taste like someone please try and help us

Had a TBI injury with prefrontal and left temporal hematomas as well as inner crannial bleeding. Noticed my total loss of smell while at rehab at Craig hospital. Was told that with my injuries that it was likely that the nerves to brain were sheared off. It has been 20 months since the injury and I notice the loss daily. However it was not until today when somebody was talking about the memories of the smell of beer at an A.A. meeting I was at today that I realized that I can not even pull up the memory of a smell. Is this unusual?

My mom suffered a TBI and cannot smell and barely can taste. I remembered that there is a chiropractor in our town who specializes in Subluxation Therapy. He has helped two of my friends who were victims of whiplash, so I was wondering if any of you have tried this before and what the results were.

I lost my sense of smell (and 80% of my taste) 9 days ago after a minor concussion. I’ve hit the back of my head pretty hard on a concrete floor. I’m keeping hope that this is only temporary. Otherwise, I’m feeling fine. I'm interested to hear what other people with the same injury and consequence and the recovery they had. Thanks for sharing. 

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