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 (276)

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 feel your pain on this one. October 1999 slipping on some carpeted stairs, fell on my back and my head bounced off 12/13 steps. 18 years only able to determine sweet spicy sour tastes. I found the best solution to get some satisfaction from eating was was eat foods with texture (breaded chicken fingers as an example get the soft and crunchy). Salty and then honey mustard or honey dill sauce for sweet. You are right on others not understanding or being able to relate. Why spend $40/$50 on a steak meal when there is no point and you'll be just as happy and full with a 13$ meal. People look down on what I order at a restaurant because it will be cheaper or wonder why I always order the same few things. It really makes you feel like an outsider and just feel like you don't belong because you can't enjoy and give opinions like everyone else without standing out and getting odd looks.

I have a co-worker that I work with. He slipped taking the garbage out at home and hit his head on the concrete. He was never unconscious. The next day he noticed he couldn't smell or taste. He went to the Dr. They did a cat scan and said everything looks normal. That was nine weeks ago. He still can't smell or taste so he did an MRI yesterday and they told him it was normal. Will he ever regain his taste and smell?

My son suffered a TBI July 2016. He has lost all ability to smell.
I am recovering from a back of my scull fracture and I haven't had my sense of smell for about three weeks I couldn't taste the first week. But recently iv been getting a little steel back but what I smell mostly which is a phantom smell is like a musky dust smell so I think that's normal I guess !
I also had a brain injury due to falling off of a horse many years ago. I was in a coma for a week and my left eye was fixed staring forward. My sense of smell had completely disappeared but my taste wasn't really effected oddly enough. My eye began to work again after 3 months but my sense of smell didn't come back for about 8 years. I can now smell some things but am unable to identify what they are unless I see what it is that I'm smelling. If people around me catch the scent of something in the air and comment on it, I never can smell what they are smelling lol it's pretty bizarre
I had a brain injury when I was 9 yrs old no sense of smell since

Hello! Interesting to read your storys. I'm from Sweden so My English spelling is great.

I lost My smell 12 years ago, in a cuncussion. I have heard that there are five tastes that you can taste with your tongue and 18,000 with your nose! So, even if the sense of smell are gone, you(I) can still taste if something is salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami! The rest is imagination! I have always chosen to not be to sad for my loss... instead I find it like a challenge to combine spices, in my imagination, before I start cooking dinner... Do I need to say, I'm the best Cook in the neibourhood! Peter

Three years a go I fell down while playing soccer and hit the sand ground so hard with the back of my head. I didn't lose conscious but had a splitting headache and I ran to a hospital and check if I was so hurt. The doctor had me get scanned MRI and told my no massive damage to my brain. They said I am very fine but through time I realized that I have lost my complete sense of smell. I didn't know the trauma caused it. I went to the hospital again and saw the ENT doctor. He sadly told me that it wont come back again, and it was my saddest day. Ii still dont smell clearly but there certain things I smell even though it's not who they originaly smell. Hopefully one day it will show up out of the blue,

"we never Know the favors the God bestowed us until we lose them"

Reading your comments make me want to cry. Unless you experience loss of smell among other loss due to TBI you simply can not understand. My injury was 6 years ago. The only thing I could smell was cigarette smoke. And believe it or not it was a 100 times worse than reality. It was so weird. Everything I hate tasted like bug spray for months. It is just within the past few months that I've regained a little bit of change. It's usually very strong or sweet smells. I look like a kid in a candy store when I hug someone and smell their cologne. I want to grab them and not let go. Lol! I don't believe anything I smell is actually accurate. But it's so lovely to even experience a little. I now prefer very spicy or rich foods. I still have hearing loss and 24/7 ringing among a few other weird things that linger with us. But I feel blessed to have a positive outcome. Thank you for a bit of common ground as you shared your experiences. I wish you all well.
I was prescribed methadone for a Drug habit I had which led me to suicide. I jumped off a bridge onto a road below. I ended up with brain damage and lost my scent and some taste. I can smell nothing now, nothing. It upsets me because I remember beautiful scents that I no longer can. I can't tell if I smell like body odor and have to ask my father to tell me if I do. I still buy and wear parfume. I know, "why if u can't smell"? I do it to smell nice for others. It's a sad disorder to have in life so be happy that you can still smell the sweet outdoors!

Don't loose hope! I posted on November 30th. Now, over nine months into this, i started to smell some stuff. Sometimes only whiffs or really faint smells, but i see some progress. A few things i can smell always when i am in their presence, some stuff really faint and even the whiffs are getting longer and longer. 

I was in a horse accident in 2008 that led to major brain injury and hospital time. I cracked the left side of my skull, with most of the internal brain injury on the right side of my brain. I had many side effects such as memory loss, inability to spell basic words correctly, awful headaches, anger, and loss of taste and smell. I remember that my taste and smell were nonexistent for a good 6 months, and the doctors told me that it would never return. A little after 6 months I started to regain some taste, but it wasn't correct from what I remembered. Anything tomato based tasted bitter and awful, artificial or actual fruit tasted rotten, pepsi tasted like bile. The list goes on. I remember thinking how cruel it was to get my taste back wrong, and no smell at all. I was so angry. But about a year after that I was hauling hay and got a wiff of it, and smelled the hay for the first time in over a year. Since then my taste and smell slowly returned to almost normal, with a few exceptions. My smell still goes away for brief periods of time, but has always returned. In the recent years though, I've realized that I get 1 specific phantom smell, which is so strange because I've only ever heard of phantom smells with complete loss of smell. And it's the worst! All I smell for at least a day is second hand cigarette smoke.
Anyways, all that aside, has anyone ever run into other issues that were caused during the same time as your brain injury that went undiagnosed? I recently went to a doctor for blood work and she mentioned that there is a part of the brain located near the parietal lobe that can be damaged at the same time, that effects things that present themselves like thyroid issues. Such as hair loss, fatigue, infertility, weight loss or gain. I can't remember what it was called though! Has anyone else experienced this??

Hey, I recently had a similar injury, did you ever figure out why we lost our smell? Like was it the olfactory nerves or something else? Glad to hear you're doing better, I hope to make a similar recovery as well.

Hey all, 4 years after my TBI, my smelling is like 80% back more or less. Like most, hit my head very hard (April 2013) was in intense care, had to get the right side off my skull off for almost a month cuz of the brain swelling that was gonna take place). I wasn't able to smell coffee at all or perfume/deodorant or anything really. About a year+ i noticed i can KINDA smell some stuff, as time went by it kept improving. I asked one of the docs and she told me that there's these little connection in the head, that with the impact they can either tear off or get stretched/damaged. So if after a while u can KINDA smell, they might only be damaged and will come back with time :)

My husband suffered a brain injury may 2016, he hit his head on tile floor at hospital while we there taking my dad off life support . It was one night mare after another. He also lost his smell and most of his taste, he also has 24/7 ringing in his ears. Thats bad but very minimal considering doctors said he only had a 10% chance to live through surgery and after surgery told me they didn't see him making a much of a recovery. It's been over a year now and a lot of Dr visits and occasionally in the recent months he has smelled something. I noticed it has been strong odors, for instance, we went to dirt track races last week and all of a sudden he said I smell racing fuel. I feel bad for him and I know it bothers him some but for the most part he does ok with it. When his injury first happened doctors tried to get me to put him in a nursing home, he couldn't talk, couldn't walk, couldn't swallow, couldn't move his right side at all. I took him home and researched and basically did therapy myself ( he didn't have insurance) other than the few weeks of physical recab he got after myself and him got him walking with a walker. He has since totally recovered other than smell, ears ringing, and vision is a little worse than prior to injury. I am grateful for what he has overcome and so is he. We try to focus on that as much as possible, he is alive and for the most part healthy. I could have lost my dad and my husband all in one night, so grateful I didn't but I sure do miss my dad. I hope this helps someone and I do have hope that those things will continue to get better but if he doesn't recover any more than he is right now, God has truly blessed us. All are in our prayers

I posted in November. Now it's almost one year post accident and the short whiffs of smell that started about three months post accident are now longer. I notice I can actually pick up a few smells/ flavours. How long did it take for you to get to the 80%?

I had a traumatic brain injury from falling 20ft onto my head in April 2009. That caused me to damage nerves in my brain. I lost my vision in my right eye and my smell and it caused me to have epilepsy. It took a while for me to get used to lose sight in my eye, but I have good vision in my left eye so it didn't bother me too much, I was more upset at losing my smell. I was told that my smell wouldn't come back if it hasn't come back within the first six months and it didn't so I just had to accept that and get used to it. I did still have some taste though so that was good, it was just a bit weaker. I'm saying was instead of is because my smell happened to come back seven years later in 2016. It was the best day of my life!!! My nose did pick and choose what it could and couldn't in the beginning, but after some time my sense of smell has become very good. It has made me appreciate smelling things so much. I am always smiling to myself when I can smell things, especially when I have smelt things for the first time that I haven't smelt since I lost it. So if anyone who is reading this has lost their smell from a head injury, then don't give up hope in ever getting it back completely, it could still come back after six months, it did for me anyway, so I'm sure it could for other people to.

I had an accident at 2 december 2005 i had 14 hamrages but not a single stich, i was in hospital for 35 days, for 7 days in coma but since almost 15 years have passed i cant still recognize smell , i need help for this......

Thank you for giving me some inspiration. I too have lost my sense of smell... It's been only months now... But you give me hope.

Worst thing that happened to my life. 2 months till now since I hit my head and I can't smell a thing. It is a living hell to wake up everyday and can't smell a thing. I would rather die and not live like this the rest of my life. What an unhappy low quality life due to this stupid Anosmia.

Hang in there! So many of us are waiting, hopeful.... I love ice cream. The only sensations I feel are cold and creamy. I couldn't even begin to tell you if it was made of old tires, or strawberries. I read the label (so I know!), and try to comfort my body with a treat now and then. Since my TBI, I have lost about a pound a day. Not healthy. Conversely, I have to eat a healthy diet. A challenge? Yes! Do I still have hope? Yes! Do I believe that I will make a full recovery? No. Just hopeful. Let's love what we still have. For others, it is much worse. Who would think we are "the lucky ones?"

I'm so sorry this happened. I hope that you are able to find some peace surrounding this. There is a great documentary called The Connection you can watch at https://theconnection.tv/

My friend's wife hit her head about a month ago and lost her smell and taste so researching for them. What I do know is that there can be peace and acceptance for unfortunate events. Happiness can be found again. I believe the information in The Connection will help you. If you can get into the relaxation response regularly, it will help bring down any inflammation in your body and heal on a deep physical and mental level.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope for your full recovery and if not for your peace through acceptance and maybe meditation will help you, it helped me to be more peaceful and accepting of the present.

Be well.

I lost my sense of smell on the 21st of Aug., 1993 from a severe head injury. I was 4 months pregnant. I couldn't smell my newborn after giving birth to her in Jan., 1994. I went onto have three more babies. If ever you smelled a newborn baby before, you know what I missed. I still long to smell the scent of these (now grown) children, at the same time, happy I lived thru my accident to have them. I'm able to see their smiles, feel their hugs, hear their laughter & sometimes taste their cooking. I'm thankful it was only my sense of smell that I lost. You could have list so much worse. You'll adjust in time.

About 3 1/2 months ago I apparently fainted while shopping, fell, cracked my skull/concussion and woke up in the hospital 12 hours later.  After they let me out of the hospital 3 days later I realized I had lost my sense of smell.  I can still taste OK but it's definitely "not the same" without the scent aspect.   

I've not really researched this until now because I've been waiting for this to get better over time.  Sometimes I can very faintly smell things, but I wonder if it's just an associated/remembered faux sense, instead of reality.   But I do know I did smell the very harsh chemicals I was using doing some cleaning in a somewhat closed space a few weeks ago.  But overall, I can't smell anything.  And that's not a totally bad thing, as a lot of smells bugged the heck out of me (tobacco smoke and strong perfume/cologne are the main ones) but I find myself wishing I could smell the herbs, spices, and peppers I put in/on the foods I eat. 

My hearing was also impacted by this injury, and that DID get better over time.  I was hoping the same for my nose... but reading some of the stories here I suspect I've lost it for good.  

I completely lost my sense of smell 18 years ago due to brain damage. I m 47 now and I ve come to realize that despite our invisible disability, we can still move forward.. Take that extra shower if it makes you feel better.. We think we must smell bad but in reality we probably don t.. If you drink sugarless coffee try putting a spoonful in it.. you will notice the difference. Vice versa if you have a sweet tooth try doing without.. you may wince! Try loving foods for their texture not their taste. Mashed potato and squid work for me. Spicy foods we can feel so eat eat eat. They say they can embellish our serotonin levels and lord knows we need a bit of happiness. Please don t get too despondent. It s about adapting and reacting to our situation. It aint easy but it s possible to live with this. In solidarity Hilary xxx Stay strong

I am so grateful to have found this thread! I fell on the ice while skating at the end of December 2018. Landed on the back of my head, and was unconscious for a short time. The first CT scan was read incorrectly, and I was sent home. But I developed “raccoon eyes“ the next day and returned to the ER. Second CT scan showed skull fractures and a small subdural bleed. I noticed the loss of smell and taste right away, and initially had blinding headaches, excruciating light sensitivity, and hearing loss in my left ear as well. Now there’s just constant tinnitus, which is so much less of an issue for me than the loss of smell and taste. I too miss the smell of my daughters’ hair, and the smell of the ocean, and coffee brewing, and bread baking..... and it makes me sad to think ahead and realize that I may miss the smell of lilacs and other things growing in the garden in the spring. I have always experienced much pleasure through the sense of smell -- and taste of course! I have also found that others do not understand the significance of this loss. I am grateful that I did not have more significant injuries, but this strange ongoing twilight without smell and taste does have a very real effect on my life. I appreciate some of the suggestions above regarding zinc, alpha lipoic acid, folic acid, singular, Flonase, frankincense, etc. I will look into these and definitely would appreciate other stories about anything that may be helpful or effective as a treatment. The doctors basically say there’s nothing you can do. Just wait and see. I also wondered if anyone has observed differences in the ability to smell related to different climates with different temperatures or humidity. I am living in the cold, dry winter of Maine, but will be spending two weeks in the south soon. I’m wondering if warmer weather and greater humidity, which have always intensified the sense of smell to me, will make any difference. Anyway, I appreciate this thread. It is comforting to read that I’m not the only one. Thank you

Thank you. Needed your perspective.

After a brain injury through a motor bike accident, I lost my taste and smell 34 years ago. So there are sad things that go with that. I had a third child, I have never smelled him. I already had two daughters, who were 18 and 16 when my son was born, consequently they have given me grandchildren, also I haven't smelled them! but I could see them. At first I wouldn't have flowers in the house because I couldn't smell them. After several years I started to get them again to see the beauty of them. On the taste side of things, I can tell the difference between sweet and savory. I don't tend to eat things that I didn't use to like! I have to have sugar in my tea because it makes it smoother. The texture of food is also very important as is the presentation.

I cannot believe I am not the only one! So glad I found this site. Ok...my story...I fell from our pool ladder (about 6 feet or so?) 3 and a 1/2 years ago, hitting the back of my head on concrete. A few weeks after the fall, I noticed that my smell and taste were pretty much gone. At first, I thought it was because I'd had a bad case of the flu, but now, I believe it had something to do with the fall. I smell things, but they all smell the same...terrible, kind of like burning pine cones (for lack of anything else to describe it). My taste is gone also, or not really gone, but everything tastes the same, again terrible. Some things "taste" better than others. For instance, chocolate has a strong taste (not good) where something like green beans taste like everything else, but not strong, but yet the same "flavor," which is basically what I smell. Does that make sense?  It's weird and I don't know how else to describe it. As for eating, I am overweight and actually thought that the "no taste" thing would be a good thing in helping me with weight. It has not. I find that I eat almost anything just "hoping" that it will taste the way it used to. It's very frustrating! Also, cooking has become a problem.  My husband says that my cooking has become "bland." It is hard to cook when you can't taste what is missing! I miss smells also. I would love to be able to "smell" my newborn grandson. Smells make memories and that was so important to me. 

Sometimes I think I can taste or smell something briefly, but now I am beginning to think they are phantom smells and tastes and not real. 

My daughter saw a video on YouTube where someone had the same symptoms I have and they went to a Chiropractor. The doctor was able to help. I have never been to one and am anxious about trying it. Has anyone ever heard of a Chiropractor being able to help with this problem? 

It is very depressing! Is there nothing that can be done? I even had an MRI last summer to see if anything else was going on. According to the MRI, everything was normal.

Are there other groups for this?

A month back I blacked out at my kitchen and fell down on the marble tile hitting my head and having a concussion where I stayed in the hospital for a week, I had 10 stitches at the back of my head, I have lost my sense of smell and taste since then, I can only taste basics in the tongue (sweet, sour, salt, spicy), this has been very depressing to me and doctors don't seem to know much about it here and all they say is wait few months, I would like to hear from others if it is possible to regain my sense of smell back ??

To: "I'm 16 and I recently got into a car accident with my mother..."

My mom had a car accident last November and was in coma for one week. She had multiple hematoma in her brain, her spine was broken in four different points and had to undergo a 5 hours operation to fix it. She is very lucky that she could recover very well, but her sense of smell is probably gone forever. All in all a small thing if you think about all the possible consequences she could have had. I'm telling you this just to say that things can always be worse, your mom is alive, healthy and she has a good son/daughter who cares for her. This is what really makes moms happy. Don't be too hard on yourself, everyone makes mistakes. Take care M

I was very physical, remodeled/restored houses, construction, landscaping, lots of volunteer work, etc. I had severe TBI due to passing out from flu and fracturing my occipital bone, subdural hematoma, subarchroid hematoma, temporal lobe tissue scarring, frontal lobe scarring, etc. Completely lost my ability to smell. I love to cook, love working outside, perfume, etc. It's greatly missed but I am thrilled to be alive since my chances of death were near. I have other issues with TBI, dizziness, room spins, headaches, balance, gait, weakness, chills, wheelchair bound I get to be with my husband and my 20 year old daughter. Always been an optimist and know I may never recover to my previous life. At least I am alive. Opportunity is what you make of it and I plan on still contributing somehow.

In response to the post made January 7th by the gal that got into the accident with her mom in the car.  Don't blame yourself for things.  Please remember that things could have been much worse.  Be joyful and happy that you have your mother to share your lives together.  And you can help her along the way.  I suffered a TBI in a motor vehicle accident 6 years ago and have no sense of smell/taste....but I am alive and I know it could have been worse.  I treasure each and every day, and hold on closely to friends and family.  Please don't beat yourself up, the outside world will try to do that.  Take pride in yourself and your mom.

"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. I was driving so this is all my fault."

I also lost my sense of smell and taste six months ago, after I fractured my skull falling down a flight of stairs. I can honestly say that after a period of adjustment, it really isn't affecting my quality of life much at all and if your mother has forgiven you, there's no need to be so hard on yourself. Accidents happen, and I feel lucky that this was the worst that came of it. Of course I'd like regain the sense of smell and taste, and I will be seeing a ENT specialist in a few weeks to see if there is anything that can be done, but I've accepted it isn't likely and I'm okay with that. Also your mum isn't trying to make you feel bad when she gets you to taste or smell things during cooking, I do the same thing as I try to re-work out what is what with the very limited sense I still have, and if anything it's kind of fun, it turns every new meal into a new experience again. 

This has been with me for twelve years now, and IMO I think I still have gauze from my original bleeding following a motorcycle wreck. No helmet, at an estimated 70 mph based on the skid marks at the scene. I have amnesia about the entire ride. 

I was brushed off and sent out the door ASAP after I got to the hospital. I'm told I was out for about 3 days. There was a terrible looking scar across the back of the crown of my head. 38 staples. I could smell in the hospital. I could smell the burn cream I had to put on my road-rash. 

I started developing headaches and I had no recourse for physical therapy - two busted legs. I've crawled through the hell of recovery, but still a decade plus later I'm having phantom smells, sometimes bad tastes in my mouth, but rarely, once in a blue moon, I'll smell something real. 

The first time that happened was about ten years ago. Walked into a roommate's puff of smoke and could totally smell it. Of course, as I'm writing this, I also smell it. 

Anyway, it's nice to see how many other people are going through this with me. Here's hoping we all get our smell back again. 

When I was 4 I hit my head and loss my smell. Since I was so young I do not remember the smell of anything. I taste just fine I think but I guess you never know if the taste would be a lot better if I could smell. For the parents worrying about their children who can not smell... They will be okay. It does suck that I can't smell gas or smoke/fire but there are gas detectors that can be put in and smoke detectors as well. I have gotten used to not smelling because it is all that I know. It does suck sometimes because I'D love to be able to smell flowers/perfume/food but it is also awesome to not smell the bad things in life. I have two kids and so changing their diapers was just fine for me lol :) We are alive so we should be thankful for that. For those of you who can not taste as well I am so sorry that must really suck :( I hope they can find a way to get it back for you so u can enjoy that simple pleasure. 

This is for the 16 yr old girl. I read your post and it breaks my heart that you feel it's your fault with what happened to your mom. It's not your fault. Trust me when I tell you this. If it's one thing that I have learned in my life is that there is a reason for things that happen to us. I have seen it in my life and others. We may not understand it now but in time you may. I fell on some black ice 2 wks ago. I have a fractured skull along with a brain bleed. I've lost my smell and taste which my neurosurgeon says will never come back along with horrible dizziness. At first I blam med myself and then questioned why me. I know now why. I have a special needs son with epilepsy, and an older son. They don't see each other much. My oldest never knew how hard its been for me. I've been praying for some time that they would get to know each other again because when i die his brother will have him. Since the fall they have been together getting along. My son has found out how stressful it is to care for his brother. It took the fall to have my prayers answered. I'm sorry for all of my story but I wanted to share this with you. There is a reason for everything really.

To the person who told about the car accident he and his mother had. I am the person who lost her sense in July. I was on my bike, while pregnant, and someone made a terrible mistake in traffic. 

I also loved to cook. Don't feel guilty! It's terrible for your mother but mistakes are there all the time. Unfortunately in your mums and my case the human body in general isn't strong enough and the olfactory nerve fibres shear off. It's unfortunate that your mother has to adjust her life. And although I hate it too, I know I will be as happy as before just doing other stuff. There is soo much out there to enjoy.

I had an accident in 2006 and lost the ability to smell completely. I took the medication for one year with no result. After stopping the medicines after one and half years I gradually regained my ability to smell. Now I can smell different things but perfumes are a big problem. I can't recognize them but I smell them. Another disaster is that I can smell the body odor of others very clearly. My concern over food has increased because most of the dishes I used to like are not favorable for me now. Now I like less spicy, less hot dishes but I enjoy them very much. One thing more, I can't smell cooking gas and I fear a lot about that. I wish someday I will get back what I lost.

Oh my goodness, I have this horrible taste in my mouth because I smell a stronger phantom odor in my nose so potent that I feel sick all day. I so wish it would go away. Since my truck accident in 2013 DX TBI I can't smell. I think at one time, in therapy I could smell this awful camp fire wood burning smell very strong for weeks night and day, then it just went away. Now I get this perfume smell that comes and goes, makes me ill. Does anyone else get this? Boy this accident has messed me up. grr!

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?

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