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What causes loss of sense of smell? 12 possible conditions

Anosmia is the partial or complete loss of the sense of smell. This loss may be temporary or permanent. Common conditions that irritate the nose’s lining, such as allergies or a cold, can lead to temporary anosmia. More serious conditions that affect the... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a common condition that affects 30 million people in the United States each year, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The infection occurs whe...

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2

Enlarged Adenoids

Adenoids are small tissues located at the back of the throat. They are similar to the tonsils, and located right above them. Both adenoids and tonsils are part of the immune system. Adenoids are present at birth, an...

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3

Nose Injury

Nosebleeds are common. They may be scary, but they rarely indicate a serious medical problem. The nose contains many blood vessels. These blood vessels are located close to the surface in the front and back of the nose...

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4

Adult Brain Tumor

A brain tumor is the growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Whether the growth is cancerous or not, any brain tumor is serious. Symptoms can include both cognitive and physical control problems.

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5

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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6

Cocaine and related disorders

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 15 percent of people in the U.S. have tried cocaine. Find out more about the effects of addiction.

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7

Nutritional Deficiencies (Malnutrition)

A nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn't absorb the necessary amount of a nutrient. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems.

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8

Nasal Polyps

Have you ever felt like you have a cold that never goes away? Nasal congestion that doesn't seem to go away, even with over-the-counter cold or allergy medication, may be caused by nasal polyps.

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9

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder. It first presents with problems of movement. Smooth and coordinated muscle movements of the body are made possible by a substance in the brain calle...

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10

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses concentrated radiation beams to kill cancer cells. The most common type of radiation therapy is external beam radiation. This type involves a machine that direct...

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11

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is a progressive brain disorder. Learn about the causes, signs and research being done about AD.

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12

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland produces a hormone that controls how your cells use energy (metabolize). Hypothyroidism occurs when the body doesn't produce enough. Untreated, it can cause complications like obesity and heart disease.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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