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Loss of smell is possible after a brain injury

Every sense that humans have is controlled by the brain. When a person suffers from a traumatic brain injury, the senses that are controlled by the portion of the brain that was injured can be affected. In some cases, the portion of the brain that controls smell might be affected. That would mean that the person could suffer from anosmia, or loss of smell.

Think about how much you rely on your sense of smell. If something is burning, you would likely smell it before you saw it. If you smell a delightful meal, your mouth starts to water. Now think about what your life would be like if you couldn't smell.

Interestingly, your sense of smell doesn't affect only your ability to smell. It also affects your ability to taste. People who have an altered sense of smell or who lose their sense of smell report that the way foods taste has changed.

There are some instances in which a loss of smell could be only temporary. Typically, a person who is going to regain his or her sense of smell will do so within six months of the injury. If the sense of smell is still gone or altered at the six-month mark, the effect is likely permanent.

While there isn't any real treatment for anosmia, there are treatments that are necessary for the brain injury itself. This can be a costly journey for the victim of the brain injury. When the injury is caused by an accident, the victim or the victim's loved ones might explore the possibility of seeking compensation. This probably wouldn't be an easy process, but finding out what it entails and how it would apply to your case could help you to make an informed decision.

Source:, "Anosmia or Loss of Smell from Brain Injury," Nathan Zasler, MD, FAAPM&R, FAADEP, DAAPM, CBIST, accessed Nov. 08, 2016

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