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Lost sense of smell, strange tastes
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Lost sense of smell, strange tastes

I had a cold approximately 3 months ago, and typically lost sense of smell during the cold.  Now 3 months later, most of my sense of smell / taste is gone. I cannot smell perfume, soap, deodorant, jet fuel ( i am an aircraft mechanic) acetone, iso alcohol, etc. What puzzles me is I have a constant bitter/ ammonia type taste in my mouth, and most hot foods trigger this smell as the food reaches my lips, but tames down the bitter/ ammonia smell when I am chewing. Most flavors are severely muted or taste like and ingedient is missing.  I have tried a sinus rinse for several days, without any improvement. I do have acid reflux and I have been taking prilosec otc daily.  I also take phexophenadine during the summer months (although not now). The only other thing I am taking is a multivitamin. Some nights I am slightly stuffed up ( feels more of a slight restriction, not necessarily stuffed up) and taking a decongestant does clear the stuffiness, but no change in my sense of smell/ taste . Family doctor tested for mild stroke, found no anomolies ( visual/ touch sensitivity check on the face). No other tests were done. No family history of diabetes, blood sugar is normal, blood pressure normal. 38 years old..   Thank you in advance.

Brad
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi rad, the cause of loss of smell/taste sensation is more likely to be because of your sinus problem. The bitter/ammonia like taste could also be because of sinusitis (inflammation/infection of sinus spaces). Those who have long time sinus problem tend to also have post nasal drip (i.e. sinus secretions drain at the back of the throat) and, if there is infection in sinus spaces, these secretions can taste like ammonia or bitter. You should consult an ENT specialist, who will prescribe some antibiotic and good decongestant. Taking steam inhalation will also help. Let me know if you are a smoker?
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to take so long to reply. I do have the occasional cigar when golfing (1 every 2-3 weeks). I nvever realised that I do in fact have post nasal drip, but I guess I just got used to it. I have an appointment with an ENT specialist on the 20th of Nov. Thank you for the information and insight.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just an update, went to the ENT, he perscribed Augmentin, 875mg twice a day for ten days. The first round did clear up my stuffiness tremendously, but still did not do anything for the ammonia smell. It is almost everything that has a smell to it, now smells like ammonia, whereas before I could not smell anything. The ammonia taste is with everything I try to eat, and is making eating anything very difficult. I am now finishing up another ten day round of Augmentin 875, and so far no change with the smell/taste. I have been using a sinus rinse three times a day, getting the occasional small bits of blood (VERY minor) and  a little mucus. For the past week I have also been using one poster's ( Friggy) " sinus flip rinse" method, but no real change. I have been using a decongestant, but it is over the counter. Is there anything else I may be missing that I should be doing? I am making another appointment with the ENT next week. Thanks in advance..
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Avatar_n_tn
When did you develop the GERD (acid reflux) problem?  Have you seen a GI for it?  

I ask because I developed GERD in the middle of this year, and since then, I have had the same problems as you.  I cannot properly smell soap, perspiration, cigarrette smoke, diesel fumes, spicy or greasy foods--the list goes on.  These substances all have a modified smell to them--very hard to describe.  You could certainly call it "bitter" or "ammonia-like", but there might be more qualities to it than just that.  

I have also experienced the taste symptoms you describe, especially when eating spicy or greasy foods.  

I suspect based on strong correlation that my symptoms are the result of the GERD.  A tentative explanation would be that the taste of the reflux in the mouth impacts the sense of smell as taste and smell are intimately connected to each other.  Note that PPI's (prilosec, nexium) will not correct the problem because they do not prevent reflux, they  just make reflux less acidic and painful.  In my case, it seems that the taste and smell changes are more significant while on PPI's (especially prilosec).  Not sure why.  

Let me know what you think.  

Best wishes,
--ratobranco
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Avatar_n_tn
I had constant sinus/chest/full-head/stopped up ear problems for many years, tried everything under the sun, both traditional medicine and alternative. Sense of smell was not good at any time. I was later diagnosed with GERD. When I started taking medicine like Prevacid, Prilosec, my long struggle with sinus/chest problems cleared up amazingly. When I stop taking the GERD meds, the sinus symptoms start returning. I read that with untreated GERD, the body puts off mucous to protect the esophagus from the acid. In doing so, the body produces mucous everywhere else in the body - sinuses, lungs, etc.
I am working on self-treatment also with trigger points in the neck and shoulders to loosen muscles and nerve pathways to the head. I feel better than I have in a long time.
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Avatar_f_tn
im 22 years old and recently just had strep throat. I ended up throwing up pretty violently from it and since then i've had the same problem. Everything smells like ammonia. Everything has the taste of ammonia. It seems to get stronger everyday. I've been trying to research what I can online but no one seems to have any answers. Any information you could reply back with would be greatly appreciated.

kenna
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