Dementias, such as Alzheimer’s, can impair the areas of the brain that enable the sense of smell and taste and the ability of the individual to process them. When this occurs, eating and drinking can become less pleasurable. This is often the cause of unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition.
In addition, your mouth produces less saliva as you age. This can cause dry mouth, which can affect your sense of taste . Your sense of smell can also diminish, especially after age 70. This may be related to a loss of nerve endings and less mucus production in the nose.
Causes of taste disorders and a loss of taste include: upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold. sinus infections. middle ear infections. poor oral hygiene and dental problems, such as gingivitis. exposure to some chemicals, such as insecticides. surgeries on the mouth, throat, nose, or ear . head injuries.
10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Confusion with time or place. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
The Seven Stages of Dementia Stage 1: No impairment. Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline . Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline . Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline . Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline .
Between the ages of 40 and 50 , the number of taste buds decreases, and the rest begin to shrink, losing mass vital to their operation. After age 60, you may begin to lose the ability to distinguish the taste of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter foods.
The sense of smell is often taken for granted, that is until it deteriorates. As we get older, our olfactory function declines. Not only do we lose our sense of smell , we lose our ability to discriminate between smells.
In the meantime, here are some other things you can try: Try cold foods, which may be easier to taste than hot foods. Drink plenty of fluids. Brush your teeth before and after eating. Ask your doctor to recommend products that may help with dry mouth.
The most common causes for why you can ‘t taste food are age-related or from conditions like a cold or stuffy nose. Dr. Timothy Boyle, a Marshfield Clinic otolaryngologist, says the special sense organs in your nose and mouth, are complicated. “Flavor is a combination of taste and smell,” he said.
The cells are located on taste buds on the tongue and elsewhere in the mouth, and this area is served by three different major nerves. This is why complete absence of the sense of taste is rare because multiple nerves are involved — damage to all three is unlikely.
What causes smell and taste disorders ? Illness (for example, cold or flu, sinus infection, and allergies) Head injury. Hormone changes. Dental or mouth problems . Nasal polyps. Exposure to certain chemicals. Certain medicines. Exposure to radiation therapy for head or neck cancer.
The researchers discovered that those who had an impaired sense of smell in the left nostril had early-stage Alzheimer’s . They noted that the participants needed to be an average of 10 centimeters closer to the peanut butter container in order to smell it from their left nostril compared to their right nostril.
4. Check for the presence of other behavioral, mood, and thinking symptoms that may be related to certain causes of cognitive impairment. Hallucinations . Delusions. Personality changes . Apathy (losing motivation) Depression symptoms. Anxiety symptoms. Getting lost.
The Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE) or Folstein test is a 30 -point questionnaire that is used extensively in clinical and research settings to measure cognitive impairment. It is commonly used in medicine and allied health to screen for dementia.