In the state of California, a brain injury may result in difficulty smelling. This is a symptom that is somewhat unique to victims of brain injury and often goes unnoticed or ignored. Many doctors fail to ask about a person’s sense of smell or test for its presence following a brain injury. A change in smell can lead to a change in taste. There is no cure for the loss of smell after a brain injury. The sense will return on its on its own within about six months following the injury. If, at the six month mark, the sense of smell has not returned, it is likely that it will not.
Researchers have had difficulty determining the exact reason for a loss of smell in victims of brain injury. There are different issues that may contribute to difficulty smelling. Damage to nasal passageways, an injury to the frontotemporal region of the brain, or a shearing of the olfactory nerve may contribute to this symptom. When a person realizes that they are having difficulty smelling, they should seek medical attention to have their issue diagnosed properly.
Difficulty smelling may be mild or it may be as severe as a complete loss. Unfortunately, there is very little in the way of treatment for this condition and most doctors develop a wait-and-see attitude towards it. Again, if the sense of smell does not return on its own between the time of the injury and approximately six months beyond the injury, the chances of it returning to normal are almost eliminated.