Changes in the perceptions of taste and smell happen frequently. Some are very common and are of short duration, such as those caused by nasal congestion, allergies, colds, and sinus infections. However, some losses are more permanent and can be more serious.
Smell and taste are separate senses that can be measured by specific tests, which can distinguish the level of function (normal, decreased, absent) and anatomical areas where the function is located (left and/or right, parts of the tongue, etc.).
Scratch and Sniff Test
Takes about 15 minutes.
This test is accomplished as the patient scratches small micro-encapsulated pads that release odorants. The patient records the correct name of the smell released to the best of his/her ability. The results are scored against normal results for the age and gender of the patient.
Takes 10 to 20 minutes
Salty, sweet, sour, and bitter solutions are placed on the tongue of the patient, who is then asked to give a word best describing the taste.
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