Can't taste anything during and after a cold

February 13, 2015
can't taste anything
When I catch a cold, I know it's going to happen: I can't taste anything.

Oh, I'll be able to tell if it's salty, sweet or bitter. But that's a far as it goes. I'll lose the flavor of food. I might as well take a piece of carboard, fry it and put some salt on it...

Can't taste anything!

If you can't taste anything it really sucks. It's unpleasant, but it can also make life more difficult! I was doing laundry for instance. One of my husband's boxers fell to the floor. And I couldn't remember whether it lay there before, or just fell out. Normally I would have a sniff and know. But without my sense of smell, I couldn't tell. 

Nose clogged up, like New York during rush hour


If your nose is all clogged up like a busy street in New York, the aroma's of your food can't get to the receptors in your nose. They're blocked, and can't get through.

This sounds like a good explanation. But, then you might think: 'I'll use some nose spray and blast those passages wide open!' At least that's what I thought. But that didn't help at all. It was great to be able to breathe through my nose again, but I still couldn't taste anything.

In fact nose sprays can cause damage to the insides of your nose. Which is why you shouldn't use them for longer than 5 days.

In my experience nose sprays don't help at all to get your sense of taste back. But it does help you breathe through your nose again. Which can be bliss!

Amnosia: loss of smell


If you can't taste anything, this is called amnosia. A quarter of cases of amnosia is caused by the common cold! Usually you get your taste back after your cold is gone. But once, I went for 3 weeks not tasting anything!

Can't smell anything: how to fix it?

Unfortunately there's no cure if you can't taste anything. The only thing you can do is be patient. Your taste will probably come back to you in a few days. Although sometimes it can take weeks.

If your sense of taste doesn't return you should contact your GP. He can check if there's a bigger problem.

Why smell is so important

Apart from being a real bummer if you can't taste anything, it can also influence your life. And not in a good way.

  • You may lose your pleasure in food. Some people simply can't be bothered to eat.
  • Feeling unsure of yourself. You've lost one of your senses after all.
  • Loss of feelings en memories. Smells evoke feelings and memories. Take for example the smell of coffee. For many people the smell of coffee feels like relaxing. Or the smell of freshly mown grass! Smells like Summer, doesn't it?!

Summing up

If you can't taste anything, eating your meal kind of sucks. Luckily it's usually just temporary. This too shall pass. But if doesn't, it can affect your life big time.

My husband is secretly delighted when I lose my sense of smell. That way he can fart all he likes, without me shouting: 'Gross!'

Have you ever lost your sense of smell?

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9 comments

  1. 3 weeks?! Ugh! My question is, why can the kids always still taste the cough medicine? lol I definitely eat less when I have a cold though. Found you via #HomeMattersParty

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  2. I thankfully haven't had this happen to me in a really long time, but yes, I remember how horrible it was. Everything just tasted so....blah. And I agree with Crystal, I definitely ate a lot les, which isn't exactly a bad thing for me. LOL! Thanks for joining the #FridayFunday linky party!

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    1. There's always a silver lining Lissette!

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  3. Now loss of smell would not be good, have never had that happen. I wonder if thats why they say feed a cold?

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    1. I didn't know that expression Karen! Losing your sense of smell is no picknick!

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  4. Oh, I was all excited, thinking you were gonna tell us how to fix this annoying problem! LOL Thanks so much for linking up at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week!

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    1. I'm so sorry for raising your expectations! I wish I hád a solution.

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  5. Funny how you take for granted your sense of smell. I have not had this happen to me and thank heavens because all I do is cook all the time! Very interesting post! (found you on Marvelous Mondays)

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  6. Loosing your sense of taste is just cruel when you have a cold....comfort eating is the road to recovery after all!

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

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