According to BrainLine.org, losing the ability to taste and smell affects up to one in four traumatic brain injury victims. A University of Montreal study confirmed that the loss of these two senses can follow a TBI. The study of 49 people showed that slightly over half the patients with a TBI lost their sense of smell. TBI patients who suffered a frontal lesion were more likely to lose their smell sense than those who did not have a frontal lesion.
The loss of smell also affects the ability to taste. Your taste buds provide some taste sense, but the ability to smell enhances the joy of tasting. Some of the reasons TBI patients lose these senses are:
- The nose is directly injured
- The nasal passages are injured
- The sinuses are injured
- The olfactory nerve, which connects the nose to the brain, is injured
- The brain injury itself causes the loss of taste and smell
Some medications used to treat a traumatic brain injury can also cause a loss of taste or smell. Examples include:
- Muscle relaxers
- Medications to control seizures
- Narcotic analgesics
An adjustment of these medications may help restore the taste and smell senses.
Our traumatic brain injury attorneys demand that these sensory losses and all other physical and emotional harms be compensated for when someone caused your TBI.
Practical suggestions for coping with the loss of taste and smell
Smell and taste are important ingredients in eating a healthy diet. A lack of tantalizing smells can reduce your appetite. A lack of taste or a change in taste affects the ability to enjoy food. Some of the ways to manage the loss of smell and taste are:
- Undercook some foods like vegetables (that can be eaten undercooked) to give the vegetables texture
- Use foods that have different colors to make eating more desirable
- Add beans and nuts to add more texture
- Try different herbs and spices, if your sense of taste has changed since your TBI
- Try using a cookbook to make the preparation of food more fun
Smell also helps people detect gas leaks and other dangers. Anyone with a TBI or a home with a TBI patient should take extra precautions to detect these dangers.
The Nashville attorneys at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, understand how life-altering traumatic brain injuries are. Many TBI patients need to work with many different types of therapists to come close to having a normal life. Many patients never fully recover. For strong advocacy, please phone our TBI lawyers at 615-425-2500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville.
Nashville personal injury attorney Rocky McElhaney is a well-known and respected lawyer as well as published author, helping Tennesseans through difficult times since the turn of the century. Rocky builds friendships with his clients, not just professional relationships. Rocky McElhaney is a Super Lawyer, AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell, has been named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association and has been awarded Best Lawyer in Nashville by the Nashville Scene Readers’ Poll
The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represents people who have been injured by car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, negligent premises owners, defective products and many other forms of negligence throughout the state of Tennessee. The firm also represents clients in the areas of workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability claims.