Ear-Nose and Throat Doctor (ENT) Questions sinus infection

Can I have reduced taste sensation during a sinus infection?

My taste sensation seems to have reduced and I am suffering from a severe sinus infection. I thought a sinus infection only causes nasal congestion. Is losing your sense of taste normal in the case of a sinus infection?

10 Answers

With a sinus infection or inflammation, the taste is usually conserved as the taste buds are on the tongue, but the sense of flavors may be temporarily impaired as the sense of smell is reduced with the inflammation of the nose.
Sure, it can be. Much of your taste sensation actually depends on olfactory (smell) function. Nasal blockage reduces your ability for smell and thus for taste also. It should come back to normal when your infection clears.

(Caveat – some viral infections can affect taste directly and this can persist after the infection clears. This is uncommon however.)

See your physician if your problem persists.
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Yes, also smelling will decrease
If you look a little harder, you might find that our taste is normal. Sweet, sour, bitter, and salty are tasted on the tongue and are probably intact. Temporary anosmia, or loss of your sense of smell, is fairly common with a sinus infection, and is caused by the swelling of the nasal lining and blockage of the upper part of the nasal airway where the olfactory fibers are located. This can be a prolonged problem if the sinus infection becomes more chronic, but usually it resolves when the infection subsides. Much of your sense of taste is actually due to your sense of smell, which is why this happens. You probably can’t smell a cup of coffee, but a potato chip will still taste salty.
Hi. Your sense of “flavour” is tied to both smell and taste. A sinus infection or any cold that affects your nose and sense of smell will very likely affect your perception of a food’s flavour. You should still be able to discern tastes like salty versus sour or bitter. Once the sense of smell improves so should flavour. Think “pinch your nose before taking that old cough syrup” - that’s why people do that. Hope that helps!
Yes, this is a definite possibility. During a sinus infection, patients often experience a decrease or loss of sense of smell which, thankfully, fully recovers in most situations. During a decrease in sense of smell perception, patients often notice that the sense of taste is diminished as well. The nerves that allow a person to taste are distinctly different than the nerves of the sense of smell, however, and that is why the basic taste senses (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami) are preserved.
Yes, sinus infections, just like a common cold, can be caused by viruses that affect the olfactory (smell) nerves leading to temporary loss of smell and taste.
In as much as inflammation during a sinus infection may impair the flow of air to the smell receptors high in the nose, yes, a sinus infection could reduce smell (and therefore taste).
Yes this is very typical. Most of your sense of flavor comes from smell.
Yes. Taste and smell are related senses.