Copyright © Barb Stuckey 2014

    Taste And Smell Resources

    Here’s what you can do to test yourself (or a loved one):

    • To determine if there is true taste loss, you must first disable the sense of smell. That’s easy to do: simply plug the nose of whomever you’re concerned about! Be sure it’s plugged completely, so that it’s impossible to breathe out of the nose.

      Dip a cotton swab into distilled vinegar and “paint” the vinegar on different parts of the tongue. If there is taste loss, it won’t taste sour.

      Repeat this with sugar water, coffee, and salt water.If there’s any sensation of sour (from the vinegar), sweet (from the sugar), or salt (from the salt), it’s likely that taste is still functional. If not, I suggest you click here to find a Taste & Smell Clinic to visit.

    • To test the sense of smell, it’s critical that you choose aromas that do not have a tactile (or touch) component to them. Stay away from pungent or hot smells such as mustard, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, chiles, mint, etc., which can trick the nose by “cheating” with another sense.

      To test the sense of smell, the person of concern should shut his eyes (or wear a blindfold). Hold a food such as a freshly-cut apple under his nose.

      Ask if he smells anything. If he says yes, then you can tell him it’s a fruit. Ask him again if he can smell it. This is not about quizzing the person’s aroma knowledge: It’s about testing their sense functioning.If you are at all concerned about their reaction to the apple, you can either click here to find a Taste & Smell Clinic near you or click here to order a Smell Taste Test that you can administer at home.