How are taste and smell disorders classified?

Updated: Jan 08, 2021
  • Author: Eric H Holbrook, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The disorders of smell are classified as "-osmias" and those of taste as "-geusias."

  • Anosmia - Inability to detect odors

  • Hyposmia - Decreased ability to detect odors

  • Dysosmia - Any smell alteration

    • Parosmia - Altered perception of smell in the presence of an odor, usually unpleasant

    • Phantosmia – Perception of smell without an odor present

    • Agnosia - Inability to classify or contrast odors, although able to detect odors

  • Ageusia - Inability to taste

  • Hypogeusia - Decreased ability to taste

  • Dysgeusia – Distorted ability to taste

Smell and taste disorders can be total (all odors or tastes), partial (affecting several odors or tastes), or specific (only one or a select few odors or tastes).

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