Can Allergies Cause Loss of Taste?

You have noticed you can’t taste like you used to. Mama’s home-cooked meal doesn’t hit like it used to, the candy bar just doesn’t taste right, or even your water is less enjoyable. No fun! additionally, you might be experiencing those traditional allergy symptoms. So you ask yourself (just as I did), can allergies cause loss of taste? Yes, but let me explain how and why. 

How Allergies Affect Taste 

“Why can’t I taste anything?”  Allergies can affect taste.  Your symptoms might be that your food just doesn’t taste like it usually does, or you can’t taste the food at all.

Your loss of taste could be from your allergy symptoms, not the allergens themselves. 

Allergies tend to give us a runny or clogged nose. This clogged nose makes food taste bland because your nose (smell) is heavily tied to how much you taste.

The pollen, dander, mold for example do not cause you to not taste your food properly. 

 

Medications Can Cause Loss of Taste

Incidence of taste disturbance with common medications Infographic: acetazolamide-maribavir-cisplatin-eszopiclone-topiramate-captopril-lithium-procainamide-terbenafine-amiodarone

Nasal steroids (fluticasone propionate) like Flonase for example, have reported altered or loss of taste and smell with use. What is crazy is this type of medication is used to prevent or lessen allergy symptoms. 

These reports of altered or loss of taste were captured during “Postmarketing”. 

Postmarketing simply means that these symptoms were not found in the clinical trials but were reported from users like us when the product was put on the market.

You can view the whole report here (.pdf): accessdata.fda.gov

Not Just Allergy Medications Affect Taste

 The  College of Family Physicians of Canada compiled a list of medications that can cause loss of taste or smell. 

Medications-affecting-taste-smell-Infographic-antibiotics-neurologic-medications-endocrine-medications-psychotropics-other-medications

What About the Loss of Taste AND Smell with Allergies? 

Chewing-food-enhances-taste-infographic

Allergies can cause loss of taste. With the loss of taste, it might also be because you have lost the ability to smell due to allergies.

Brainfacts.org explains that taste is closely tied to smell. I know I already said that, but here is a more scientific explanation. 

To taste and smell our bodies need some food molecules to activate our neurons and send the information to our brains. These food molecules can become airborne when we are cooking or preparing foods and our nose picks up on these tiny food particles floating around in the air. 

When we chew food, we break up what we are eating which allows our tongues to taste.

Additionally, we are releasing some food particles that can also be detected by our noses. 

If our noses are compromised due to allergy symptoms, this can definitely cause a loss of taste and smell, since taste and smell work together. 

 Is the Loss of Taste a Symptom of Allergies? 

Yes, we have concluded that allergies can cause loss of taste. Simply put, a symptom of having allergies might be that you lose your taste, or have an altered taste. 

Don’t be too hasty to blame these symptoms on the allergies though. First, we need to cover some other reasons why you are unable to taste like you used to. 

Other Causes of Loss of Taste

Allergies and medications are not the only reasons for loss of taste. Many sources tell us that some people are born with abnormal abilities to taste, and others can develop taste issues after sickness or physical injuries. 

The NIDCD has compiled these most common causes of taste problems. 

Causes of Taste Problems 

  • Upper respiratory and middle ear infections
  • Radiation therapy for cancers of the head and neck
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as insecticides and some medications, including some common antibiotics and antihistamines
  • Head injury
  • Some surgeries to the ear, nose, and throat (such as middle ear surgery)
  • Extraction of the third molar (wisdom tooth)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dental problems

Whether your loss of taste is from allergies or any other medical concern, please consult with your medical provider.

Allergies just don’t cause issues for your taste, what about ringing in your ears and hearing issues?  Can Allergies Cause Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?

By Chris

Chris is the creator of Allergy Preventions. As an allergy sufferer himself, his vision is to help others find relief from allergies. By combining his 14 years of Public Health experience, personal experience, and his thirst for knowledge, he is dedicated to providing quality recommendations to assist families with allergy symptom relief.