Problems with Smell
Frequently Asked Questions
14. How are smell disorders diagnosed?
Scientists have developed tests to determine the nature and extent of a person's smell disorder. Tests measure the smallest amount of odor patients can detect as well as how accurately a person can identify different smells.
An easily administered "scratch and sniff" test allows a person to scratch pieces of paper treated to release different odors, sniff them, and try to identify each odor from a list of possibilities. In this way, doctors can determine whether a person has a decreased ability to smell (hyposmia), the inability to detect any odors (anosmia), or another kind of smell disorder.