Don’t you just hate it when you’re looking forward to a delicious meal and you realize you can’t taste or smell due to your cold?

And no matter how hard you blow your nose—which may not even feel stuffed—you just can’t get back your sense of taste and smell. This stinks (no pun intended)!

Oddly, sometimes one’s sense of taste and smell are retained despite a very blocked-feeling nose.

Whereas there are times when these senses are absent but the nose hardly feels congested.

In either case, there is nothing to worry about, as the common cold needs to run its course.

However, losing one’s sense of taste and smell for more than a few days can be quite alarming.

“Losing smell and taste from a cold can be normal,” says Arielle Levitan, MD, board certified in internal medicine and co-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC and co-author of “The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.”

“However, if it persists for more than two weeks, it is recommended to seek medical attention,” adds Dr. Levitan.

“It is also a good idea to seek help if you have a metallic taste in your mouth with a cold, as this can indicate a sinus infection.”

Dangerous Causes of Persistent Feelings of Stuffiness in the Nose

  • Sinus tumor. About half of these are malignant. Other symptoms associated with masses in or about the nasal cavities are a palpable lump near the nose, excessive watering of only one eye and ear pain.
  • Lacrimal gland tumor. The lacrimal drainage system helps drain the tears that your eyes naturally produce. An obstruction, such as that caused by a growing mass, can cause a plug at some point along the system, causing excessive tearing of one eye. Some of these tumors are benign.

Here is detailed information about the possible causes of a metallic taste in the mouth.

Dr. Levitan is board certified in internal medicine and has a special interest in women’s health and preventive medicine.