INFORMATION ON AGEUSIA:-
Ageusia may be defined as the loss of taste functions of the tongue, particularly the inability to detect sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. Ageusia is typically a symptom of anosmia (a loss of the sense of smell). True Ageusia is relatively rare compared to the milder forms of taste loss: hypogeusia and dysgeusia. Hypogeusia represents a partial loss of taste whereas dysgeusia denotes a distortion or alteration of taste.
CAUSES OF AGEUSIA:-
The various factors which are responsible for the development of Ageusia are:-
1. Damage to Lingual Nerve and the Glossopharyngeal Nerve which supports the tongue.
2. Neurological disorders such as Bell's Palsy, Familial Dysautonomia, and Multiple Sclerosis.
3. Damaged to lingual nerve during otologic surgery.
4. Vitamin deficiency.
5. Disorders of the Endocrine System such as Cushing's syndrome, Hypothyroidism and Diabetes Mellitus.
6. Medicinal side-effects from Antirheumatic Drugs such as Penicillamine, Antiproliferative drugs such as Cisplatin, ACE Inhibitors.
7. Local damage and inflammation from radiation therapy.
9. Tobacco abuse.
SYMPTOMS OF AGEUSIA:-
The only symptom shown by Ageusia is inability to distinguish between various types of tastes i.e.; sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness.
DIAGNOSIS OF AGEUSIA:-
In order to identify the extent of the Ageusia, scientists attempting to detect the minimum level of a chemical that a subject can verify by taste. Subject may also be asked to compare various concentrations of chemicals in order that the doctor may ascertain what level of intensity that the patient can distinguish between two types of taste. Various methods are used, including the "sip, spit, and rinse" test as well as direct application of chemicals to the tongue.
TREATMENT OF AGEUSIA:-
Treatment of Ageusia depends on the cause of the problem. Treatment involves surgical procedure, use of medications such as vitamins, steroids, GABA modifiers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants or anticonvulsants.