Hyperosmia: A Heightened Sense Of Smell

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 04/08/2023

Your sense of smell is one of the five primary senses. It plays a part in nearly everything we do and can affect how we perceive the world. So having that either dulled or heightened can mess with someone’s health and quality of life.

Hyperosmia is a condition where the person has a heightened sense of smell. It is a unique condition that can occur consistently or during certain times. However, if it happens frequently, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with health insurance plans. There is a connection! Hyperosmia is often a symptom of an underlying medical condition. These physical ailments require consistent and regular medical checkups to get treated, which is where medical insurance plans are usually required.

What Is Hyperosmia - Hyperosmia Symptoms

In simple terms, hyperosmia’s meaning is an overwhelming sensitivity to smells. There are many causes for this condition, but sometimes it can occur without any apparent reason. It can make diagnosing this condition tricky since most cases will only be able to rely on what you’re reporting.

Having hyperosmia, by definition, can affect your olfactory area, which connects your nose and throat. So, when you smell a strong scent, it can create a taste in your throat that can cause you to become nauseous. An increased sense of smell can also heighten the taste of certain flavours.

This is a rare condition that is difficult to diagnose. Frequent cases can indicate an underlying physical condition, but sometimes it doesn’t always have a root cause.

Hyperosmia Causes

Hyperosmia disease can either be temporary or have lasting effects, indicating a more severe health condition. Therefore, it is essential to check if there are any underlying causes if you frequently experience hyperosmia.


Pregnant women most commonly report hyperosmia. This is understandable. During pregnancy, women or AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals experience changes in their sense of taste and smell. This condition is commonly reported during the first few months of pregnancy. Usually, it doesn’t last past the first trimester.

Certain foods and smells may become unbearable for people with this condition, causing them to become extremely nauseous.


Migraines are also a common cause of hyperosmia. Your sense of smell is heightened during the headache phase of your migraine.

Neurological Conditions

Hyperosmia can also be a sign of seizures. Seizures from your temporal lobe - the part of your brain that stores memories - can give you a false sense of heightened smell. These are called olfactory hallucinations. This happens when you are about to get a seizure.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune disorders are heavily connected to your olfactory system. In addition, environmental and hereditary factors can affect your olfactory senses.

Other causes:

  • Sterile Meningitis

  • Allergies

  • Diabetes

  • Certain Prescription Medication

  • B-12 Deficiency

  • Cushing Syndrome

  • Nutrient Deficiencies

In some rare cases, hyperosmia can also be genetic.

Diagnosing Hyperosmia

Before you get treated, your doctor may ask you to run a few tests to rule out any other major health concerns. These tests can also help you find your triggers and help you deal with your hyperosmia. Some hyperosmia tests are:

  • Scratch And Sniff Test

  • The Sip, Spit, And Rinse Test

  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT)

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan (MRI)

  • Endoscopy

You could get prescribed a few treatments or medications based on these tests. These can include antibiotics if your root cause is an infection. Some suggest sinus surgery. In most cases, hyperosmia is temporary.

How Do You Treat Hyperosmia

Severe cases of hyperosmia have been reported to cause depression and anxiety. Especially when patients are unsure of what smells trigger their hyperosmia. Treatments usually involve tracking down and carefully treating the cause of the symptom. So treatments based on root causes have been shown to alleviate hyperosmia.

Sometimes hyperosmia can even be caused by brain tumours. In this case, surgical removal can help patients solve this issue. For hypersomnia triggered by migraines, medication has been shown to help. Migraine medications can also help prevent or reduce migraines caused by hyperosmia.

Mostly avoiding specific triggers wherever possible is advised. However, in some cases, your prescription medications could also be what is causing hyperosmia. If you are experiencing hyperosmia after starting a new medication, try asking your doctor to change your medicine.

If patients can’t avoid the smells that cause it, chewing on peppermint candy can help reduce its effects.

Does Health Insurance Cover Conditions Like Hyperosmia?

reating a condition that is hard to diagnose can be tricky. However, if your hyperosmia has a root cause like some of the causes stated above, health insurance plans can help cover the costs of medical treatment.

Conditions like pregnancy even have their stand-alone plans. For example, medical insurance plans cover the cost of recurring treatments and medical expenses. Coupled with the tax benefits you can get under most plans, it can afford you financial security.

Our health insurance plans cover pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses. Make sure to discuss with your insurer all the details of your health insurance policy. This can include features and, most importantly, the exclusions under the health insurance plan you want to purchase.


Hyperosmia can be challenging to treat and diagnose, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t out there. Once you’ve ascertained the root cause for this condition, consistent treatment and medication can immensely help alleviate your symptoms.

The main benefit of health insurance plans from Tata AIG is that these medical costs are often covered under their plans. In addition, our platform allows you to buy health insurance online so that you get access to some of our top medical insurance plans.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

Related Articles

Tata AIG Also Offers Insurance for the below products

Health Insurance

Two Wheeler Insurance

Car Insurance

Travel Insurance