Anosmia Awareness Day

Anosmia Awareness Day, February 27th

Sense of smell has a major impact on our quality of life.  Imagine the beach without the smell of the ocean or a walk through a flower garden without being able to smell the flowers.  Smell is also closely linked with memory and this often happens spontaneously.  A smell might trigger a recall of a forgotten event from long ago.

Anosmia is the medical term for the absence of the sense of smell.  There are many degrees of olfactory loss; some people lose it completely and suddenly, others experience it gradually over time, not realizing that it is deteriorating, and some people are born without a sense of smell, which is known as congenital anosmia.

Currently, there is no known cure or treatment for congenital anosmia.  However, other types of anosmia may be improved with treatment.  Treatment depends on the cause which can include nasal/sinus diseases, upper respiratory viral infections and head trauma.

Research has shown that loss of olfactory function can be an indicator of something far more serious.  Smell loss occurs with both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and studies have indicated that a diminishing sense of smell can be an early sign of the onset of these conditions.

In addition to being one of the five ways in which we connect with the world around us, our sense of smell plays an important part in our psychological make-up.  Ansomia sufferers often feel isolated and cut off from the world around them.  It is invisible to everyone except the patient.  You wouldn’t know by looking at someone that they suffer from olfactory loss.  This fact along with lack of understanding of the impact that smell has on our lives are reasons why anosmia has not received much attention.

Have you ever considered what it would be like to suddenly not be able to smell and what effect it would have on your life?

Leave a reply