What Does It Mean To Live Without Smelling An Invisible Disease With A Devastating Impact – Corriere.it


Losing the sense of smell or experiencing olfactory dysfunctions is generally not uncommon. Before the new coronavirus (loss of taste and smell one of the early symptoms of infection), it was estimated that one in 20 people experience loss of smell at some point in their lives. The reasons? Chronic sinusitis, damage caused by viruses (especially colds and flu), even head trauma (which can destroy or damage the olfactory nerve fibers), polyps, tumors. Sometimes an early signal of diseases of nervous system like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The sense of smell is one of our five senses, but often considered in Series B. There are glasses to treat visual deficits and hearing aids to treat hearing, but there are no treatments to restore the sense of smell and also quite limited research. The Cavid epidemic has brought the importance of our fifth sense, often so neglected. Many have experienced, albeit mostly temporarily, the feeling of living without smelling and tasting. Maybe the experience can help everyone more empathetic to those who have to live with this lack forever.

The mechanism

L ‘Anosmia D Complete loss of smell. L ‘iposmia Partial loss of smell. Most people with anosmia can taste salty, sweet, sour and bitter substances Could not differentiate the specific flavors. The ability to distinguish flavors is actually depends on smell, not on the taste receptors on the tongue. Therefore, those with anosmia often complain of pTo the sense of taste and not enjoying food. A loss of olfactory receptors due to aging causes a reduced olfactory capacity in old age. The perception of taste begins to change around the age of 60 and at the same time the sense of smell decreases (and the guilt of the decrease in odor receptors). With age, the sensitivity threshold to sweet and salty increases. In fact, older people tend to use more salt and more sugar.

The questionnaires

But what does it really mean to lose your sense of smell?

To understand the problems of people who lose the ability to smell, a group of researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, analyzed the personal stories of 71 patients who have experienced anosmia. Written accounts highlight Relationship difficulties, ISole, Difficulty in seeking help. Many have reported these tooNegative and superficial attitude of doctors To this situation, it is difficult to get advice or treatment.

The limits in everyday life

The inability to smell smells sets objective limits in everyday life: patients I could not recognize a possible gas leak Or to understand that a Spoiled food. The smell of smell can not only save lives, but it can also improve by helping the taste of food, explore the environment and recall a memory. Smelling of a perfume may remind one of a loved one, but the experience may not have been lived by someone who did not have the fifth sense. Studies from the United States and Scandinavia show that olfactory dysfunction increases the risk of death, regardless of dementia. Our research – explained on an article in the conversation Carl Phipott, Professor of rhinology and olfactology at the University of East Anglia has shown that the anosmia caused Physical problems. Due to less eating, some study participants declared that they had less appetite, resulting in weight loss. The reduced perception of flavors has also led to taking foods with low nutritional value, particularly rich in fat, salt and sugar.

The emotional aspects

Negative emotional aspects experienced by anosmia sufferers include Embarrassment, Sadness, depression, worry. Volunteers talked about daily concerns such asPersonal hygiene (Could not tell if they have a bad smell on them), d Loss of intimacy Until the breakdown of relationships. Some attendees reported that they did not delight in the opportunity which should be a reason for celebration. Not to mention the inability to associate smells to happy memories, which was found to be very frustrating. Many experiences can not be enjoyed and lived in a complete way, and the main asomi does not evoke empathy and not much understood by those who do not suffer from it. Maybe the coronavirus epidemic helped to show the spotlight on the fifth sense, although unfortunately, even today, there are no specific treatments to cure permanent anosmia.

6 December 2020 (change 6 December 2020 | 12:56)

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