Most of us take our sense of smell for granted. But have you ever thought about what it would be like to not be able to smell something? The complete loss of smell is called anosmia, and a (strongly) decreased sense of smell is called hyposmia. Without your sense of smell, food tastes different, you can’t smell the scent of a flower, and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation, unknowingly. For example, without the ability to detect odors, you wouldn’t smell a gas leak, smoke from a fire, or sour milk. Personal smells are not registred either, so you wouldn’t notice your own or partner’s body odor. Patients experience a decreased appetite and rate their social lives less satisfactory, and many patients suffer from depressive symptoms.
Since there are relatively fewer visible difficulties associated with olfactory disorders than with visual or auditory impairments, the nature of olfactory dysfunction and its consequences for an individual’s safety and quality of life are not widely understood by most people. Therefor, with Anosmia awareness day on the 27th of February we hope to raise awareness for this often neglected sensory impairment.
If you want to read more, Sanne Boesveldt and colleagues recently wrote a review article of the clinical implications that Anosmia may have, you can find it here:
In addition, you can find more information on the website of the Dutch Smell & Taste Patient Association, by pressing on the banner below.