Living Without a Nose

Written by: Anonymous on February 24, 2015

Anosmia affects two percent of the population, but is largely unknown. How is life without smell and what treatments exist to restore this underrated sense?

It is perhaps the most underrated of the five senses, is that today we are so bombarded with visual information and sound, that we forget the importance of this noble sense plays in our lives.

The clinical term for the inability to sense smells is anosmia, and although figures on this issue are not clear, it is estimated that about 2% of the world population suffers from this condition.

For people with no smell, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, hot buttered pan, haunted herbs Granny, the smell of rain, perfumes and fragrance of your lover in bed, they are just stories of which were once part, or only mythology that will never experience for themselves.

A anosmic may be confronted with many challenges products of their condition. These can be both social and physical.

Like all the senses, smell not only serves to give pleasure, but primarily alerts people to possible threats. The inability to smell, therefore, makes gas leaks, smoke and food odors decomposing for anosmics, virtually invisible.

Anosmics can have an issue with hygeine. Not being able to smell your own body odor, you may feel insecure in social settings, falling into excessive use of perfumes and extremely consecutive baths. Nobody can say that it is easy to court with someone you can not understand, especially if it affects your relationships with others.

Types anosmia

Anosmia can be classified into two groups:

1. Congenital Anosmia

This is not very common and is present from birth in which the olfactory nerve does not exist or is not fully developed, or other commitments in the nervous system. Genetic causes are not clear yet, but it is known that Kallman syndrome also occurs.

Despite the logical difficulties, living with congenital anosmia in many cases can be quite bearable if certain precautions are taken, being the person never experienced the loss of smell.

2. Acquired Anosmia

This type of anosmia is acquired after birth, having multiple causes, such as:

Head injury: It represents a large part of the anosmic, and is given as a direct result of a blow to the head. There are many people who have lost smell due to a drop in bicycle or a car crash
Infection of the respiratory system: This is another major cause of anosmia acquisition and can occur after a cold or sinus infection.
Other causes for the loss of smell may be old age (after 60 years), allergies, Alzheimer’s, zinc deficiency, or as a direct result of prolonged smoking.
Adjusting to the loss of smell may be very complicated, resulting in loss of appetite (80% of the feeling of the food is given by the smells), depression, and decreased sex drive.

Losing the nose for smell can always cause profound changes in the way life is perceived, as many of the memories and feelings that we have acquired during our lives are closely linked to certain smells. A person who completely lost the sense of smell said: “It is like looking at life through a glass panel.”

Medical advances

In the olfactory theme there is much unfinished task, which has been lagging in medical terms for many years, and only now beginning to study seriously.

One of the institutions dedicated to understanding this issue is the Monell Chemical Senses Center, located in Philadelphia, which is currently working on the regeneration of cells of olfactory reception and in the identification of genes causing congenital anosmia, but whose results are not expected until several years.

Today congenital anosmia has no cure, but the cure has been seen in some patients with acquired anosmia, following a steroid treatment. Olfactory partial recovery results are also known through acupuncture.

It is literally true that a anosmic lost a fifth of external sensations, but it is important not to fill that empty space with insecurities and anguish. The loss of smell can be an opportunity to feel differently, more intensely. The world only begins when one is aware, and from this point, there are no limits to feel.


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