Saturday , December 4 2021

What it means to live without the smell of Invisible disease with devastating effect- Corriere.it



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Losing the sense of smell or experiencing odor dysfunction is nothing short of amazing. Prior to the arrival of the new coronavirus (loss of taste and smell of one of the early symptoms of infection) it was estimated that one in 20 people lost a smell at some point in their life. The causes? Chronic sinusitis, damage caused by viruses (especially colds and flu), even head trauma (which can destroy or damage the fibers of the olfactory nerve), polyps, tumors. Sometimes an early sign of nervous system diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The sense of smell is one of our five senses but it is often considered in series B. There are glasses to treat visual defects and hearing aids to treat some hearing, but there are no treatments to restore the sense of smell and also fairly limited research. The Covid epidemic has brought to light the importance of our fifth sense, which is so often neglected. Many have experienced, albeit temporarily, the feeling of living without smell and taste. And maybe this experience can help make everyone more empathic towards those who have to live with this deficit forever.

The mechanism

L ‘anosmia the completely lost smell. L ‘iposmia partial loss of smell. Most people with anosmia can taste salty, sweet, sour and bitter, but fails to distinguish particular tastes. The ability to distinguish flavors really depends on smell, not on taste receptors on the tongue. Therefore, those with anosmia often complain about having ptowards the sense of taste and not enjoying food. Loss of olfactory receptors due to aging causes decreased odor capacity in the elderly. The perception of taste begins to change around the age of 60 and at the same time the sense of smell diminishes (and blame the decrease in odor receptors). As age advances, the sensitivity threshold to sweet and salty also 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 facing people with loss of smell, a group of researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, analyzed the personal stories of 71 patients who experienced anosmia. Highlights of written accounts relationship difficulties, ialone, difficulty seeking help. Many have reported theNegative and superficial attitude of doctors towards this situation, finding it difficult to get advice or treatment.

The limits of daily life

The inability to smell odor sets objective limits in daily life: patients I can’t sense a potential gas leak or to understand that a spoiled food. But the sense of smell can not only save a life, it can also enhance it by helping to smell the taste for food, explore the environment and recall. Smelling perfume can bring a loved one to mind, but this experience cannot be lived by someone who lacks the fifth sense. Studies from the United States and Scandinavia show that olfactory dysfunction increases the risk of death, regardless of dementia. Our research – explains on an article in The Conversation Carl Phipott, a professor of Rhinology and Olfactology at the University of East Anglia has shown that it was the anosmia physical problems. Because of reduced pleasure in eating, some study participants explained that they had less appetite, leading to weight loss. The reduced perception of flavors has also led some to take foods of low nutritional value, especially those rich in fat, salt and sugar.

The emotional aspects

Among the negative emotional aspects that anosmia sufferers experience embarrassed, sadness, depression, worry. Volunteers mentioned daily concerns likepersonal hygiene (can’t tell if they had a bad smell on them), y loss of closeness until the relationships break down. Some attendees said that they did not take pleasure at times which should be cause for celebration. Not to mention the inability to associate smells with happy memories, which was very frustrating. Many experiences fail to be enjoyed and live in a fulfilling way and especially asomy does not generate empathy and those who do not have it do not understand much. The coronavirus epidemic may have helped turn the spotlight on the fifth sense, although unfortunately, even today, there are no specific treatments to cure permanent anosmia.

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

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