Unlocking the Mystery: Why Our Sense of Smell Disappears Defying Science

Anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell, has garnered attention primarily in relation to Covid-19. However, it’s essential to understand that anosmia can result from various causes beyond the virus. This article delves into the specifics of anosmia, shedding light on its causes and potential treatments.

the loss of the sense of smell gained attention as a symptom of COVID-19, one couple faces a perplexing situation. The husband lost his sense of smell two years ago, and Covid isn’t the cause. Despite trying smell training without success, they seek advice on potential treatments and causes.

“Exploring Anosmia: Causes, Treatments, and Ongoing Research”

Anosmia, previously associated with COVID-19, can be caused by various factors such as viral infections, nerve degeneration, brain injuries, nasal polyps, or chronic nasal congestion. The couple is advised to consult a GP and possibly an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor for further investigation and treatment options, including surgical intervention or sprays. The article emphasizes the seriousness of anosmia, highlighting potential safety risks and the impact on the enjoyment of eating and drinking.

Causes of Anosmia:

  • Beyond Covid: Anosmia can stem from various sources, including viral infections like the common cold, which can damage smell-signaling nerves.
  • Nerve Degeneration and Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, and even head traumas or strokes can lead to anosmia.
  • Nasal Issues: Chronic nasal congestion due to allergies, smoking, or nasal polyps can result in long-term anosmia.

Treatment and Advice:

  • Seek Medical Help: Persistent smell loss warrants a visit to a general practitioner (GP) and, potentially, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to rule out issues like nasal polyps.
  • Smell Training: Smell training kits, involving daily sniffing of specific scents, can be beneficial for some.
  • Valuable Resources: Organizations like AbScent and Fifth Sense offer valuable advice and support for those dealing with loss of smell.

While anosmia is often overlooked, it can have significant consequences, from safety hazards to diminished quality of life. Understanding its various causes and available resources is crucial for those affected. Research into anosmia continues to evolve, offering hope for improved treatments and support for anosmics of all kinds.

Smell training kits are recommended for persistent cases, involving actively sniffing specific scents daily. For additional guidance, two reputable charities, AbScent and Fifth Sense, offer valuable advice to individuals experiencing a loss of smell.

In another scenario, a distressed family seeks help for their 16-year-old grandson diagnosed with Gilbert syndrome. Despite being told there’s no treatment, they are desperate for solutions. Gilbert syndrome, considered harmless and hereditary, causes elevated bilirubin levels, leading to a jaundiced appearance, particularly in stressful situations.

The article suggests exploring potential underlying issues like inflammatory bowel diseases or mental health concerns. It recommends reaching out to the British Liver Trust for guidance on managing Gilbert syndrome.

Lastly, a husband diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) experiences dizziness and nausea. Traditional treatments like the Epley maneuver prove ineffective, leading to concerns about potential medication options.

BPPV, a common ear problem, is explained, emphasizing its impact on balance and quality of life, especially for older individuals. The article advises on potential treatments, including repeating the Epley maneuver or consulting a doctor for alternative diagnoses if symptoms persist or worsen.

These stories unfold in a world where researchers, despite increased interest in anosmia due to COVID-19, still face challenges in funding and attention. The article touches on the complexities of smell research, the surge in anosmia cases during the pandemic, and the ongoing need for collaboration and understanding in the field.