February 27th is Anosmia Awareness Day – Health & Wellness

Anosmia Awareness Day is observed on 27 February, dedicated to educating and raising awareness about the causes and effects of loss of sense of smell, known as anosmia.

Likewise, the celebration of this anniversary aims to support the research, development and application of treatments for this disorder.

Origin of Anosmia Day
Anosmia Awareness Day began in 2012 due to the initiative of American Daniel Schein, a man suffering from olfactory dysfunction.

To this end, they created an event page on Facebook, establishing a date for the celebration of this anniversary, as well as the practice of wearing red clothes to support the cause.

In this sense, various charities such as Fifth Sense (United Kingdom) and smell and taste centers such as The Monell Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) have shown their support for this day of awareness by carrying out international awareness campaigns and fundraising.

What is anosmia?
Anosmia involves a temporary or permanent complete or partial loss of the sense of smell. It is the inability to recognize, understand, and enjoy a variety of smells.

The main causes of anosmia are as follows:

Respiratory infections caused by certain viruses, flu or influenza, and the common cold.
COVID-19. Respiratory infection caused by this virus affects the olfactory neuroepithelium. It is highlighted that 1 in 5 patients presents with change or loss of sense of smell as a symptom.
Chronic rhinosinusitis (with or with polyposis).
allergic rhinitis.
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Hypertrophy of nasal turbinates.
Previous surgical intervention.
Cranial and other trauma.
Indiscriminate use of medicines and intoxicants.
brain damage.
Abnormal development of the olfactory system, known as congenital anosmia. There is no cure for this.
Following are some of the consequences and effects of anosmia on people:

It affects the body’s natural warning mechanisms.
Security, self-confidence and personal relationships are affected.
It creates feelings of social isolation, reduces pleasure and emotions, leading to depression.
It affects memory.
People who suffer from this disorder are vulnerable to dangerous situations such as gas leaks, dangerous chemical fumes, fires, and eating spoiled food.
Difficulty eating and eating disorders due to the close connection between the senses of smell and taste.

Anosmia prevention and treatment
Below we are mentioning some preventive measures to avoid loss of smell:

Avoid prolonged exposure to toxic or polluting products and strong odors. Use of masks is advised.
Hydrate well.
Application of antiviral vaccines: Flu, Covid.
Avoid contact with allergy causing substances.
Do not put anything in the nose.
There is no specific treatment for anosmia. However, the loss of smell can be partially or completely recovered by treating its cause. It is recommended to consult a specialist doctor (internist, otorhinolaryngologist):

The use of antibiotics, nasal sprays, and steam inhalation to treat infections and inflammation of the paranasal sinuses.
Surgical removal and radiotherapy for tumors and polyps.

Do you know?
We invite you to know some curious and interesting facts about the sense of smell and anosmia:

Anosmic people cannot perceive any smell.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 people may have some loss of smell.
Without the sense of smell, memory may be affected.
The interplay between the senses of taste and smell allows us to appreciate and enjoy the taste of food.
Smell helps to sense spoiled foods, as well as poisonous chemicals.
Anosmic people may have eating disorders.
The sense of smell helps to alert us to dangers such as gas leaks and fires in the environment.
Some studies and research believe that 1 in 30 people have little or no sense of smell.
About 1 in 15 people say they smell a smell that does not exist in reality, known as a “phantom smell.”
It is estimated that 53 percent of COVID-19 patients have changes in smell, especially in women and youth. In most of these patients, their sense of smell recovers spontaneously.

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