Our sense of smell, which is one of our 5 sense organs, is closely related to our sense of taste. The smell of a good food, the smell of flowers, the smell of a nice perfume makes us feel good by making us enjoy life. With the loss of our sense of smell, living without being able to smell is a colorless and tasteless life. For this reason, the quality of life deteriorates in those with smell disorders and disorders such as depression are more common. Anosmia, What is Parosmia? Is Anosmia and Parosmia a legacy of Covid disease to us? What are the causes of smell disorder? Is everyone's sense of smell the same, and what are the factors that affect our sense of smell? With which complaints do Covid Patients apply to you most frequently? What kind of a way do you follow for the treatment of patients who come with an olfactory disorder?
Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital, Department of Ear Nose and Throat Diseases, Assoc. Dr. Aldülkadir Özgür answered 'the questions about Anosmi and Parosmi (the inability to smell)'.
Anosmia, What is Parosmia?
Anosmia is the complete loss of the sense of smell. The person cannot detect any odors, including very strong odors.
Parosmia is a different perception of smell. Unfortunately, this different perception is generally seen as the perception of bad odor. Generally, whatever the person smells, they smell rotten eggs and stinky food. Of course, this situation impairs the quality of life of the person.
Is Anosmia and Parosmia a legacy of Covid disease to us?
No. Smell disorders such as anosmia and parosmia are actually a condition that we encounter in one of 4-5 adults. However, since these disorders are more common in Covid patients and it is the first finding in some patients, especially in the period when the disease first appeared, its awareness in the society has increased. In fact, we have been encountering patients with this complaint in the Ear Nose and Throat Diseases outpatient clinic for years.
What are the causes of smell disorder?
Viral infections are the most common cause of temporary smell disorders. Apart from infections, nasal curvatures, nasal allergies and benign and malignant tumors in the nose cause odor disorder.
Is everyone's sense of smell the same, and what are the factors that affect our sense of smell?
Smell sensitivity differs from person to person. Some can detect even a slight odor, while others can hardly detect even very heavy odors. There are many factors that affect the perception of odor such as air temperature, air circulation in the environment, nose structure of the person and personal experiences.
With which complaints do Covid Patients apply to you most frequently?
Covid patients most frequently apply to us with a lack of smell and parosmia, that is, with a different odor perception. Especially the number of patients presenting with parosmia is quite high. Because patients somehow accept not smelling at all, but parosmia can sometimes make life unbearable. For example, a patient may not be able to cook anymore because he smells stinky eggs from all meals. Or people can get away from everyone because they smell rotten meat. Of course, it can be quite annoying to endure such situations.
What kind of a way do you follow for the treatment of patients who come with an olfactory disorder?
First of all, we investigate the cause of the situation that causes the smell disorder. Then we apply the necessary medical or surgical treatment to eliminate this cause. Odor disorders, especially due to viral infections, are usually temporary. We sometimes give these patients a nasal spray just to speed up recovery. We also ask them to try strong scents such as the smell of coffee. Because pungent odors can accelerate the recovery of their complaints.
Smell disorders due to Covid disease, which we encounter frequently during the pandemic period, also usually improve in a short time. Although it is annoying, parosmia in these patients is often a sign that the sense of smell will improve in a short time. For this reason, we tell patients who come with parosmia that this is actually a good development.