Most of us take our sense of smell for granted, however, those with anosmia undoubtedly miss smelling the flowers, the pleasantness of fresh air, and even the way food used to taste. Anosmia describes the uncomfortable condition of a complete loss of smell, where hyposmia identifies those with a partial loss of smell. Both of these conditions can lead to dramatic weight loss, poor nutritional habits, and even depression. Below we describe what causes anosmia, how to identify it, prevent it, and how to ultimately regain your sense of smell.
Causes and Symptoms of Anosmia
When we sense a smell, a molecule released from a substance (such as a flower) will stimulate olfactory cells found deep within the nose. This information is ultimately recognized when our nasal nerve cells send the fragrant molecules to our brain. When something interferes with this natural process, anosmia or hyposmia can be the uncomfortable result. Temporary anosmia can affect people of all ages, although long-lasting loss of smell is much more common among adults over the age of 50. Affected individuals can lose their sense of smell gradually, when familiar scents smell differently as the condition develops, or anosmia can onset suddenly.
In rare cases, genetic defects can cause people to be born with anosmia. However, more common causes of anosmia can include:
- Common colds
- Nasal polyps
- The flu
- Bone deformities inside the nose
Additional, and more serious, causes of anosmia can include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Underactive thyroid
- Parkinson’s disease
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
People affected with anosmia may not be able to fully taste food or beverages, leading to a disinterest in eating entirely. Anosmia can also lead to depression because of one’s impaired ability to smell or taste pleasurable foods. The poor nutritional habits that are often seen in long-term anosmia can lead to malnutrition and severe weight loss.
Treating and Preventing Anosmia
If you are experiencing uncomfortable anosmia symptoms, then it’s important to visit your healthcare provider to identify why. If your doctor is unable to diagnose your symptoms, then they may recommend you see an Otolaryngologist (a ear, nose, and throat doctor). They should be able to identify the cause of your anosmia, however, CT scans or MRIs may be essential to diagnose some cases.
If your loss of smell has occurred from a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection, your symptoms should clear up on its own in just a few days. For more advanced symptoms, your doctor may prescribe decongestants, antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, or antibiotics. In situations where your anosmia is due to a nasal obstruction, your specialist may conduct a procedure to remove nasal polyps or straighten your nasal septum.
Most anosmia symptoms are caused by particulate matter entering your nose, which can lead to allergies or sinus infections. Preventing this process is simple with O2 Nose Filters, which helps you filter the air you inhale. O2 Nose Filters has been proven in controlled studies to help protect wearers from inhaling harmful airborne particles such as bacteria, viruses, dust, exhaust fumes, and other pollutants. Independent laboratory tests demonstrate that 3M’s Advanced Electret Media in O2 Nose Filters block 90% of particulates at PM10 and 65% of particulates at PM2.5. Additionally, O2 Nose Filters are comfortable to wear due to their latex-free design and medical-grade Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) materials.
3M’s patented AEM™ (Advanced Electret Media) filter technology relies on the principles of electrostatic attraction. The high capture ratios and extended breathability attributed to 3M’s AEM™ material allows airborne particles to be captured within the filter. Rather than using a ‘screen’ approach to block the passage of particles, the charged fibers act as ‘magnets’ to retain particles while still allowing air to pass through, making O2 Nose Filters both breathable and effective.
O2 Nose Filters provides inexpensive and effective security to protect people from harmful airborne diseases. While our nasal passageways try their best when it comes to filtering harmful particulate matter, they aren’t perfect. That’s why O2 Nose Filters are such an effective solution when it comes to improving our mental and physical health. Nose filters are a discreet, effective option to protect against airborne viruses and bacteria. The O2 Nose Filter uses 3M’s patented AEM™ electrostatic technology to capture allergens, viruses, and other particulates, making them a valuable tool for anyone who wants to drastically limit the pollutants and pollens they breathe in daily.
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