Our 5 senses help to observe the world around us. Our sense of smell is an important sense, as without it, we cannot appreciate different scents or enjoy the food we eat. The sense of smell plays a role in taste as well as helps in the detection of dangerous vapours as in the case of a gas leak. If you don’t think your sense of smell is working to full effect, then a visit to an ENT specialist is necessary to diagnose the root cause.
Enjoy your Food Flavours: The aroma from food travels far, even before we see it through our eyes, thus our sense of smell, can keep us salivating through a distance. The appreciation of good food is initially made possible by the ability to smell the aroma of the dish. In addition, when you eat, the flavour of the food passes through the back of your mouth to the nose. Here, the olfactory nerves are able to smell this food. If you are down with a respiratory infection, then due to nasal congestion, you are not able to smell the food. Thus it will make you taste the food as bland although your taste buds are working. So, in case you are unable to taste your pizza the next time, it may be an issue with your nose rather than your tongue. Thus, it makes it important to closely monitor your sense of smell as an impaired olfactory sense can be harmful. For instance, it can change the diet plan of people. Some might be tempted to add more salt in food, thinking it’s tasteless. This is ultimately going to worsen high blood pressure and kidney problems in patients.
Appreciate the freshness of nature: Our environment has a lot of natural beauty and to appreciate it, one must be able to smell the scent of flowers, freshness of the sea breeze and the earthy smell of rain. All this is possible only when your olfactory senses are in an optimum state.
Danger Detection Signals: The sense of smell is very important to keep you safe. For instance, the ability to smell spoiled food before it is consumed will keep you off an upset stomach. It is also important to keep you off toxic fumes and vapours.
- Some of the things you might want to do if your sense of smell is impaired is:
- Switching to electric appliances
- Installing smoke and gas detectors especially in the kitchen
- Paying attention to expiry dates in food
- Looking carefully into chemical products and cleaning agents which might be hazardous
Requirement for certain occupations
Certain occupations need you to have a heightened sense of smell. This includes tea tasters, chefs, firemen as well as wine connoisseurs. If your sense of smell is not at an optimum level then it can be challenging to work in these occupations. A visit to a physician is more important if you are experiencing an issue where a sense of smell is dependent on your livelihood.
Enhances Mother-Baby Bond
The mother baby bond is immense and it is further strengthened by the chemical bond they share. Our bodies emit distinctive pheromones and the same goes with a mother and a baby where they can identify each other through the sense of smell.
It has been shown through research that a drop in the sense of smell is linked to a greater incidence in anxiety and depression. It is a bi-directional cause that loss of smell leads to depression or vice versa. This has been observed at a bio-chemical as well as at a social level. It is hypothesised that people who have a reduced sense of smell may be frustrated due to their condition, which could lead to depression symptoms. For instance, this condition may make them embarrassed to enjoy social gatherings leading to social isolation and depression.
Link to Alzheimer’s disease
Research has shown that the sense of smell can decline in old age which is when neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease occur. Thus testing an individual for the sense of smell is now becoming an early warning sign for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
The sense of smell should be treasured and if you have any concerns in your sense of smell, then it is important to get yourself evaluated by an ENT doctor. It is important not to delay a consultation with an otolaryngologist. If you are traveling or based in Singapore, The ENT Clinic is a leading choice for patients that visit for medical tourism or current residents of the island as the practice has three very experienced specialists on site.