The loss of the sense of smell (hyposmia or anosmia) can negatively impact the patient's quality of life.


Impact of a loss of the sense of smell:

(1) impaired ability to taste

(2) inability to detect certain hazards associated with odors

(3) inability to detect embarrassing odors in social situations

(4) can be depressing for the patient


Inability to taste food:

(1) reduces enjoyment associated with eating

(2) can have a significant impact on a person's ability to cook or taste food

(3) may be associated with weight loss and malnutrition


Hazards that may be detected by smell:

(1) a gas leak

(2) smoke associated with a fire

(3) spoiled food


A person who is unable to smell:

(1) should buy a gas detector for the home

(2) should take special care in cooking and storing food

(3) should look for potentially reversible factors affecting smell like medications

(4) may benefit from living with someone else or having a dog


The impact can be more serious if:

(1) the person lives alone and has no one to provide backup

(2) the person has other limitations in sight and hearing


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