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When Flowers Have No Scent

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woman sniffing a lemon

Long before people began noticing that a loss or blunting of the sense of smell is one of the symptoms of COVID, a sizeable chunk of the population was already living with some degree of what’s known medically as loss of olfactory function.

According to studies, up to 50 per cent of people aged 65 to 80 have a diminished or total loss of their sense of smell on testing. 

Yet many people who are so affected — from 91 to 83 per cent in one trial, depending on age — don’t realize it. This can pose a number of risks, from failing to detect a hazardous event such as a cooking fire or gas leak, to overeating in an attempt to find food that satisfies, since smell plays such a big role in taste.

So what kinds of changes in the body result in loss of olfactory function? And are there treatments that can help restore it? 

You can find answers in this health feature I wrote for Good Times back in May 2017: When Food Has No Taste and Flowers Have No Scent.

A big thank-you to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:



The Fifth Sense

The Monell Anosmia Project

SmellAbility Training

Photo by cottonbro Courtesy of Pexels