It is widely known that going through life without a sense of smell can inhibit pleasure. Some patients report feeling disgusted by foods they used to love; others find the whole world gray and without interest. Now a new study has identified yet another drawback to impaired olfactory sense (anosmia): mortal danger.
Researchers were interested in quantifying whether patients with anosmia were more likely to get into hazardous situations. It’s not a far-fetched theory: we use our sense of smell to identify many common risks such as gas leaks, smoke, even spoiled food. Sure enough, this study found a strong correlation between degree of anosmic impairment and the likelihood of hazard:
The incidence of having experienced any hazardous event progressively increased with degree of impairment: normosmic (18.0%), mildly hyposmic (22.2%), moderately hyposmic (31.2%), severely hyposmic (32.4%), and anosmic (39.2%).
. . . [We conclude that] increased level of olfactory impairment portends an increased risk of experiencing a hazardous event.
Chalk it up as one more reason to see a sinus surgeon if you suspect your sense of smell may be failing you over time. To learn more, contact my Los Angeles sinus surgery practice today.