Flowers, perfumes, or meals exude a pleasant scent. It’s bad if you suddenly can’t see it anymore… Praxisvita explains why that can be.
A strong cold is enough and even the most delicious food can become quite bland. “The tongue only differentiates between the five tastes sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and meaty,” explains the Bochum cell physiologist Prof. Hanns Hatt. The subtleties of a delicious meal are only perceived with a sense of smell. When the cold is over, it tastes good again. However, almost five percent of Germans have permanently lost their sense of smell (“anosmia”).
Diseases are often to blame for permanent olfactory disorders. In the case of an acute, severe viral flu, the pathogens are sometimes so aggressive that they permanently damage the sensitive olfactory cells. Nasal polyps and chronic sinus infections can also limit the sense of smell. Other causes are zinc deficiency, diabetes, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, and intestinal, liver and kidney diseases. Medications can also affect your sense of smell – ask your doctor if there are any other remedies for you. And finally: In old age, the sense of smell often decreases even without illness.
Conscious tasting and smelling while eating keeps the sense of smell fit. Intensive sniffing trains the olfactory cells. Don’t over-season your meals as it can dull your sense of taste over time. Make sure that the nasal mucous membranes are always moist: avoid dry air at home (humidifier) or occasionally use nasal sprays containing seawater (pharmacy).
Low doses of cortisone can, for example, “revive” the sense of smell after the flu. Smell training helps many patients: regular sniffing of eucalyptus, rose oil, cloves, or lemon can mobilize the olfactory cells.