Tuesday , May 18 2021

What is anosmia and ageusia and how likely are you to suffer? BBC News

Has it ever happened to you that when you have a fever you can't smell or feel the taste of food?

It's an uncomfortable and frustrating feeling to see a dish that, because of its appearance, makes your mouth runny, but when you taste it, it's just like eating anything.

Or like when you walk in front of a bakery and your memory reminds you that there is a scent that makes you wake up sounds in your stomach. But you don't smell anything.

We know that those who cannot see suffer from blindness and those who cannot hear, from sodera.

But What do people who don't kiss or don't have the ability to feel suffering?

Nose and mouth
Does cold ever interfere with your sense of smell and taste?


Humans can smell blessings olfactory sensory neurons They are in a small part of the tissue at the top of the nose.

These neurons are connected directly to the brain and each has a olfactory receptor.

The microscopic molecules released by substances around us, whether the aroma of coffee or bread products, stimulates these receptors.

Once neurons detect these molecules, they send messages to the brain, and the brain identifies the smell, explains the National Deaf Institute and Other Communication Disorders in the United States, which also studies odor and taste disorders.

And people who can't detect the smell, for many reasons, suffering from anosmia.

"In principle (lack of smell) does not have a preference for sex, but it is based on age. At the same level that we have lost sight and hearing for years, we also lose our olfac capacitycion ", told the BBC Mundo Héctor Vallés, professor of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

The loss of smell due to aging is called presbyosmia

Men kiss a glass of wine.
Lack of odor does not distinguish between men and women or age, although for years olfactory capacity may be lost.

It is possible to be born with anosmia, which is congenital anosmia, and you can also lose the ability to kiss during life for different reasons, and for a short time, such as when you have a fever.

In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States, a cold with a stuffy nose is the most frequent cause of partial and transient odor loss.

"There is very little data about who is affected because patients don't pay too much attention to olfactory disorders. He is not very conscious, "Vallés said.

Anosmia can occur as an anomaly isolated or associated with certain genetic disorders, such as Kallmann's syndrome or insensitivity to congenital pain, said the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center (GARD) that depends on the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Studies show that about 1 in 10,000 people in the United States are affected by congenital anosmia, notes GARD.

Odor loss can also occur when nerves that lead to the brain's olfactory center are injured or damaged. This can have many causes, including suffering from aneurysms or brain tumors.

Display close distance from dog's nose.
The smell in animals is very important. In humans it loses meaning.

In the difficulty of smell there are many variants. Among the main ones are:

  • Hyposmia: decreased ability to detect odors
  • Parosmia: bad smell For example, when the smell of something familiar is distorted, or when something you usually like suddenly becomes unpleasant
  • Heterosmia: confusing one smell with another. For example, when you smell flowers and you smell cheese

As Vallés pointed out, "the smell has disappeared. Just as in animals, the sense of smell is one of the most important senses in reproduction, in looking for food or in detecting threats, in humans, the development of the human body and society makes olfactory less important, less used ".

"We have to manage our feelings according to our environment. It is also not very interesting to sniff food. We go to the supermarket and buy with our eyes, "said the specialist.


Humans can feel the taste of food thanks to it cell taste grouped in taste tongue, roof of the mouth and along the throat.

At birth, we have around 10,000 taste buds that can begin to disappear after the age of 50, note the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in the United States.

Difficulties in detecting taste are called ageusia.

Women lie down with colds.
Often a cold can eliminate the ability to taste and smell.

"You can be born with age, but loss of taste is less than the smell of smell", said Vallet otorhinolaryngologist.

And the reason is that "taste has an innervation that is richer and more complex than smell. We have many nerves in the tasting process", he stressed.

In addition, the sense of smell and smell is very closely related. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, most people who go to the doctor because they believe they have lost their sense of taste, are surprised to learn that what they have is a smell of smell.

Many times the loss of taste is due to colds and even some drugs that we use, but after the disease ends or the drug is stopped, the feeling of recovery.

The loss of taste may also be related to suffering from middle ear infections and breathing or having undergone radiotherapy, among other reasons.

Among the main disorders of taste are:

  • Hypogeusia: decreased storage capacity
  • Dysgeusia: when the sensation of feeling is not normal. This is a change of taste

It doesn't feel lost for years, it's not like smell.

"What's changed preference for taste. For years we have tended to look for other tastes and we distance ourselves from childhood, said the professor at the University of Zaragoza.


Like other senses, Smell and taste play an important role in our lives.

A doctor checks the baby's nose.
Anosmia and age do not distinguish age.

Smell can give us the first warning of smoke in the fire, loss of gas or if food cannot eat it.

In the same way, taste tells us if food or liquid deteriorates.

However, unlike vision and hearing, people usually do not consult their doctors when they feel they have lost their sense of smell or taste.

"The patients he gaven not too important for odor disorders, and even less yes they lost their appetite "Vallés said.

If loss does not occur after a few days, it is better to go to the doctor to get rid of the disease.


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