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World Anosmia Awareness Day

About 5% of the world’s population suffers from anemia, a sensory disorder that has come to the fore with the Covid-19 pandemic. Every February 27th is World Anosmia Awareness Day. An opportunity to let people know that SARS-CoV2 is not the only cause of anosmia!

World Awareness Day: What is anosmia?

Anosmia is Complete loss of smell, which may or may not be related to age, which is the complete loss of taste. This sensory disorder celebrates World Awareness Day every February 27th. Until then, this event was almost completely unknown in France, but the arrival of Covid-19 made the whole world aware of what anosmia is. In reality, Loss of taste and smell is now one of the most common symptoms of SARS infection.

First, a distinction must be made between anosmia, in which the ability to smell odors is completely lost, either temporarily or permanently, and anosmia, which is the partial loss of smell. Anosmia sufferers not only suffer from a loss of their sense of smell, their perception of tastes changes because smell and taste are closely related. In general, people with impaired sense of smell perceive a salty, sweet, sour or bitter taste in the normal way, but describe a modified taste, which often has consequences for their diet.

Anosmia, linked to Covid-19, but not only!

Before the arrival of Covid-19, the loss of smell was estimated to affect people About 5% of the world’s populationfor very different reasons:

  • head trauma
  • The presence of a tumor in the brain or in the paths of the nose, ear and throat.
  • Head and neck irradiation.
  • Sinus surgery
  • some viral infections (viruses other than SARS-CoV2 cause loss of smell, including seasonal flu);
  • Alzheimer’s disease ;
  • congenital cause (since birth);
  • Take some medications.
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In terms of mechanisms, loss of the sense of smell can be linked to the presence of a nasal obstruction, an injury to the olfactory epithelium or even if the olfactory nerve is damaged. When a nerve is affected on only one side (unilateral anosmia), the patient is often not aware of it, because the unaffected side compensates and allows for the perception of odors.

There is no treatment available for anosmia

The management of anosmia is closely related to its cause and characteristics (duration, incidence, etc.). Sometimes, treating the cause allows the patient to regain the perception of smells. In the event of a nerve lesion or during aging, the damage can be irreversible. In most cases, the loss of the sense of smell remains reversible and the patient regains his or her olfactory abilities within a few weeks or a few months. Basic skills for food, social life and health. Smell is also necessary to detect some hazards, such as the smell of burning in the house!

With the Covid-19 pandemic, it has also evolved Rehabilitation of the sense of smellThis allows the patient to accompany him in the gradual recovery of his sense of smell and taste. It allows in particular to correct disorders of poor perception of smells and tastes.
On the other side, There is no specific treatment for anosmia. The sense of smell is precious on a daily basis, and it must be preserved as much as possible, because loss of smell is a major factor in the deterioration of the quality of life.

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Estelle B. Doctor of Pharmacy