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Assessing the impact of anosmia: Review of a questionnaire's findings



The inability to detect odours, anosmia, can cause profound psychological effects resulting in feelings of physical and social vulnerability and victimization. In addition, there may be unhappiness related to the loss of the ability to detect pleasurable food smells and, as a consequence, anosmics may develop problems relating to eating. These profound effects arise from a condition which can have a rapid onset and a very poor prognosis for recovery, and are largely treated with a lack of sympathy and indifference by people with normal olfactory ability. In an attempt to educate, inform and help sufferers, a questionnaire was developed in the early 1980s and sent to those who contacted the Warwick Olfaction Research Group. The responses from this questionnaire form the basis of this review. Feelings of personal isolation, lack of interest in eating and emotional blunting were common responses from these sufferers and it seems that we still have some way to go before an adequate recognition of problems associated with anosmia is gained by the general population and, more importantly, within the medical profession

Topics: BF, TX, RC0321, QP
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