Imagine walking through a bakery and not smelling the sweet aroma of freshly baked croissants. Or chomping through a park just after the grass has been cut and sensing nothing.
When it comes to losing senses, smell seems pretty low down on the severity scale.
If we’ve been blessed with the ability to see and hear, the idea of going blind or deaf can be a terrifying one. But losing our sense of smell can have pretty far-reaching consequences – and it’s way more common than you might think.
In fact, one in 20 people experience it at some point in their lives. And Carl Philpott, professor of Rhinology and Olfactology at the University of East Anglia, believes that it’s a problem that should be taken more seriously than it currently is.
‘Smell disorders affect around 5% of the population and cause people to lose their sense of smell, or change the way they perceive odours,’ he said.
‘Some people perceive smells that aren’t there at all.’
He and his team have been studying 71 people suffering from smell disorders. The group reported how their lack of smell as impacted on their mental wellbeing, ability to hold down relationships and physical health.
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