Losing our sense of smell

12 Oct

One of the symptoms of Covid is losing our sense of smell and taste, and this got me thinking about all the people that permanently don't  have a sense of smell. It's called Anosmia, also known as smell blindness - the loss of ability to detect one or more smells. Being able to smell  (good or bad) is something that most of us take for granted. Sometimes during pregnancy our sense of smell is heightened, this happened to me and has stayed with me so I really cannot imagine what it would be like. It's not just the pleasure we take from pleasant scent there are practical things to consider, how do you tell that the milk has turned sour, you are unable to detect dangerous odours like smoke or gas in the home.  It's well known that a smell can evoke a memory or feeling, does that mean along with the loss of a sense of smell certain memories are also lost? Scent is also known to boost our mood or help us to feel relaxed.  While Anosmia might not be seen as debilitating as losing sight or hearing research has shown that it is related to increasing levels of stress and depression.  There are various treatments available with varying degrees of success.  For most people with Covid related loss of smell it will fortunately return, I have such empathy for people suffering with Anosmia.

With this in mind I have been more reflective as to my own sense  of smell and how deeply appreciative of my own senses. Just as any sighted person will reflect on the gratitude that is felt for having the gift of sight when considering the profound impact that blindness has on those afflicted by it, now is as good a time as any to reflect on all the senses most of us are fortunate enough to enjoy and take for granted. Time to light a scented candle!

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