Recognizing the Sense of Smell and How to Protect It

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Recognizing the Sense of Smell and How to Protect It
Recognizing the Sense of Smell and How to Protect It

The sense of smell is one of the five senses that humans have. As part of the human sensory system, the sense of smell plays a role in detecting odors or scents. This ability to smell can be impaired if the sense of smell is not maintained properly

Every object, food or gas around us has a unique chemical structure. When chemicals from these objects are inhaled or smelled, special sensory nerve cells in the nose called olfactory cells detect them.

Recognizing the Sense of Smell and How to Protect It - Alodokter

After that, the nerve cells in the nose will transmit odor-stimulating signals to the brain for interpretation. It is through this process that we can smell or smell something.

Irritation of the Sense of Smell

The sense of smell allows us to distinguish various kinds of smells or smells, for example the aroma of coffee, chocolate, perfume, flowers, to spices.

However, our sense of smell can sometimes decrease or even disappear altogether. The following are some types of disorders that can occur in the sense of smell:

  • Hyposmia, which is a decreased ability to detect odors
  • Anosmia, which is a condition when the sense of smell loses its ability to smell completely
  • Parosmia, which is a condition when the sense of smell experiences a change in perception of smells, for example perfume that smells good can turn into something that smells bad
  • Phantosmia, which is when someone smells a certain scent that is not actually there. Usually this is caused by hallucinations

This impaired sense of smell can be caused by various factors, such as aging, frequent smoking, head or nose injuries, hormonal changes, side effects of drugs, to certain diseases, such as colds, allergies, COVID-19, sinusitis, rhinitis, and disorders of the nervous system and brain.

In COVID-19, the symptoms of olfactory disorders that can appear are loss of sense of smell (anosmia) and impaired perception of the sense of smell, such as parosmia and phantosmia.

Various Ways to Maintain the Sense of Smell

If the sense of smell is disturbed, various he alth problems will appear. Starting from difficulty or not being able to enjoy delicious food, to not being able to detect the presence of certain gases or harmful substances.

Therefore, it is important to maintain the he alth of the sense of smell. There are several ways that can be done to maintain a he althy sense of smell, namely:

1. Avoid allergy triggers

When an allergic reaction occurs in the nose, the nasal cavity will become inflamed and swollen. If the nose is too often experiencing allergies, over time the function of the sense of smell will be disturbed.

So, if you have allergies, try to avoid things that can trigger your allergies. When going out of the house or to a dirty place, wear a mask to protect your nose and mouth.

You are also advised to always prepare medicines to treat allergy symptoms that can appear at any time.

2. Cleaning the house regularly

Clean all parts of the house, especially bedrooms and bathrooms, at least once a week with a broom, vacuum cleaner, or clean rag. Also clean the curtains, bed linen, pillowcases, and children's toys regularly.

Don't forget to always wear a mask and gloves, especially if using cleansers that contain chemicals.

If you have pets, bathe them at least once a week with warm water and an animal-specific shampoo. Also clean the cage, feeding area, and drinking place regularly.

3. Maintain air quality

Air quality in the house needs to be maintained so as not to cause he alth problems for you and your family. Dirty air can cause irritation or infection of the nose. If this happens often, this can increase the risk of causing disturbances to the sense of smell.

To maintain indoor air quality, create good air circulation, avoid smoking indoors, or use strong-smelling cleaning fluids.

If necessary, you can use an air purifier to help remove dust and dirt in the air, or a humidifier to prevent the air in the room from becoming too dry.

5. Clean your nose regularly

You often pick your nose to clean it from dirt? From now on, try not to do it again, okay? Frequently picking your nose or picking your nose too hard can cause sores and infections, and can cause nosebleeds.

To avoid this, you can try to clean your nose with sterile saline or saline solution. The method is as follows:

  • Boil 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of s alt without iodine and let it come to room temperature.
  • Put the s alt solution into a cleaned and dried neti pot.
  • Tilt your head and slowly insert the tip of the neti pot into your nose.
  • Lift the neti pot until the saline solution flows from one nostril to the other.
  • Repeat on the other nostril.

Do the ways above to maintain the he alth of your sense of smell. If there are complaints about your nose or disturbances in your sense of smell, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

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