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Anosmia is a condition when the sense of smell is not functioning. This condition can be caused by various things, one of which is COVID-19. Most cases of anosmia are temporary, but in some cases it can be a sign of a serious he alth problem
One of the obvious signs of anosmia is a loss of smell. Normally, when you smell an odor, the olfactory nerve cells receive and send signals to the brain. Next, the brain will identify and recognize the smell.
However, in anosmia sufferers, the sense of smell cannot function properly so that the patient's ability to smell odors decreases (hyposmia) or disappears altogether (anosmia).
As a result, sufferers also cannot fully taste the food and lose their appetite. In addition, anosmia can also trigger depression, because sufferers cannot feel happy feelings like people in general when eating delicious food.
Different Causes of Anosmia
The most common causes of anosmia are nasal congestion due to colds, allergies, sinusitis, or irritation due to poor air quality. In this case, anosmia is usually temporary and can resolve without treatment.
In addition, anosmia can also occur due to something blocking the entry of air into the nose, such as nasal polyps, tumors, or bone abnormalities in the nose.
Anosmia can also occur due to disturbances in the brain or olfactory nerves. In this case, the receptors in the nose that function to receive and send odor signals to the brain are not working properly or are not able to process information properly.
There are many conditions that can also cause this disorder, including:
- Aging process
- Injury to nose and brain
- Certain medications, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, or heart disease medications
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as pesticides
- Radiotherapy for head or neck cancer
- Cocaine abuse
- Certain medical conditions or diseases, such as brain tumors, COVID-19, diabetes, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal disorders
In a minority of cases, anosmia can also be caused by genetic or hereditary conditions that make a person born without a sense of smell. This condition is also known as congenital anosmia.
How to Overcome Anosmia
Overcoming anosmia can be done based on the cause. If anosmia appears due to nasal congestion or nasal irritation, the doctor will prescribe medication in the form of:
- Nasal spray containing corticosteroids
In addition to the above medicines, antibiotics will also be given if there is a bacterial infection. Anosmia caused by a viral infection usually goes away on its own. However, for certain cases that tend to be severe, antivirus is also required.
In addition, the doctor will also recommend reducing exposure to substances that can trigger allergies or nasal irritation, such as dust or cigarette smoke.
In more serious cases, such as nasal polyps, the doctor will suggest surgical removal of the polyps. This action is expected to restore the function of the sense of smell of anosmia sufferers.
To date, no treatment has been found for anosmia that occurs due to aging or congenital anosmia. If anosmia has affected your appetite and mental he alth, your doctor may recommend psychotherapy support or nutritional counseling.
Although it sounds mild, anosmia is a condition that cannot be underestimated. In fact, anosmia can seriously affect the sufferer's quality of life, even leading to depression or malnutrition.
Not infrequently, people with anosmia actually consume more s alt or sugar to improve the taste of the food they eat. This will also increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
If you experience symptoms of anosmia or anosmia that doesn't go away until it causes you to have no appetite, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment and solution.