The sense of smell is one of the crucial senses that humans have and need while leading daily life smoothly. One only realizes its importance when it’s lost. The loss of sense of smell is also called Anosmia. The sense of smell makes us feel one with our surroundings. We can feel the aroma of something being cooked in the kitchen, the rotten smell when a garbage van passes nearby, the scent of green grass while sitting in a garden, the cologne or perfume fragrance of our colleagues, an odor of the washroom, etc. The sense of smell also helps us sense dangers, such as the smell of food that’s being left on the gas stove for long to cook or the smell of gas-leak or spoilt food. The sense of smell helps us in enjoying intimacy due to the ability to smell pheromones. The smell also affects appetite. It is often the aroma of cooked food that serves as the first stimulus for salivation and the secretion of digestive juices. The sense of smell is related to the taste, and, if one loses the sense of smell, the sense of taste is also lost, thereby making us unable to enjoy the food. This can affect the person’s quality of life because food serves as the biggest motivator for us all.
What Causes an Individual to Lose His/Her Sense of Smell?
Below are the reasons that may cause a person to lose his sense of smell.
- Age: The sense of smell starts to diminish as the person ages, just like the sense of hearing.
- Nasal allergies, flu, sinusitis, nose block resulting due to nasal congestion, nasal polyps, deviated nasal septum, etc. could cause a temporary loss of smell. The person regains the lost sense of smell once the conditions are corrected.
- Injury to Olfactory Area/Nerve: An injury to the Olfactory nerve or the olfactory area of the brain due to an accident or surgery may cause the person to lose the sense of smell.
- Tumors involving the nose, neck, or the olfactory area in the brain can be another reason.
- Certain chemicals: Exposure to certain insecticides and chemicals could cause a loss of sense of smell.
- Certain illnesses: Ailments, such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Paget’s disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia, stroke, etc. can cause a loss of sense of smell.
- Certain medications: Some medicines, such as antidepressants, heart medications, certain antibiotics, anti-allergic medicines, chemotherapy medicines, etc., could cause a loss of sense of smell.
- Radiation therapy
- Genetic conditions: Genetic conditions such as Kallmann syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Nutritional deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies, such as Zinc deficiency, Korsakoff’s psychosis resulting because of Vitamin B1 deficiency, can cause the loss of sense of smell.
Symptoms of Anosmia:
The person may experience a loss of sense of smell intermittently or persistently.
Besides this, there could be a reduced appetite and weight loss since the sense of taste may also get affected.
The quality of life of the person would be affected, and, in long-standing cases, there could be symptoms of poor self-image, depression, and intimacy issues.
Diagnosis of Anosmia:
The diagnosis is made based on a detailed history given by the patient.
The doctor may examine the ears, nose, and throat with a special instrument to see if there is an inflammation, infection, or growth present there.
He may recommend you certain blood tests, a CT scan, or an MRI.
Complications Arising due to Anosmia
Here are some complications one may experience due to the loss of sense of smell.
- Inability to fully taste the food and end up eating little or excess.
- Increased risk in the event of a fire as you are unable to smell the presence of smoke.
- Inability to smell and sense spoiled food can increase the risk of food poisoning.
- Loss of ability to recall smell-related events and memories
- Mood disorders, for instance, depression
Treatment for Anosmia:
Anosmia is reversible in cases, such as allergies, polyps, sinusitis, use of certain medications, and nutritional deficiencies.
In certain conditions, however, this cannot be reversed.
Does Homeopathy Help in Treating Anosmia?
Homeopathic medicines could help in treating all cases of Anosmia where there is no permanent damage to the olfactory nerve or the olfactory center in the brain. Cases where either the nerve has been damaged or the brain part has been damaged, cases of genetic defects, or Anosmia due to aging, homeopathy too would have its limitations. The medicines are prescribed based on the symptoms narrated by the patient.
5 Best Homeopathic Remedies for Anosmia
Below are the most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines for Anosmia.
- Alumina: Alumina is indicated for treating the diminished sense of smell with fluent coryza, pain in the root of the nose and forehead, soreness and scabs in the nose, thick yellow mucus discharge from the nose, ulceration of nostrils, bleeding from the nose when blowing it, and a cracked tip of your nose.
- Hepar Sulph: When the sense of smell is either increased or diminished and the patient suffers from inflammation, redness, and swelling of the nose, Hepar Sulph may help. When the patient is sensitive to the cold, sneezes every time he goes into the cold, dry wind, and experiences a nose block, this remedy is recommended. When the nasal discharge is thick and offensive, such that it smells like old cheese, and the occurrence of coryza from one nostril with the sensation of roughness in the throat indicates this homeopathic medicine. When the patient experiences a burning pain inside the nose as if from ulceration, this remedy may help.
- Kali Bich: Loss of sense of smell with coryza, much sneezing, copious and watery nasal discharge is watery in the initial stages that, later on, turns thick, ropy, and greenish-yellow indicate Kali Bich. When the mucus is tough, sticks to the nostrils, difficult to remove, leaves a raw surface in the nose, this medicine is indicated. It is also indicated for treating cases of frontal sinusitis with pressure at the root of the nose and a stopped-up sensation in the nose. When the patient feels better by heat and is worse in the morning time, this remedy may help.
- Pulsatilla: This remedy is indicated for treating the cases of long-standing coryza with a loss of sense of smell. When the discharge from the nose is yellow and profuse in the morning time and the patient experiences the blockage of the nose in the evening, this medicine may help. Large green foul-smelling scales, the stoppage of the right nostril, and the pressing pain at the root of the nose indicate Pulsatilla. When the patient experiences a lack of thirst, changeable symptoms, is mild, and breaks into tears very easily, this medicine may help.
- Teucrium: A loss of sense of smell with mucus polyps and a nose block due to nasal polyps indicate Teucrium. Cases of long-standing coryza with atrophy of mucus membrane and large offensive clinkers in the nostrils can find this medicine helpful. It is indicated for cases where the patient has taken a lot of medicine without relief in the symptoms. When the patient complains of the crawling sensation in the nostrils with watering from the eyes and sneezing and hissing in the ears, this remedy is recommended.
Now that you know the causes of the loss of the sense of smell and how effective homeopathy is, you can go for homeopathy by consulting experienced homeopathy if any time you happen to suffer from the loss of sense of smell.