People With Anosmia Attach Less Importance to Olfaction

Those with olfactory disorders consider smell less important than those with normal sense of smell

WEDNESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The importance of smell in the daily life of people with olfactory disorders appears to be less than those with a normal sense of smell, suggesting healthy adaptation to reduced olfactory function, according to research published in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Ilona Croy, M.D., of the University of Dresden Medical School in Germany, and colleagues evaluated 235 anosmic or hyposmic subjects and 235 normosmic controls to compare the importance of olfaction in day-to-day life between people with olfactory disorders and normosmic individuals.

The researchers found Individual Importance of Olfaction Questionnaire scores significantly lower in those with olfactory disorders than in the normosmic individuals; those with anosmia had lower scores than those with hyposmia. The authors note that the scores were suggestive of adjustment processes by individuals with olfactory disorders in the day-to-day use of their sense of smell.

"Patients attach less importance to their current sense of smell in daily life than do normosmic individuals. This adjustment might be an example of regaining psychological health despite acquired and long-lasting impairments," the authors write.

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