Anosmia or the absence of the sense of smell became popular recently due to its inclusion on the list of symptoms for COVID19. But anosmia isn’t only limited to COVID19. There are other diseases that can cause you to lose your sense of smell. Here are some of them:
Sinuses are the little holes and spaces in your skull that contain pockets of air. They help lighten the weight of the skull and also act as ducts or drainage for mucus. When sinuses get clogged, bacteria may proliferate and cause an infection. The resulting sinusitis will cause fever and a feeling of heaviness in the head.
A loss of smell happens due to the pressure exerted by the enlarged sinuses near the nose, affecting your ability to breathe in and discern differences in scent. So the next time you think you have COVID because you can’t taste your guac toast, it’s probably just sinusitis.
Brain aneurysms are more fatal than COVID and a loss of smell may be indicative that one already has a brain aneurysm. Enlarged blood vessels near the brain may press on nerves that are responsible for detecting smell. These blood vessels can rupture and can cause increased intracranial pressure that may lead to a loss of consciousness and even death.
The good news is your risk for aneurysm decreases significantly if: a) you don’t smoke; b) maintaining a healthy blood pressure, c) limiting caffeine intake; and d) exercising. Currently, there is no guaranteed way to predict or completely prevent aneurysms, so we all have to make changes to our lifestyles.
A study published in 2009 studies the specific relationship between anosmia and schizophrenia, and posits that the lack of sense of smell can be a warning sign or can indicate the early onset of the neurological disease.
One of the most powerful memory triggers is smell, and a schizophrenic patient will have trouble remembering things. The part of the brain affected relative to the occurrence of schizophrenia is also responsible for helping us distinguish scents. Anosmia can also be linked to other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
There have been reports of COVID causing people to be forgetful so the distinction between COVID19 and early onset of schizophrenia becomes smaller, if basing on anosmia alone.
Paget’s disease makes bones brittle and causes bone formation to be irregular. This means individuals affected by Paget’s disease can experience a fracture, only to find the healed bone to be misaligned, or worse, deformed.
How does this affect loss of smell? In the same way sinusitis does. In rare cases, Paget’s disease will involve facial bones that grow in abnormal shapes. If these bones press on nerves in the brain or face, the loss of smell goes away. Nerve blockage is common in Paget’s disease and most complaints are due to pinched spinal nerves.
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