What Is Smell Disorder?

By | 16 February 2021

What Is Smell Disorder?

Toasted bread… Soil after the rain… Freshly ground coffee… Freshly out of the oven… What if we hadn’t heard their smell, could we still perceive them the same way? Could they make us feel the same? Sometimes, when our memories come alive with just what we hear, what would happen if we could not smell?

Although the sense of smell is not considered much in daily life, its lack can have important consequences. Problems related to smell can be seen as a result of the inability of scent molecules to reach the olfactory region in the nose, or the inability to reach the olfactory center in the brain, or to provide the necessary transformation even if they reach there.

There are two types of disorder
Conduction-type odor disorder develops due to the inability of odor molecules to reach the area called the olfactory epithelium in the nose. This picture is seen in conditions such as flu, acute sinusitis, nasal bone curvature, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps. In neural-type odor disorder, although the scent molecules reach the olfactory region, there is a problem in their transmission to the brain and it is mostly seen with neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis.

The patient who comes with the complaint of not being able to smell should first have a complete ENT examination. With this clinical evaluation, after investigating the presence of an accompanying upper respiratory tract infection, when the problem started, whether it was experienced for the first time, history of trauma, and drug use, the method of diagnosis is followed.

Smell disorder test for definitive diagnosis
After the ENT and head and neck examination, the patient has been given odor tests, which have been increasingly used in recent years, so that the odor disorder can be fully revealed, treatment and follow-up are much easier. Smell disorder is also examined in a laboratory environment just like a hearing and vision examination, the treatment is arranged accordingly, which is the best option.

With the tests we carry out in the in Laboratory in our clinic, we determine the sense of smell as a descriptive test, distinctive test, and threshold values ​​and reveal the situation in the patient. In the Smell Laboratory, we determine results such as Anosmia (no smell), Hyposmia (decrease in smell), Parosmia (detection of different smells) with these tests and plan the treatment of the patient accordingly. Again, during the follow-ups, we can do the same tests and see how we progressed concretely and objectively.

Odor disorder is too important to be neglected and it is a harbinger of many diseases. The Smell Laboratory in Bayındır İçerenköy Hospital, the first Odor Laboratory in the Anatolian side of Istanbul, and the diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of odor disorders can be done here.

The sense of smell is restored
After the necessary determinations are made in the patients, the treatment stage is reached. A conductive loss present in the patient; In other words, if there is a situation such as nasal bone curvature, nasal enlargement, chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, a surgical procedure is planned. If there is no problem in the nasal endoscopic examination, it may be necessary to have a brain MRI or CT scan to rule out central (cerebral) diseases when necessary. If no cerebral disease is detected, “Smell Therapy”, which lasts for about two months, is started and the patient is re-evaluated at regular intervals. During Scent Therapy, certain scents are taught to the patient at certain intervals to regain their sense of smell.

Smell test in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Since the sense of smell is one of the first senses to disappear in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients, scent tests have been used in the early diagnosis of these diseases in recent years. Since odor tests allow early diagnosis of such diseases, it is also of great importance in terms of starting treatment immediately.