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Poor Sense of Smell Not a Big Loss for Most People: Study
Date:4/18/2011

lost sense of smell, and most cases are associated with aging, they added.

Because the disorder often develops gradually, many people may not seek medical help and simply learn to adjust to the impairment, according to background information in a journal news release. However, "approximately 17 percent to 30 percent of patients with olfactory disorders report a decreased quality of life, including symptoms of depression," the researchers reported.

In addition, those with poor olfactory function sometimes demonstrate a low interest in eating and a lack of appetite. The inability to detect harmful odors may also increase their risk of not recognizing hazardous events, such as a gas leak.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more about smell disorders.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 18, 2011


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