Smell and Taste Disorders
Causes of Olfactory Disorders
- Chronic nasal sinusitis
- Crooked nasal septum
- Nasal polyps
- Traumatic brain injury
- Common cold
- Chronic exposition to noxious agents such as smoking, solvents, metals or certain medicines
- Neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease
Examination of the Ability to Smell
It is essential for olfactory tests that the patient refrains from smoking, eating or drinking at least 15 minutes before the test is due to start. It is important to know that the sense of taste is actually the sense of smell. Water-soluble aromatic substances reach the olfactory centre of the nose through the mouth. This is where the discrimination of the various tastes takes place.
As a testing method, we use the so called “Sniffin sticks“. They look like normal pens used for flip-charts but are filled with aromatic substances instead of ink. The pen’s lid is removed and the patient can smell natural and artificial flavours. The aromatic substances are hygienically harmless and can be found in food and cosmetics.
An indication for surgery is only present, when the patient suffers from restricted nasal breathing, chronically inflamed nasal mucosa or adenoids. In 50-100% of the cases the sense of smell improves after surgery. However, a normal sense of smell is obtained in less than 40%.
Non-surgical methods include the use of corticosteroids (nasal), alpha-lipoic acid, zinc (-sulfate) and possibly vitamin B.
Complementary medical methods such as homeopathy and bioresonance can also lead to an improvement of the olfactoric function.
If you should suffer from persistent anosmia, we will introduce you to the “modified Dresdner olfactory training“. This form of therapy takes about one year.
Suggestions for Patients with a Smelling Deficiency
Install a smoke and/ or gas alarm in your flat! Optimize your food storage and keep an eye on the date of expiry.
Take personal hygiene seriously and remember to air your flat regularly. Regulate the amount of any sent you should want to apply according to the vote of a trusted, olfactorily healthy friend or partner.
Eat food containing natural or artificial flavours, glutamate, a solid texture and are strongly spiced - these might evoke pleasant associations.
Avoid nicotine, cigarette smoke (also passively), a high consumption of alcohol, snuff or cocaine and, where possible, try to reduce any kind of airial pollution at work.
When handling hazardous substances at work, suitable precautional measures ought to be taken, like the presence of sensors. Statutory provisions can be found at your trade association.
Examination of the Sense of Taste
The gustatory receptors are located on the tongue and are responsible for the perception of the qualities sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (protein). We use specific solutions to test your abilities of taste which is essentially dependent on the functionality of different brain nerves.