Olfactory training: prevention of anosmia due to COVID-19

After the doctors named anosmia (complete loss of smell) is one of the symptoms of the disease due to COVID-19, memes on this topic have spread on the Internet, like: “woke up – smell the cat”, “put on dirty socks in the office – give joy to people”, “urgently check in the closet, whether he has not exhaled scented since March toilet paper!” etc. It is, of course, good that with the help of humor people are trying maintain their own mental health and support each other, but in such there is some truth in anecdotes.

Hyperosmia – increased sensitivity to smells, characteristic of a small number of people. Some “super sniffers” can be sensitive to pleasant aromas, while others react more to unpleasant ones smells Hyperosmia is a relatively rare disease, so a 2019 study aimed to find out if the brains of hyperosmosis work differently than normal people.

As a result, it was found that in people with hyperosmia is increased brain activity in two key areas responsible for gathering information about smells and study and remembering smells. And despite the fact that the researchers could not find out whether this brain activity was caused by genetics, the experiment once again confirmed the results of the previous 2014 study on the close relationship between smells and people’s memory.

Almost 20 years ago, 230 volunteers took part in testing the depth of smell for the smell of roses and eucalyptus. In the process of studying the “threshold” of the perception of certain aromas, it became clear that the best indicators were in people who tied aromas to a certain moment in life, and in those who exercised in one way or another. Thirst for everything new, deep concentration on certain pleasant moments in life, the desire to visit new places, feel new emotions, the habit of touching everything or pulling everything into the mouth and nose (unfortunately, during the pandemic, this is a rather risky behavior pattern at the moment) – all this helps to raise the same “threshold” of smell perception. But let’s remember at least sommeliers or perfumers – these people simply constantly train their nose to recognize many unique smells.

So, in fact, training with a variety of scents may have helped people with anosmia regain their sense of smell. And for those who have not been sick (and we hope they won’t be) or suffered from mild COVID-19, such exercises will help improve the condition of the bronchi and lungs. Even when you just take a step on a walk in the forest, or blow on a candle at home, or blow up a balloon for a child – this is training. So add regularity to such exercises and a little pleasant aromas.

Olfactory training: prevention of anosmia due to COVID-19
To those who are upset now and offended at his body because of the loss of smell, maybe there will be a little more information is interesting

One of the theories of researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center suggests that olfactory receptors, which, in fact, “are like a direct route to the brain, during the course of COVID-19 in a certain way commit suicide in order not to transmit the virus to the brain.” So anosmia is an adequate reaction of the human body to the virus – something like a way of protection. Nerve connections have the ability to repair and compensate. So thank your own body for the sacrifice, and for the fact that it loves you so much, and the Universe – that you happened, as they say, “with a little blood”.

The article uses the materials of Carl Philpott, Professor of Rhinology and Olfactology, Great Britain. While writing it, we again remembered the words of Kate Voloshyna, which we have already addressed before

you just breathe
instead of unnecessary words
deep and quiet
become the heart of the earth
your choice is peace
without rough waves
flowing with water
unnecessary pain
breathe slowly
don’t catch the wind
look for fun
outside the field of play
trust the power
what rings in you
and just breathe
listen to every moment

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