When you have sinusitis, allergies, or rhinitis, you may lose your sense of smell. When you lose your sense of smell, your sense of taste is also greatly diminished—and, even worse, coffee loses all flavor.
Losing your sense of smell – and taste
Smell is one of the oldest senses, and probably evolved as a safety mechanism so that we could determine if food was safe to consume. Everything that we can smell emits an odorant, or a collection of volatile molecules.
How your sense of smell works
Near the back of your nasal passage is the olfactory epithelium. The odorants contact, and bind to, the specialized receptor cells of this epithelium. This causes a chemical reaction in the part of your brain that perceives smell, the olfactory bulb. Thus, you sense smells through a complex molecular interaction between the world, your nose, and your brain. With just the hundred or so neurons that interface with the epithelium, we can detect thousands and thousands of smells.
When you have a stuffy nose or a bout of sinusitis, the odorants can’t make it to the epithelium, and the part of your brain that deals with smell isn’t activated. This can have serious repercussions, especially if you happen to forget deodorant that day. Sinusitis, then, can seriously impact your health, your coffee selection, and your social life.
Kidding aside, if you are struggling with sinusitis, allergies, rhinitis, or a plain old stuffy nose, contact us today. We can help.
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