03Sensory DysfunctionSafety and social implications

Safety implications

The loss of smell and flavor is more than an inconvenience. It can raise safety concerns for many people.

of patients experience hazardous events due to smell loss1

It can be difficult to smell gas, smoke, or dangerous volatile chemicals2

Food poisoning can occur when the ability to smell is diminished2

Alongside the safety concerns, the loss of smell and flavor may also have a social impact.

Quality of life for patients with smell loss is reduced compared to matched controls1

The sense of smell is strongly linked to memory (the Proust phenomenon)2

Social interactions centered around food may become less appealing2

Decreased desire for intimacy may occur due to their inability to detect social odors2

References: 1. Pence TS, Reiter ER, DiNardo LJ, Costanzo RM. Risk factors for hazardous events in olfactory-impaired patients. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(10):951-955. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.16759 2. Keller A, Malaspina D. Hidden consequences of olfactory dysfunction: a patient report series. BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord. 2013;13(1):8. Published 2013 Jul 23. doi:10.1186/1472-6815-13-8