Depression due To COVID 19 and anosmia is a growing program in the wine trade. Most of us take a well-functioning sense of smell for granted until it’s lost. Unfortunately, many studies and research papers have reported a decreased quality of life with temporary and permanent anosmia (the loss of smell).
The first direct impact of anosmia is that people lose interest in food and eating. This can lead to decreased appetite. This reduced appetite will lead to malnutrition and possibly weight loss. In addition, anosmia can lead to further complications such as:
- Ability to smell spoiled food: it can lead to food poisoning.
- The increased danger in case of a fire if you can not smell smoke
- Losing the ability to recall memories related to smell.
- Loss of libido due to the inability to register pheromones.
- Inability to detect chemicals and other dangerous substances
Research conducted by The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey tried to explain the effects of loss of smell. They used questionnaires to evaluate the impact of anosmia in individuals. It was observed that loss of smell was associated with an increased risk for depressed mood and suicidal ideation. Older age patients were particularly susceptible. Various pollutants, including air pollution and dust, cause an increase in nasal diseases. This increase in nasal infections leads to a growing number of people developing loss of smell. In addition, loss of smell can cause reduced immunity and loss of olfactory defense mechanism for survival. A study showed mortality rates increased by 275% in Anosmia patients.
Patients with congenital anosmia also show a greater tendency for depression disorders. Suicidal ideation among sufferers is also critically high. Loss of smell causes profound psychological issues such as:
- Feeling of loneliness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory problems
- Decreased self-esteem
Larry Banton, 54 years old, temporarily lost his sense of smell due to chemotherapy. In addition, anosmia significantly changed his sense of taste and his ability to enjoy eating.
“When I’d eat food, I tried to remember what it was supposed to taste like, but it was a total illusion,” he said. “Eating became something I had to do because I just needed to, not because I was enjoying it.”
It is important to note that olfactory systems are involved in the regulation of sensory functions, emotions, and memory formation. Research has proved that olfaction, or sense of smell, is impaired in animals suffering from stress. Scientists now believe that dysfunction in the olfactory system directly forms the neurobiological basis of depression. Research papers like these can open new doors for the invention of new nasal therapies for the treatment of depression.