Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Phantosmia and Parosmia

I decided to do my blog post on the two smell disorders that I did on my group's smell poster.

Phantosmia is a smell disorder that consists of "olfactory hallucinations" that originate inside of the brain with no trigger. Parosmia is a disorder that consists of having a distorted sense of smell. These two disorders go hand-in-hand because they can be signs of a brain injury. Phantosmia and Parosmia are warning signs for a stroke, seizure, or a tumor. Most cases have been brought on by serious infections that damage the lining of the nose.

An example of Phantosmia is a case about a woman that smelled dirt for a year. It didn't matter what else she smelled, she couldn't get rid of the hallucination of dirt. It wasn't until her husband burned chili one night that the aroma of dirt changed into the aroma of burnt chili and that no matter what else she smelled, she smelled chili.

An example of Parosmia is when someone gives you a sweet smelling flower and instead you smell rotten fish.

Treatment for these disorders is surgery. It's easier to restore the sense of smell if it is only occurring in one nostril and can be fixed with a minimal invasive surgery. However, if the sense of smell is distorted in both nostrils, it makes the surgery more problematic. There are studies being done for different treatments of these disorders besides surgery. Intranasal zinc solutions are being tested on its effectiveness in treating Parosmia but, there is no definite conclusion to the study.

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