When our nose picks up bad odors, we clearly do not enjoy this ability of the body. But, as it turned out, scent or any disturbances in the perception of odors can tell a lot about our health and even warn about the beginning of the development of a serious disease.
Below are four dangerous ailments that the nose can warn us about.
Strange smells may warn of stroke
If you smell things that are not nearby and cannot be, for example, the smell of fish in a perfume store, this could be a sign of a stroke .
Experts from the American Academy of Neurology clarify that phantom odors or hallucinations of smell (phantosmia) are more likely to be unpleasant, but they are still different for each person. Therefore, it is impossible to argue that any particular smell is a harbinger of a stroke.
According to statistics cited in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, about 6.5% of people age 40 and older can smell odors that actually don’t exist.
Scientists note that phanthosmia can also occur after head injuries, upper respiratory infections, brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, people with this symptom are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
Smell disorder is a harbinger of migraine
And although an aura is more characteristic of the onset of a migraine attack , some patients with this ailment also have olfactory hallucinations.
Such data are provided by a study conducted by the Medical Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Headache in New York. Experts clarify that in the case of migraines, phantom odors are unpleasant, such as the smell of burnt or stale food.
Decreased sense of smell may indicate premature death
If you feel that you have been unable to distinguish between smells for some time or your sense of smell has deteriorated, this may warn you of a high risk of premature death.
American scientists from the University of Chicago have shown that long-term olfactory dysfunction indicates a high risk of death in the next 5 years. The study involved more than 3,000 volunteers aged 57-85 years. As it turned out, people with impaired sense of smell had a 3.37 times higher risk of premature death than volunteers without problems with scent.
Note that the study also took into account other factors of high risk of death, such as: bad eating habits, chronic diseases, smoking, alcohol abuse, etc.
Poor sense of smell may signal Alzheimer’s disease
Loss or impairment of the ability to distinguish between odors is often seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease . This is what Harvard Medical School experts say.
This form of dementia is characterized by the loss of neurons and synaptic connections in the cerebral cortex and other structures. It is the death of brain cells, among which are often those that are important for the sense of smell, that causes impairments in the ability to distinguish between smells.