You may have heard of smell training - ever since COVID a huge number of people have been impacted by an altered, reduced or lost sense of smell. Smell training is a way of retraining your sense of smell. But can you really train your sense of smell? Do smell training kits work? Does smell training help with parosmia? Let’s have a look into these questions and more…
- What Causes Smell Disorders?
- Types of Smell Disorder
- Can You Train Your Sense of Smell?
- How Does Smell Training Work?
- How to do Smell Training
- Smell Training Resources
- Can You Buy Smell Training Kits in the UK?
Smell is a powerful sense which can be taken for granted, but imagine not being able to smell the scent of freshly baked bread, the aroma of coffee, your child or loved one, or the fragrance of a flower. This is the reality for millions of people around the world who suffer from smell disorders such as anosmia, hyposmia, parosmia, and phantosmia.
The impact of smell disorders can be distressing, as the sense of smell is closely linked to our ability to taste and also affects our quality of life. Smell disorders can significantly impact a person's ability to taste food and detect danger, such as gas leaks or smoke from a fire.
What Causes Smell Disorders?
A variety of different factors can cause smell disorders:
Viral infections, COVID being the one we’ve all heard of
Some medical conditions
Exposure to certain chemicals.
Types of Smell Disorder
Anosmia is the complete loss of smell, which can be caused by a variety of factors including viral infections, head injuries, and exposure to certain chemicals.
Parosmia, which is also known as distorted sense of smell, is a condition where a person's sense of smell is altered, leading to an unpleasant perception of smells that were once considered pleasant. This can occur after a viral infection or head injury, or even as a side effect of certain medications.
Phantosmia is a condition where a person smells things that are not actually present. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including head injuries, neurological conditions, and even mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Hyposmia is a condition where a person experiences a decreased sense of smell. It is a common condition which affects a significant number of people, especially as they get older. The condition can make it difficult to detect odours, and in severe cases, can lead to a complete loss of the sense of smell. Hyposmia can be caused by a variety of factors, including viral infections such as COVID, head injuries, and certain medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Can You Train Your Sense of Smell?
Absolutely! As many perfumers will tell you! It’s definitely worth trying.
Studies have shown that smell training can be effective in improving the sense of smell in people with smell disorders. In a study published in the journal Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology, researchers found that smell training was effective in improving the sense of smell in people with post-infectious olfactory dysfunction, a condition that can occur after a viral infection.
How Does Smell Training Work?
One way to help improve your sense of smell is through smell training. Smell training is based on the research of Professor Thomas Hummel from the University of Dresden and consists of intensive smelling of four different smells twice a day. Different essential oils such as Lemon, Rose, Clove, and Eucalyptus are the four smells used in many published research studies.
These combine the four fragrance types suggested by the charity Fifth Sense: fruity, flowery, spicy and resinous.
Lemon, Rose, Clove, and Eucalyptus essential oils are all in our best selling Smell Training Kit
How to do Smell Training
Smell four different scents for about 10 seconds each at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and evening.
As mentioned above, essential oils work very well, but you can also choose any (safe) fragrances you know and enjoy such as freshly ground coffee, flowers, spices etc.
For a full, in depth explanation of how to do smell training at home, read our Smell Training Guide
Smell Training Resources
Can You Buy Smell Training Kits in the UK?
If you want to try essential oils for smell training look no further! Try our Smell Training Kit, lovingly manufactured in the UK.
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