Friday, November 03, 2006

Congenital anosmics

So I found a nice anosmic forum where I put a few posts and introduced myself. I soon found out that most of the folks on there are "congenital" anosmics. That is, they have been without the ability to smell anything since birth.

When I mentioned in one of my posts that I cannot taste anything, I was "corrected" in that I can indeed "taste". I just do not get any "flavor". I mentioned how, yes, I can in fact taste and that I understand that the taste buds only taste sweet, salty, sour etc. But whether you call it flavor or taste, all food is the same, tasteless/flavorless. A pizza has the same taste as oatmeal, that is NONE!

A few people replied (all who were congenitally anosmic it seems) that they all can in fact taste things. One gentleman suggested I try rolling food around my mouth, over and under my tonge etc so that my taste buds can get the true taste of the food.

The image of this to me is, well, not pretty.

Look, as any anosmic knows, the taste we get from food comes from the aromas that are dispersed through chewing. This is obvious. But it seems to me, and not wanting to be disrespectful to anyone who's had this miserable condition all their life, that if you were NEVER able to smell, you don't know what true taste is.

I would challenge anyone who is congenitally anosmic to take 3 sticks of chewing gum: 1 flavored spearmint, one peppermint and one wintergreen and tell me which are which. I don't think it would happen.

For someone who once knew what a glass of grapefruit juice tastes like, I find it hard to believe that someone who has never smelled, actually knows what it really tastes like.

32 comments:

Noah said...

Hi. I am not a congenital anosmic, I got it after a sinus infection 9 years ago. I agree with you completely. Those who have never had a sense of "flavor" as they call it truly do not know what they're missing. They can't comprehend that they have a much more developed sense of taste, whereas ours seems to have completely gone away. There are over 10,000 "flavors" but no more than 6 "tastes" in the world. We just went from that high number to 6. It's basically nothing now.

It's frustrating that even though people have this same disorder, everyone has a different experience with it. Many of the people you are talking to on these forums have coped with it one way or another. And in fact, many congenital anosmics I have talked to do not think that they would be better with a sense of smell. I, however, think that I was better with a sense of smell.

I have found that even though I can't taste anything, that I can't tell when coffee is being made, or that I can't really taste the Christmas ham, I do still enjoy food. I like the texture of food more than anything else. I started putting chips in my sandwiches and stuff like that. I don't "roll food around in my mouth" though, that's just rude.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I know what you mean, and I understand you. We non-congenital anosmiacs are pretty rare, and most do not have their own forums. Take care, and happy new year

Sara said...

I am a congenital anosmic, and I'd say you're right that we don't know how something tastes to everyone else. But you're wrong about the gum, I taste things differently than others, but I can tell the difference between different gum flavors, just as I can tell the difference between pepsi and coke. I cannot, however tell the difference between turkey and chicken.

To reply to noah's comment, I'm not sure what congenital anosmiacs wouldn't want a sense of smell. That'd be like a deaf person saying they really don't mind missing all the sounds they'll never experience. Either those people are pretending it doesn't bother them so they don't have to feel dissapointed everytime some says something like "Dinner smells so good," etc., or they just haven't thought about what they're missing. People say stuff like "you're lucky you can't smell that" whenever something smells bad, but I'd love to smell anything whether it's nice or gross like a skunk or fart.

Ambassador 7 said...

thank you, everyone. I have noticed for several months that I have almost lost my sense of taste and smell. I have had some kind of cold/flu/cough three times in three months, which is unusual. Otherwise, can't imagine what it would be. Wasn't so concerned, just curious, but now I realize there could be some more serious underlying cause. And there are some wierd ramifications you've probably realized too... I can't tell if I need a shower or if my clothes need washing (well, of course, after a couple of days one would presume!) And I can't tell when something spoiling in my fridge or my garbage! I've started writing the opened-date on meat, fish, etc. because I can't tell when they begin to get "blinky" as a friend used to say! God forbid I should serve something to friends and not know that it's gone 'round the bend! Thanks for sharing, I've learned a lot. I'm going to follow up with eliminating wheat/soy from my diet, for starters, and time to call in the docs.

Angela said...

I am glad to have come across a forum where I am not the only person I know who has had no sense of smell since birth. I am 50 years old and for years have felt like an oddity. It gets tiresome explaining that I have never been able to smell and bracing myself for the next question, "Can you taste anything?" Yes I can taste.
I "smell" things differently than other people. Alot of things I can get a "smell" of by inhaling the aroma through my mouth. (Anyone who has a sense of smell can close your gapping mouth now)
I hear a lot of comments about dealing with congenital anosmia that I have experienced myself with family and friends. Try describing color to a blind person, music to a deaf person.
I'm glad to find out what this condition is called so I can research treatments, cures, etc., and know what I'm talking about when I seek the help of a specialist. To anyone who thinks congenital anosmics do not care if they can not smell, I am here to tell you I would love to smell fresh mown grass, rain, perfume, scented candles, a baby, the ocean, cinnamon, lemon, vanilla, etc., and I would love to not depend on family and friends to tell me if I smell okay or if I am around dangerous fumes, etc. Would my life be better if I could smell? I say yes, yes, yes.

Sandi said...

I am a congenital anosmic, and i do not mean to offend you at all, but i do understand their point of view.
people who have only been able to actually taste use the combination of 6 tastes to the best of our ability, but with that combination there are a ton of specific taste signatures for different things.

since you are a sudden onset anosmic, likely you will never feel that you can taste again, simply because the sensory is way different for tasting than smelling.

MARISA said...

Hi. I have a 6 year old daughter who says she can't smell anything. Her doctor says not to worry about it because she claims she can taste. After reading about congenital anosmia, I wonder if I should be concerned. Can I get some ideas on what I should do to test this condition at home before insisting on testing with the doctor??

Christopher Bernau said...

@Marisa

Some random tests could be as simple as putting perfume on an object and have a control and see if the daughter can tell the difference. My parents used vinegar and water for me. Don't use Amonia as that's suppose to trigger from some special receptors...though I couldn't detect that anyway. And don't put stuff on too strongly or she might detect the difference just by irritation. For example I can't smell smoke, but if a campfire is billowing in my face I can easily tell (has to be thick though, I've been in a room filled with smoke and didn't notice until my eyes started burning.) If she can't detect the differences then it may be worth getting her checked in detail.

However, I went through cat scans, MRI, and all sorts of other tests and in the end all the doctors told me is that everything is there, but it just doesn't work.

A little more about me. I'm a Congenital Anosmic and I will claim that I can taste. Definitely not the same as you or Mike or anyone with a sense of smell. For instance, I can't tell the difference between flavors of star burst or skittles, but I can tell the difference between pizza and oatmeal. I hate cranberries and grapefruit, and love my rare steaks. I love food, and enjoy traveling the world eating exotic food from spicy Indonesian to good old fashioned Southern fun of hushpuppies and slaw. I do wonder how these would taste if I had a sense of smell, but I still enjoy them.

I don't know if people like Mike who have lost the sense of smell later in life can ever enjoy food. If it is something that I've developed in response to being born without, or if it's the knowledge of what was and never again will be. Depressing. I know that the blind community doesn't really view themselves as being handicap, but if I lost my eyesight now I would have a hard time. My sympathies to you Mike and hope that you've regained your sense of smell by now.

Elizabeth Drummond said...

My name is Liz. I have just turned 20. I have been able to smell my whole life up until about 1 year ago. I cannot smell anything. I work at a pre-school and I change nappies - I literally can't smell poo. I cannot taste flavours in food. I have a permanent chemical taste in my mouth - it often tastes like nail polish remover. I also smell smoke when there isn't smoke around. Sometimes I taste banana. I can be eating chicken and it tastes like banana. I have seen 3 different doctors and they have all given me nazal spray - it isn't working and I feel it must be nerve damage. I have had a brain scan and there is no sinus blockage or anything. I have hayfever and often snort my nose a lot (disgusting, i know) because it gets itchy. I had a terrible cold last year when i first started working at the preschool, and think it may have happened after that. I feel like maybe I have blown my nose too hard too many times. I'm not sure. I often get nosebleeds - but i never used to. I am finding I am becoming really depressed and find it really upsetting that I can't smell or taste anything anymore. I have heard that when you get older your sense of smell and taste can be lost - however I am only young and my loss of smell was quite sudden. I am quite an emotional person and being able to smell little things like my mums scent, her cooking, cut grass, fresh air (instead of constantly smelling smoke), my boyfriends scent is important to me - I miss it. I just feel as though it isn't coming back. All the doctors say it must be sinus problems - I am really annoyed because I know it isn't that. Especially after I had a brain scan. I am wasting my money. Is there any cure for nerve damage? Any operations, or any treatment? Acupuncture? Vitamins? I don't think I can get used to this - it is really upsetting me. Please help.

Elizabeth Drummond said...

My name is Liz. I have just turned 20. I have been able to smell my whole life up until about 1 year ago. I cannot smell anything. I work at a pre-school and I change nappies - I literally can't smell poo. I cannot taste flavours in food. I have a permanent chemical taste in my mouth - it often tastes like nail polish remover. I also smell smoke when there isn't smoke around. Sometimes I taste banana. I can be eating chicken and it tastes like banana. I have seen 3 different doctors and they have all given me nazal spray - it isn't working and I feel it must be nerve damage. I have had a brain scan and there is no sinus blockage or anything. I have hayfever and often snort my nose a lot (disgusting, i know) because it gets itchy. I had a terrible cold last year when i first started working at the preschool, and think it may have happened after that. I feel like maybe I have blown my nose too hard too many times. I'm not sure. I often get nosebleeds - but i never used to. I am finding I am becoming really depressed and find it really upsetting that I can't smell or taste anything anymore. I have heard that when you get older your sense of smell and taste can be lost - however I am only young and my loss of smell was quite sudden. I am quite an emotional person and being able to smell little things like my mums scent, her cooking, cut grass, fresh air (instead of constantly smelling smoke), my boyfriends scent is important to me - I miss it. I just feel as though it isn't coming back. All the doctors say it must be sinus problems - I am really annoyed because I know it isn't that. Especially after I had a brain scan. I am wasting my money. Is there any cure for nerve damage? Any operations, or any treatment? Acupuncture? Vitamins? I don't think I can get used to this - it is really upsetting me. Please help.

Mike said...

Liz,
I am so sorry to hear that you've developed anosmia. There are a few reasons why this could have happened. In my case, it is (still) a matter of inflammation SOMEWHERE in my sinuses. Then there are people who are born with it (congenital) and another cause would be if a virus caused it. For the sake of brevity, I'll refrain from getting into details on the virus issue but a cold virus can cause it. I'm not a doctor but my understanding is that in some cases, a cold virus can attach to your olfactory nerve and kill it.

Also, as in my case, nasal polyps can block your sinuses. Lastly would be trauma to the head.

You said you had a "brain" scan. Do you mean a CT Scan? Was it of your sinuses? If not, you need one to see if there are nasal polyps that are blocking your sinuses. You also mentioned that you have used nasal sprays. Depending on what kind, these may or may not help.

I would urge you to consult with an ENT doctor who can look at all of this (not sure if your doctor you saw was a general practitioner or an ENT).

Trust me when I say that I suffered severe depression when this first happened to me. I'm not sure if it's been good or bad but I've had brief episodes where I can smell but they don't last. I appreciate it at the time and say I'm happy for whatever I can get but when it goes away again, I usually get bummed out and say I'd rather not have it come back at all if it's going to leave again.

Please research on Anosmia, see an ENT and then another and another if needed until you are comfortable with the doctor if not the prognosis.

Lastly, there are some online supports for this condition. I don't frequent it but am a member of the yahoo group for anosmics.
You can join it at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/anosmia

Good luck and I hope for the best for you

memphiscalicook said...

Hi. I am a 26 year old female who has never been able to smell. I was born as a congenital anosmic and did not get it confirmed until I was 17. I had always agreed with everyone growing up when they said something smelled good or bad, mainly because I had thought I was stupid or something and did not want to reveal I didn't know "how" to smell.
I have researched, hoping to find a cure or some kind of hope somewhere out there. I have seen everything from some outrageous brain/nerve surgery to even an electronic nose.
I have had several close calls including being seconds away from cooking on a stove in a kitchen filled with gas, and driving with my car on fire under the hood. I have had food poisoning a few times and been in a few fires, luckily family always warned me.
I have also heard rumors that congenital ansomia is related to sterility? I hope this is not true. I had an early puberty (at 11) and one of the symptoms for Kallmann's Syndrome is late puberty and congenital Anosmia. I do not have regular cycles (possibly 3-4 a year.)Has anyone on here with congenital anosmia had kids? I am praying it wasn't as difficult as I am reading many have had.
God Bless Yall.

Ruth said...

I am so glad to read your comments Angela, esp. that you can 'smell' by inhaling through your mouth. I can do that to but I had never heard of anyone else doing it. I have been 'nose blind' since birth, but lately (after 50 years) I have been able to smell boiling vinegar and Indian spices when stir-frying.

Ruth said...

I am so glad to read your comments Angela, esp. that you can 'smell' by inhaling through your mouth. I can do that to but I had never heard of anyone else doing it. I have been 'nose blind' since birth, but lately (after 50 years) I have been able to smell boiling vinegar and Indian spices when stir-frying.

Watcher said...

@ memphiscalicook

Hi. Congenital anosmia does not, in any way, mean that you will be infertile. Of course there are some conditions that cause both, congenital anosmia can be caused by all sorts of things. I have congenital anosmia and two biological offspring that are very close in age. My wife became pregnant 4 months after giving birth to the first. During that time, new baby and all, we only had sex three times. And doctors had told her previously, before we met, that it would be very difficult for her to ever be able to have a child. We had NOOO problem.

Suzanne0886 said...

Im also a congenital anosmic, but i can easily tell the difference between pizza and oatmeal, and pretty much everyother food. There are things i cant taste like cilantro which just taste like grass to me, so i know my sense of taste isnt perfect. But it really surprises me that other congenital anosmics cant taste. and the sticks of gum of gum thing is false for me, i chew wintermint gum like theres no tomorrow, and if someone gives me a piece of spearmint i dont like if very much because to me it taste completly different.ll the difference between pizza and oatmeal, and pretty much everyother food. There are things i cant taste like cilantro which just taste like grass to me, so i know my sense of taste isnt perfect. But it really surprises me that other congenital anosmics cant taste. and the sticks of gum of gum thing is false for me, i chew wintermint gum like theres no tomorrow, and if someone gives me a piece of spearmint i dont like if very much because to me it taste completly different.

H.W. said...

Hi I'm Haley. I am a congenital anosmic as well. When I was young, I used to think I was a completely normal person (besides the obvious inability to smell things). My condition never bothered me. When I got into middle school though, I became aware of how anosmia really affected my life. I realized that I couldn't check to see if I smelled bad, which was an awful thing to not have in a social world filled with catty mean girls. I could try my hardest to make sure I smelled pleasing, but if it wasn't enough, I would get made fun of. This damaged my self-esteem so much that I became afraid to go to school. I always had a large bag of breath mints and perfume with me everywhere too.
I also learned that I could taste, but not even close to the way other people could. This saddened me because when I was younger, I truly thought that I could taste the same way as everyone else. I believed that I had a passion for good food, and suddenly it dawned on me that an anosmic such as myself never fully could, because of the lack of flavors and tastes. I can still taste the difference between many flavors, but a few things like different types of meats, and spearmints and wintergreens; I cannot.

The combination of all these things and many more setbacks of my life because of my anosmia made me cry myself to sleep every single night. I longed for a moment where I could wake up and suddenly be able to smell things...even if it was something disguisting. I was afraid too. Afraid that my house would be in flames, or filled with deadly chemicals, and I would not be able to smell them. My "little condition" as I used to refer to it, could easily become a matter of life and death. Point is, I wanted nothing more than to smell, and I wished and prayed every day for a miracle to occur.

Finally, I've learned to accept anosmia for what it is. I knew that no cure was existent, and that I would have it for the rest of my life, so I had to just suck it up and deal with it. Sure, I still have insecurities about my scent, (that just means working harder than most on hygiene) and I still get frustrated about not being able to smell wonderful things, as well as properly taste. But I realized that as long as I have good people in my life who love me just the way I am and are there for me during this journey, and take caution to the things I do regarding smells, I'll be alright.

Also, I would just like to thank you for having this blog. If it weren't for blogs and websites like this, I might still be depressed and afraid of my congenital anosmia. To know that there are more people like me out there gives me hope and a sense of belonging with you guys. Thanks <3 :)

Watcher said...

Hello, all. I stumbled back around to this blog and had another thought on the matter of taste ability differences between recent and congenital anosmiacs.

I frequently read science based websites such as sciencedaily and whatnot. And something somewhat related I believe may be at play here.

We all know that certain portions of our brains are devoted for certain things. Whether this is controlling certain portions of the body or processing sensory input.

Scientists have determined that if very young children lose, say their sight, the portion of the brain normally dedicated to processing the sensory input of their eyes just doesn't sit there and do nothing.

On the contrary the brain realigns that portion of gray matter for some other function. In that case for hearing and the sense of touch.

Wouldn't it stand to reason then that if a person is born without a sense of smell then that portion of the brain would be realigned to other senses such as taste?

In that case a congenital anosmiac would be able to discern FAR more from the sense of taste than a 45 year old that lost their smell 3 years previous.

The idea of oatmeal and pizza tasting the same is ridiculous to me. And I've never smelled either.

My wife, who is a professionally trained chef, frequently has me taste her cooking while she is making something to get my opinion on if it is missing something.

Would she do this if I repeatedly told her nonsensical suggestions?

Obviously not. Now spices I don't get. I could eat a spoon full of garlic and nada. I just can't get it.

Indian food usually tastes bland to me because it has a bland taste. Oh, it's very aromatic for you people that can appreciate it, but that's not the taste.

But to say that all food is bland or uninteresting or for cryin' out loud that pizza tastes like oatmeal!?!?!

Does pizza really taste as bland to you as oatmeal does?

If so you truly have the sympathies of this congenital anosmiac.

krista drew said...

haha! i'm laughing because all of those "flavors" of gum to me are: COLD. : ) i call pretty much anything with that minty taste "cold."

as for grapefruit juice- i don't know what most (smelling) people think it tastes like, but i can't stand grapefruit. bleh!

krista drew said...

also, pizza and oatmeal "taste" totally different.

Paranoid Android said...

I have congenital anosmia. My mothers Aunt also had this condition. I have been to specialists. I was told that when one sense is missing the closest related sense picks up the slack. Gets stronger. So though we may never know exactly how other people taste foods....we can be pretty sure through science that congenital anosmics have a stronger sense of taste than the smelling person. This seems to me to be the case. I can taste(on my tongue) vapors in the air sometimes better than a person next to me smelling the vapors. As I get older...this only continues to get stronger.

hannah powell said...

I havent been able to smell since i was born. I'm being honest when i say i dont mind, but i guess thats because i accept it as i think nothing can be done about it and of course i dont know what im missing! It only properly struck me yesterday that actually maybe i am missing out when me and my friends had a long conversation about it and they tried to describe everything to me- female/male perfumes/what i can smell/ if its smell or taste which i can sense.

I find that i can smell/taste a change in smell sometimes, but it is very hard if not impossible to interpret what that smell is.. eg. petrol/nail varnish/chewing gum/ bacon - i think i can smell. And ive kinda got good at guessing so i can detect it. I cant smell things like B.O/poo/smoke/weed/gas/sick/ and pretty muc every other smell there s.

There may be hope for us though! Check out this link..

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19409154

If your congenital anosmic- read!

Dr.Doo said...

Hallo folks, another congenital anosmic here. Every day of my 50yrs I've known there's something missing from my world. I hate it.

It's awesome to find some others who also have this abysmal condition.

One thing I can't abide and find really disrespectful somehow is when folks tell me how lucky I am not to be able to smell farts or smelly feet. I always ask them if they tell blind folks how lucky they are that they can't see ugly people?! Not one of them has ever replied yes.

Equally annoying (sometimes) is when folks who know me well say "ooh smell that" and then they remember that I can't.

Having just seen an article on the tv about smell and hearing the phrase 'retronasal olfaction' I naturally went to google and turned up all sorts about anosmia and that's how I found this blog.

Thanks for writing about this frustrating condition.

Kate said...

I don't have anosmia, but my boyfriend is a congenital anosmiac. I really just want to thank everyone here for their comments! I'm trying my hardest to understand his capabilities as an anosmiac, and you've been really helpful.

Admittedly, it makes me worry for him... Anosmia is more serious than I had originally thought. What if his house is on fire and he can't smell it? What if he eats expired food and gets sick?

Kate said...

I don't have anosmia, but my boyfriend is a congenital anosmiac. I really just want to thank everyone here for their comments! I'm trying my hardest to understand his capabilities as an anosmiac, and you've been really helpful.

Admittedly, it makes me worry for him... Anosmia is more serious than I had originally thought. What if his house is on fire and he can't smell it? What if he eats expired food and gets sick?

Patricia M Byrne said...

I'm married to a congenital anosmic, and sure there are a few things to be aware of (we use adjectives like hot, cold, thick, thin, high, low, upwards, downwards, rising, falling, etc to describe food tastes so that I know how to season his dishes) but all in all it isn't on our minds much. I have a very capable gas sensor for all kinds of possible leaks (we had a natural gas leak due to a pilot light going out he couldn't smell and we bought one right away). Other than that, I found that it wasn't so much that he can't taste, he has a remarkable ability to distinguish tastes. He just doesn't have the same vocabulary.

Patricia M Byrne said...

I'm married to a congenital anosmic, and sure there are a few things to be aware of (we use adjectives like hot, cold, thick, thin, high, low, upwards, downwards, rising, falling, etc to describe food tastes so that I know how to season his dishes) but all in all it isn't on our minds much. I have a very capable gas sensor for all kinds of possible leaks (we had a natural gas leak due to a pilot light going out he couldn't smell and we bought one right away). Other than that, I found that it wasn't so much that he can't taste, he has a remarkable ability to distinguish tastes. He just doesn't have the same vocabulary.

Cat_W said...

Hello :-)

I am 31 years old and born with Anosmia. I only found out there was a name for this about a year ago believe it or not! I just thought that's the way I was, I didn't even realise it was a condition! I wouldn't say it ever affected me in anyway, I don't feel like I am missing out on something because I never had it.

I will never forget I was at Brownie's when I was about 8 years old, and we were playing a game where we were blind folded and had to guess the food in front of us.....I was totally and completely confused like "what am I meant to do?" How my Mum and Dad did not realise I could not smell is beyond me , I was never taken to the doctor or anything.

Agree with the other comments that you can't be missing what you never had. I have to rely on my husband for checking if food has gone off and things like that. I am also really fussy with food, although not as bad now I am older. I "think" I can taste (as how would you know you couldn't!) but I guess as apparently you can only taste 20% of what a "normal" person can I always went off texture and look when I was younger.

Again I have to rely on my friends and husband in the perfume department! My best friend picks my husbands aftershave if I am getting him a present, and my husband picks my perfume, I tell him the bottle I like the look of and then he picks the one he likes the smell of the best ha ha!

When I realised there was a name for it I asked my doctor about it and she said because I was born with it, there's no need to get tested or anything, no need to worry. But I have been reading about it again recently and am getting myself worried due to the fact it's apparently a faulty gene, can make you infertile etc?? Should I be worried?

I also now think this may be linked to my sinus and eye issues. I pretty much have to take a antihistamine every day even in winter. For a while I also had to use a nasal spray everyday as I was constantly blocked up but I've not had to do so for about 4 years now. Everyone used to ask me constantly if I had a cold which was so annoying! I also suffered with allergic conjunctivitis with my eyes from about 18 to 26 years old, and I mean really really bad i.e. had to be an outpatient at the hospital to treat it.

Does anyone think my other ailments are linked? Would be lovely to hear from anyone on this!

Cat XX

CatB said...

Hello :-)

I am 31 years old and born with Anosmia. I only found out there was a name for this about a year ago believe it or not! I just thought that's the way I was, I didn't even realise it was a condition! I wouldn't say it ever affected me in anyway, I don't feel like I am missing out on something because I never had it.

I will never forget I was at Brownie's when I was about 8 years old, and we were playing a game where we were blind folded and had to guess the food in front of us.....I was totally and completely confused like "what am I meant to do?" How my Mum and Dad did not realise I could not smell is beyond me , I was never taken to the doctor or anything.

Agree with the other comments that you can't be missing what you never had. I have to rely on my husband for checking if food has gone off and things like that. I am also really fussy with food, although not as bad now I am older. I "think" I can taste (as how would you know you couldn't!) but I guess as apparently you can only taste 20% of what a "normal" person can I always went off texture and look when I was younger.

Again I have to rely on my friends and husband in the perfume department! My best friend picks my husbands aftershave if I am getting him a present, and my husband picks my perfume, I tell him the bottle I like the look of and then he picks the one he likes the smell of the best ha ha!

When I realised there was a name for it I asked my doctor about it and she said because I was born with it, there's no need to get tested or anything, no need to worry. But I have been reading about it again recently and am getting myself worried due to the fact it's apparently a faulty gene, can make you infertile etc?? Should I be worried?

I also now think this may be linked to my sinus and eye issues. I pretty much have to take a antihistamine every day even in winter. For a while I also had to use a nasal spray everyday as I was constantly blocked up but I've not had to do so for about 4 years now. Everyone used to ask me constantly if I had a cold which was so annoying! I also suffered with allergic conjunctivitis with my eyes from about 18 to 26 years old, and I mean really really bad i.e. had to be an outpatient at the hospital to treat it.

Does anyone think my other ailments are linked? Would be lovely to hear from anyone on this!

Cat XX

neuromancer said...

Hi all, after going through all comments I am inclined to think that anosmia may be different for different individuals. I lost my sense of smell after a brain injury 17 years back (I am 37 now).
I was in coma so it wasn't until at least 6 months later that I came to realize that I have lost my sense of smell. But there is a peculiarity with my condition that I didn't find anyone else mention here. I can never smell instantly but if there is a very sharp odor, even irritable,like smell of burning plastic, ammonia, mostly pungent odor I not only smell it, the smell stays with me for a long time, usually the whole day. However, it only happens when exposed to the odor for an hour or two at least. And at times, it is too faint for others to detect, would have considered it phantosmia if the source of odor had not been detected. Anyone else has similar experience ?
Btw,I am from India, spice makes up a bit for the loss of aroma. I still enjoy food but lately I am beginning to recollect scents, rose, my favorite dish. So I was searching for more information when I came across this blog.

scottandbonnie said...

Hi all I'm not sure how active this blog still is but I thought I'd weigh in. I'm a 33 year old congenital anosmic with kallmanns. For those of you that can't smell and are worried about fertility unless you had a really unusual or in my case non existent puberty you probably have nothing to worry about. But go research Kallmann. And I do have a one year old daughter and it took a lot of medical assistance and exspence.

But about the taste thing, I didn't discover I couldn't smell until 3rd grade. We did a science experiment where you plug your nose and wear a blind fold and then eat foods with similar textures, like apples and potatoes. None of my class mates could distinguish the difference, but of course I could. I actually got sent to the principles office for cheating and then lieing about it!

But yes I can distinguish between spearmint and wintergreen, I assist my wife with cooking and she regularly asks me to taste test food to determine what spice is missing. I have a very fine palate for wine and can discern flavors better than many my friends and can easily pick out undertones of black cherry vs blackberry, woody, nutty etc.

I love foreign food and I've spent more money than I care to think about on fine dining, if you haven't eaten at a 5 diamond restaurant god you need to! Its almost orgasmic, and trust me someone that doesn't have a good sense of taste wouldn't feel compelled to spend several hundred dollars on one meal.

But there are absolutely some tastes I'm limited on, fish oil or even castor oil tastes not that much different than vegetable oil, and I really have to struggle to tell you the difference between different black teas. There is a difference but not one I could put into words. I'm very sensitive to texture and before I got married I'd come down with food poisoning at least once or twice a year from rancid food or rotten milk. Milk has to be almost lumpy before I can taste that its gone sour.

It's odd that a couple of you mentioned graprefruit, I love the stuff. But lemons, can't stand em, don't like lemon pepper, lemon pie, lemon flavored fish and I can barely swallow water that's had a lemon put in it.

Oh and is anyone else overly sensitive to the taste of artificial sweeteners? I can't stand to eat anything "sugar free" it always tastes some how chemically and artificial with a really decayed almost putrid sweat aftertaste in the back of my throat.

So I don't feal sorry for many of us born with this condition our brains and tongues have more than learned to compensate. But my heart goes out to you that lost the ability later in life, I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't enjoy food.

scottandbonnie said...

Hi all I'm not sure how active this blog still is but I thought I'd weigh in. I'm a 33 year old congenital anosmic with kallmanns. For those of you that can't smell and are worried about fertility unless you had a really unusual or in my case non existent puberty you probably have nothing to worry about. But go research Kallmann. And I do have a one year old daughter and it took a lot of medical assistance and exspence.

But about the taste thing, I didn't discover I couldn't smell until 3rd grade. We did a science experiment where you plug your nose and wear a blind fold and then eat foods with similar textures, like apples and potatoes. None of my class mates could distinguish the difference, but of course I could. I actually got sent to the principles office for cheating and then lieing about it!

But yes I can distinguish between spearmint and wintergreen, I assist my wife with cooking and she regularly asks me to taste test food to determine what spice is missing. I have a very fine palate for wine and can discern flavors better than many my friends and can easily pick out undertones of black cherry vs blackberry, woody, nutty etc.

I love foreign food and I've spent more money than I care to think about on fine dining, if you haven't eaten at a 5 diamond restaurant god you need to! Its almost orgasmic, and trust me someone that doesn't have a good sense of taste wouldn't feel compelled to spend several hundred dollars on one meal.

But there are absolutely some tastes I'm limited on, fish oil or even castor oil tastes not that much different than vegetable oil, and I really have to struggle to tell you the difference between different black teas. There is a difference but not one I could put into words. I'm very sensitive to texture and before I got married I'd come down with food poisoning at least once or twice a year from rancid food or rotten milk. Milk has to be almost lumpy before I can taste that its gone sour.

It's odd that a couple of you mentioned graprefruit, I love the stuff. But lemons, can't stand em, don't like lemon pepper, lemon pie, lemon flavored fish and I can barely swallow water that's had a lemon put in it.

Oh and is anyone else overly sensitive to the taste of artificial sweeteners? I can't stand to eat anything "sugar free" it always tastes some how chemically and artificial with a really decayed almost putrid sweat aftertaste in the back of my throat.

So I don't feal sorry for many of us born with this condition our brains and tongues have more than learned to compensate. But my heart goes out to you that lost the ability later in life, I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't enjoy food.

BSc Maria Lincoln said...

I also suffer with congential anosmia, i have wrote a blog post about it on my blog http://maliblogs1993.blogspot.co.uk/