5 Mistakes You Should Avoid If You’ve Recently Lost Your Sense Of Smell

Have you recently lost your sense of smell and/or taste due to Covid (or any other reason for that matter)?

Hi! My name is Yazz aka Girl Who Can’t Smell. As someone who’s lived their entire life without their sense of smell, I know your struggle and I feel your pain.

I’ve learned a lot from my own anosmia experience, which means I’m happy to and here to help!

The following are five mistakes I highly recommend you avoid if you’re new normal is now living without a sense of smell.

5. Forget To Test/Inspect Your Smoke Or Gas Detectors.

Ok so, as a fellow anosmic, I’ll be the first one to tell you that fire safety will be extremely important! You will need to inspect each one of your devices, making sure each one is working properly and replacing batteries as needed.

If you like to cook, you will have to stay alert and pay attention, especially since you won’t have your nose to aid you if something is left burning or if there’s a gas leak. I like to keep timers on my phone if I anticipate walking away from the kitchen area for just a bit, especially when I’m baking  (never walk away for any reason when frying).

Also, if you only have smoke detectors in your kitchen and living room, I would add more. Specifically, one in each bedroom and even bathroom (depending on how big your home is too).

Speaking of gas detectors, I personally feel safer using an induction stove. I know it can be expensive to switch entirely from gas powered to electric appliances, so what you can also do is  purchase a stand-alone stove that can be placed on your countertop. (but keep your gas detectors in case other people in your family still use your main gas stove).

4. Not Give Smell Training a Chance.

 Smell training involves sniffing at least four different odors twice a day every day for several months. According to the research conducted by Carl Philpott, smell training “aims to help recovery based on neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to reorganize itself to compensate for a change or injury. Check out Abscent.org and Falkaromatherapy.com for more info.

3. Deem You Don’t Need A Designated Nose

Part of acquiring anosmia involves asking others for help (I didn’t ask for the longest time and it was one of the worst mistakes I ever made).

This is where a “Designated Nose” comes in. A DN is a friend or loved one who can help you detect and identify smells for you. They are like a guide, someone you can trust that will basically help you with everything from personal odors, making sure leftovers smell safe enough to eat, and other odor related concerns. My DN is my spouse. Several other anosmic friends have their neighbors, siblings and even children as DN’s (which I think is adorable!).

 DN’s are the best! They really help elevate your quality of life. I spoil my DN with steak dinners and they love it (they do after all, smell icky smells sometimes…actually who am I kidding! It’s almost all the time)! Make sure you thank them for their nose. LOL

2. Believe You Are Alone

Losing your sense of smell can be challenging, even scary. You want to make sure you have the needed support throughout your anosmia journey. I HIGHLY encourage you to talk about your experience with anyone and everyone you feel comfortable with. This usually includes friends and loved ones or even peeps online! (I’ll be recommending some support groups in a bit).

I personally LOVE talking about anosmia! I have been sharing my stories on this website for the past 5+ years. People used to not really “get” what I was going through, and this disconnect made me feel sad and misunderstood. Feeling like you’re alone in your struggle really sucks and it’s mainly why I created this site so every one of us who can’t smell can get together, let loose and talk about our journeys.

I say this with all sincerity, that everyone’s encouraging and relatable messages help me too. It’s very uplifting when you can finally discuss anything and everything about anosmia.

Would you like to talk about anosmia? I’d love to hear what’s on your mind. Email me: [email protected] and/or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok.

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: If you are looking for outstanding and professional support, please join Fifth Sense UK, The Monell Center and Abscent.org All three organizations provide formal support (Fifth Sense and Abscent.org have support groups), educational webinars, and up-to-the minute research information and news. I’ll be discussing each organization more in depth in my next point.

P.S.  I know some people might not like to talk about their struggles online or with others and that’s okay. If you’d rather not talk about your anosmia, or are not yet ready to, I suggest keeping a journal. This will help you identify your feelings and record your progress.

1. Suppose There’s Nothing You Can Do To Support Smell Loss Research and Anosmia Awareness.

With smell and taste loss actively affecting folks on a massive, global scale, it is extremely imperative we focus on showing support for smell loss research.  The following organizations are at the frontline working diligently on behalf of every one of us affected by a smell and taste disorder.

The demands for smell loss support and treatments have skyrocketed. Each one of these organizations are truly dedicated to advancing smell loss research and finding potential treatments.

They are also our major sources in terms of anosmia awareness. Which by the way, did you know we have our own official day? Yup! Anosmia Awareness Day is on February 27th and this special day is my favorite! I usually celebrate with fun giveaways and a live chat. Make sure you check back for all of the deets. If you’d like more info on Anosmia Awareness Day, this is their website: https://www.anosmiaawareness.org/

Ok, so going back to our 3 organizations, they really step it up in terms of awareness. How can we help their awareness efforts? By visiting their websites, signing up for their mailing lists, participating in their studies/surveys, and spreading the word about their work. If you can and haven’t already, you can also donate financially.

My friends and I just recently donated and it made us feel so good!

Also…. If you haven’t yet explored my website, I welcome you to click through! As one of the earliest and leading anosmia advocates online, I have made it my life’s mission to raise anosmia awareness. You’ll find a vast collection of anosmia themed stories, articles, additional tips, memes ,  a webcomic, and even my podcast and videos for you to enjoy!

Oh hey! and I also have merch. If you’d like to represent your anosmia in a fun and wearable manner, or are looking for a thoughtful gift to give to your fave person who can’t smell, I’ve created lots of awesome anosmia themed products (stickers, mugs, tees etc..). I’ve had tons of happy customers who  proudly wear and show off their gear. Available on Teespring, Etsy and My Online Store

Oh, and I’m really proud about this next part: A generous portion of each sale is donated to the anosmia organizations named above. Woohoo!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I hope you find these tips helpful and encouraging. The reality is, anosmia is and will continue affecting millions of people worldwide.  

Learning to adapt is key in and if we are to move forward, having a positive mentality is also, if not THE MOST important thing. There is lots of hope for those who acquire anosmia via Covid (this particular study, for instance, showed promising results). What’s also great news is that the scientific community has become more and more concerned and interested in researching smell and taste disorders. It is mindblowing to see this difference now because before Covid, research and studies were limited.

I want to thank you for reading this post and for your interest in learning more about YOUR success in navigating anosmia. My hope is that you know for a fact, you are NOT alone and that I, your new friend, “Girl Who Can’t Smell” and everyone in our community are here for you. We will always listen and support you! Remember to keep smiling and follow me for uplifting and funny anosmia related content.

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Disclaimer:

The information contained in my blog posts, stories, memes, webcomics, science articles, drawings and future content, is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.

By accessing this site, you assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. My website, www.girlwhocantsmell.com’s purpose is to share my OWN personal experience growing up with congenital anosmia. Not as a guide as to how anosmics in general, live their own lives.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201201/smell-training-might-speed-the-senses-return-after-covid

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