For Anosmia Awareness Day, The World Taste and Smell Association researchers found that some people would give up their sense of smell in favor of social media or cell phones.
Which sense would you choose to lose if you had to? That’s the question that people in 22 countries were asked by Monell Chemical Senses Center, Brown University, HCD Research, and The World Taste and Smell Association researchers. More than any other sense, people would most likely give up their sense of smell.
Jonas Yde Junge, Rachel Herz, Martha Bajec, Michelle Niedzela, and Valentina Parma were the members of the research team. They conducted a survey in six languages with 1,105 participants from 22 countries to gauge participants’ perceptions of the sense of smell. Sixty-four percent of those who took part were willing to prioritize their sense of smell over the other two senses.
Taste came in far behind with 22%, followed by hearing with 7% and vision with 6%. Additionally, each sense was compared to things and activities. More than 10% of those who participated in the survey stated that they would give up their sense of smell before using social media.
However, anosmia, or the inability to smell, can cause social isolation, depression, and low self-esteem in affected individuals. Stephanie Feuer, Director of the World Taste and Smell Association, who has had smell loss since 2017, explained that it’s hard to understand how much smell loss affects every aspect of your life until it happens to you. You can no longer smell smoke or detect gas leaks, and you miss the taste of your favorite meal and morning coffee. Being unable to smell a newborn’s sweet scent dampens the joy experienced by new parents.
The study is a continuation of Herz and Bajec’s initial research which compared the senses to nine items from the personal, material, and digital spheres, including $10,000, a phone, and a dream vacation. 407 people took part in the survey, and the results showed that 25 percent of them would give up their sense of smell for their phone, and almost 50 percent of women would put their hair above their ability to smell.
Anosmia gained new attention as a Covid symptom, and it is anticipated that 15 million people worldwide will experience persistent loss of taste or smell. However, the percentage of people who place a positive value on the impact that scent has on their lives has only slightly increased. The sense of smell is largely unnoticed by people.
According to Valentina Parma, Assistant Director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, they see in their data an 4% rise in people stating that smell is important to them. This suggests that the COVID pandemic has had an effect on understanding that smell has a bit more value, although it is a minor effect. They want to convey the message that we ought to begin paying more attention to this sense and the connections it has with health and well-being.
Value The Sense Of Smell
Reconnecting with our sense of smell does not have to be difficult. There are numerous easy and inexpensive ways to engage with our olfactory system, such as smelling your morning coffee for a few seconds or lighting a candle at home. Organizations like STANA AbScent and Fifth Sense provide information, support, and more in-depth options for smell training for people with anosmia.
Our most ancient sense is smell and according to Feuer, it is fundamental to who we are. That is something to keep in mind all day, not just on Anosmia Awareness Day.
Scent has a plethora of advantages, including the enhancement of taste, the reduction of stress, and the infusion of beautiful memories of earlier times. Beginning to appreciate it is the best place to begin, as the boost increases as we acknowledge and strengthen it.
The World Taste and Smell Association is a global, non-profit organization that was established to support innovators, creators, scientists, and individuals with taste or smell dysfunctions and to raise awareness of the significance of our senses of taste and smell.
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