Smell is the use of the olfactory nerves in order to perceive scents or odors. Smell can also be an odor that something puts off. Roses put of a pleasant smell whereas garbage puts off an unpleasant smell.

About Smell

Anosmia is a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors. Anosmia may be temporary but traumatic anosmia can be permanent. Anosmia is not due to any inflammation of the nasal mucosa; blockage of nasal passages or a destruction of one temporal lobe. It can be caused by chronic meningitis and neurosyphilis that would increase intracranial pressure over a long period of time. Many patients may experience unilateral anosmia, often as a result of minor head trauma. This type of anosmia is normally only detected if both of the nostrils are tested separately. Using this method of testing each nostril separately will often show a reduced or even completely absent sense of smell in either one nostril or both, something which is often not revealed if both nostrils are simultaneously tested. A related term, hyposmia, refers to a decreased ability to smell, while hyperosmia refers to an increased ability to smell.

Contributions by Arcadian, Stormin' Foreman, and SmackBot.

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