Only The Nose Knows That It Is The Most Underappreciated Sense

biggestnose

Mr. Ozyurek From Turkey, World’s Biggest Nose 3.46 Inches

A smell can bring you back in time to past memories of your life. In the brain there is an area called the olfactory bulb which contains our memories. It is a part of a network called the limbic system. These brain nerves intertwine smells, memories and emotions.

walkingthroughcampforest

Odors Bring Back All Excitement Of Child Exploration

The odor of wet dirt takes me away to a time when I was a young child in daily camp for the summer. Walking through the woods on trails with my teacher and the campers, I recall a moist slightly fungus strong scent in the air. So that specific smell brings back the memory of the exciting adventures of my time in camp.

Our nose is a very sophisticated device that recognizes an infinite number of smells based on only 10 chemoreceptors (chemical sites in the nose).

smellmemory

Memory Of Smell Resides In The Brain

Receptors are where the odor molecules fit in, sending an electrical stimulation to the brain. The brain processes that signal, memorizes it and recognizes what  smell corresponds with what tangible thing in the world around us. Researchers recently discovered that it may be more complex than just a key (odor) fitting into a certain lock (chemoreceptor). It seems that we may also detect odor based on vibrations of odor molecules coming into the nose.

As we get older, our sense of smell diminishes. It starts with individuals in their 30’s, with very slow losses every year. As the years go by, you may have an increased risk of food poisoning, especially if you live by yourself. The ability to detect spoiled food odors decreases drastically with increasing age. By sixty more than 50% of people have a reduced olfactory sense. When we hit 80, 75% of people have a significant reduced ability to recognize odors. But we can train ourselves to become better at smelling, really.

You can stimulate nerve connections that go to the brain to heighten your sense of smell. Here are ways to accomplish that feat:

Step 1. Whether you drink coffee or tea, smell the hot liquid before drinking it. This increases smell ability.

Step 2. It may look strange, especially in a restaurant, but smell everything before consuming it. You will increase your sense of smell significantly. Tell your spouse beforehand, otherwise she may think you have gone bonkers. Tell her to read this blog.

Step 3. Take spices and start distinguishing between what is what. After a few repeated tries over days, then see if you can guess what they are. You are building an aromatic profile in your mind by training your brain. Odors go into long-term memory.

Step 4. When you are practicing smelling, take 3 short whiffs rather than one long one because to help the brain in remembering the scent.

There are experiments to tell if you are losing your smell acuity.

Experiment 1. Have someone else take a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate ice cream and put them right next to each other. With your eyes closed, taste a spoonful of one and then the other. You should be able to tell the difference without visually knowing which one is which. If not, your sense of smell has been reduced.

Experiment 2. Get a cotton cosmetic ball and saturate it with rubbing alcohol. It doesn’t actually matter what type of alcohol, you can use vodka. Put the saturated ball just beyond your chin and inhale. If you can’t detect it you have a dampened sense of smell.

There are chemicals in the air that can damage your sense of smell but fortunately, are usually reversible. They are insecticides, pollution, paint, cleaners, solvents, cigarette smoke and other negative environmental air factors. Also some antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood pressure medications and antifungal products may cause problems with smell.

smellpractice

Scent Practice 101

Practice your smell exercises. Do it with a partner so you can both look crazy together. You are just training the odor areas of your brain to store these scents in long-term memory for future odoriferous events.

Odors You Need To Forget 😦

Smellwars



Categories: Health

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: