Sense of Smell

Olfactory System
Mechanism of Olfaction
  • There are many theories of Olfaction.One of the commonly accepted one is that of chemoreceptors.
    The airborne olfactory molecules get attached to the olfactory epithelium in the upper part of nasal cavity and in turn stimulate the olfactory neurons. These action potential generated in these neurons is carried to the cerebral cortex and gives us the sensation of smell.
    Sensation of smell is important at many levels like identifying good food, appreciating taste, making people get attracted to each other and even in identifying noxious agents and thereby averting danger.
    Ailments of Nose and paranasal sinuses can lead to a decreased/ altered sensation of smell (Parosmia) or a complete lackof smell (Anosmia).

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    Allergic Rhinitis characterized by excessive sneezing and running nose can be very debilitatiting.

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    Polyps in nose can occur in both children and adults. Treatment may involve surgical excision.

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    Sinusitis is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses and needs adequate treatment (medical & surgical).

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