The Sense of Smell and Aging
Aging refers to the process of development of psychological, physical and social changes that accompany growing old. There have been studies regarding the changes that occur in the sense of smell during the aging process. Some of the studies suppose that in individuals aged over 60 years old, there occur changes in the olfactory system which leads to difficulty in the distinction of smells.
One of the main effects identified with regards to the olfactory changes is the inability to differentiate foods. As a result, the elderly may not be capable of distinguishing between healthy food substances and the poisonous ones based on smell. The deterioration of the olfactory system is connected to aging as well as other self-imposed factors such as smoking and addictive medication. Consequently, the aged often phase problems such as poor or lack of appetite due to inability to appraise food fitness.
The dysfunction of the olfactory system has various other psychological impacts on individuals. For instance, people are better able to interact with their environments due to the smell they draw from around. The inability to smell efficiently similarly affects the possibility of creating social relationships with others. Because of the inability to create relationships with others, it is probable that those with a dysfunctional olfactory system can also be depressed or experience emotional tension and/ or stress. In addition to this, the tension may be further enhanced through the inability to share their problems with others or even to make others understand their problems. This results in psychological torture as well as other problems such as anosmia, which can lead to greater disorders such as memory loss among the victims.
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