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Fifth Sense Charity is Launched Supporting Taste and Smell Disorder Sufferers

By Katherine  |  18 Dec 2017 15:00:00


How would you describe the smell of a rose to someone who has never had the ability to detect odours?

As a person who has always had the ability to smell or taste, have you ever considered what it might be like to lose these senses?

Fifth Sense is a new charity set to support sufferers of taste and smell disorders. Anosmia is a complete loss of the sense of smell. It can be caused by sinus or nasal disease, head trauma, Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s disease, viruses and other causes.

Duncan Boak lost his ability to smell 10 years ago, at age 22, as a result of a head injury. His loss of smell took away his enjoyment of simple everyday pleasures such as the smell of dinner cooking, the scents of summer or an autumnal countryside walk. He established Fifth Sense to provide support and advice to sufferers of smell and taste disorders and raise awareness of such conditions, and in the longer-term generate funding for research into potential treatments.

The Fifth Sense vision is for the senses of smell and taste to be seen as essential to our quality of life, health and wellbeing. To do this, Fifth Sense intends to play a leading role in educating society on the huge role that these senses play in our lives. Smell and taste disorder sufferers themselves are key to this effort, and Fifth Sense seeks to give them the confidence and knowledge needed to become the leading educators on the power of these senses.

The sense of smell is closely linked with memory; those with full olfactory function find smells can evoke certain memories; the scent of an orchard in blossom conjuring up recollections of a childhood picnic. The psychological impact of smell loss can be a reduced ability to form and maintain close, personal relationships, which can lead to depression.

"Smell impacts on our lives in so many ways,” says Duncan. “The impact of losing the sense of smell is not commonly understood, so sufferers receive little sympathy or understanding which can lead to isolation and a lack of confidence".

"Fifth Sense has been created using the collective experiences of its members; we want to create a community for sufferers and to create awareness of the condition. Many doctors are simply not aware of the disorder and do not know where to refer patients."

Fifth Sense is working with leading clinicians, researchers, and of course its members, to demonstrate the need for advances in treatment and research.

You can read more about Fifth Sense and how to support their work here


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