Home Care: Anosmia Awareness Day falls on February 27th and brings awareness to a common condition.
Anosmia is the loss of smell related to illness, the side effects of medications, inflammation, or nasal obstruction caused by a polyp, fracture, or mucus build-up. COVID-19 led to an increase in anosmia cases. Two of the leading symptoms of COVID-19, in the beginning, were the loss of smell and taste. It impacts your life in several ways, starting with affecting your appetite. Home care providers can be a big help with this.
Your dad can’t smell as well as he used to. Should you worry?
Ask Your Dad
Ask your dad to see how he feels. Does he feel sick, or is he feeling fine? Has he been exposed to anyone with a cold? Does he often experience congestion when exposed to mildew, dust, pet dander, or other allergens? It could be as simple as allergies kicking in.
If he has a home COVID test, you can have your dad take one. It can help ease worry and give you a quick answer to one of the common causes of anosmia.
Has he recently fallen and hit his nose? If there’s a chance your dad fractured his nose, have him examined by a medical professional. A broken nose should be addressed to ensure he doesn’t have other injuries.
Does his loss of smell make him feel down? Is it impacting his appetite? That’s a more significant risk. If he doesn’t want to eat any foods or drink water because he can’t taste it, the risk of malnutrition and hunger is something to be concerned about.
Home Care: Talk to His Doctor
Ask his doctor about his loss of smell. If the anosmia suddenly appears, your dad might have a virus or infection. Sinus infections, a cold, and the flu can all impact smell. When he’s better, his sense of smell should return. If he has COVID-19, it may take a little longer for his sense of smell to return.
A virus doesn’t have to be too alarming. If your dad isn’t having a hard time with his illness, monitor him to ensure his symptoms don’t worsen. His body will fight the virus most of the time, but you should be aware of any alarming changes like a high fever.
If it’s a sinus infection, his doctor needs to see him to determine if antibiotics are required. Don’t delay treatments for an infection, as they can worsen quickly. His doctor needs to decide if he should come in for a check-up.
What if it’s not related to an illness? Look into your dad’s current medications. Has he started taking a new pill each day? Look over the side effects and see if they impact taste or smell. His doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication with fewer side effects.
Home care aides support your dad by cooking meals, driving him to appointments, and making sure he’s eating and drinking throughout the day. They’ll notify you if anything changes and provide emotional support as your dad recovers. Call a home care agency to learn more.