Anosmia: An Olfactory Disability that May Disqualify a Person for Military Enlistment or Appointment
When enlisting for military service, being diagnosed for an olfactory disability called anosmia may disqualify you from entering the military service. Although this disability pertains mainly to a person’s loss of smell, the implications of the disorder can greatly affect a person’s fitness for military service.
However, if it at the time of testing that loss of smell result is temporary due to a present nasal condition such as having colds or chronic sinusitis, the examiner may instruct you to take the exam on some other day.
It is different though if your medical history shows you have at some point, been treated for brain injury. Failing a test that determines your ability to smell combined with an inability to taste food, plus a medical history of brain injury, gives the medical examiner reasonable grounds for assessing your olfactory dysfunction as an anosmic condition.
If you are aware of this condition, know beforehand that anosmia is one of several disorders that disqualifies an enlisting person from military service.
What Exactly is Anosmia and Its Causes
Anosmia is simply stated as a condition in which a person loses the sense of smell. Several research and medical studies have confirmed that scents, smells, odours or fragrances can have a powerful effect on how a person thinks or behaves. That is mainly because the human olfactory system is connected to a part of the brain that processes information transmitted by the type of smell entering through the nose. .
The nose not only serves as a passageway for air to enter in and out of a bodily system. It is part of an olfactory system in which a network of olfactory and receptor nerve cells sends impulses and messages to the olfactory bulbs located in the brain. The olfactory bulbs on the other hand transmit the smell signals to the olfactory cortex, which is a nucleus located in the cerebral cortex, responsible for processing and interpreting the smell signals transmitted by the olfactory bulbs.
Now if a person loses his or her sense of smell, it is more than likely that his or her sense of taste is also impaired. Such an impairment can greatly impact a person’s way of life. Having a “nose blindness” as some people would call it, also impairs one’s ability to recall memory. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment to reverse an anosmic condition caused by head injury.
Anosmic Conditions that Can Still be Treated
Anosmia caused by chronic sinusitis, fractured nasal bones or cartilages, allergic rhinitis or viral infection may cause long term loss of smell. A partial or potential loss of connection between the olfactory system and the brain can still be reversed through proper therapy.
The first step taken to assess this type of anosmic condition is to undergo proper nasal examination that employs the use of an endoscope. The latter provides an imaging of the olfactory interior by inserting flexible tube with light and camera directly into nose. Images will then be projected in a monitor and viewed by the medical practitioner in charge of assessing the extent of a disorder.
If after a long period of treatment, you or any member of your family notice an inability to smell the aroma of food coming from your kitchen or even from a hot cup of coffee, make effort to assess such conditions. If your spouse or mother is using scent diffusers, scented candles or warmers and a host of cleaning implements like those sold by grain and gram, and that you can at least smell a whiff of the fragrances, there is a chance that a potential anosmic condition can still be treated.