Your Sense of Smell

Senses are interconnected

Did you know that when you ‘taste’ food, most of the flavor actually comes from your sense of smell? And did you know that more than any of your other four senses, your memory is mostly strongly linked to your sense of smell? Also known as the “olfactory sense,” smell is closely connected to our neural pathways, as well as to our emotions, and is one the key ways human beings get information about their surroundings. Every day, we unknowingly inhale billions of odorant molecules through the nasal passage, taking notice of only a handful of ‘standout’ smells.

While we are desensitized to most of the scents constantly swirling around us, we do notice the pleasant scent of lilacs, pinewood, scented soap, perfume, the mouth-watering aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven, barbequed steak, ground coffee, and buttered popcorn. After all, who isn’t familiar with the famous expressions: “Wake up and smell the coffee” and “Stop and smell the roses”? Of course, we also notice unpleasant odors such as the stench of days-old garbage, human wastage, a skunk (dead or alive), and rotten eggs.

Since our five senses, in general, tell us when to back away and when to come close, what is safe and what is dangerous, it’s not surprising to learn that the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses which is fully mature at the time of our birth and is one of the first senses used by newborns. Furthermore, unlike your other senses, which tend to diminish with age (such as your eyesight and hearing), the sense of smell, if exercised properly, improves over time.

The anatomical structure of the nose

If you are not familiar with the anatomy of your nose, you might be surprised to learn what a complex anatomical structure it is, despite its outwardly small appearance. Part of your nose consists of the nasal bones, which are actually part of your skull, and which extend about one third of the way downs your nose, between your eyes. The rest of the nose is made up of cartilage, a flexible yet strong material. However it is the inside of your nose which does all the hard work, allowing air to enter and exit and filtering the air via the mucous barrier along its walls. To simplify the anatomy of the nose, the structure of your nose can be divided into four main areas: The nasal bones, the upper cartilages, the lower cartilages (the tip of your nose), and the septum, which is the wall dividing the nostrils.

Reshaping the nose

Unfortunately, nowadays many people are unhappy with the shape of their nose and are opting for a cosmetic surgery procedure known as rhinopasty or a nose job. However despite the allure of an improved image or enhanced self-esteem, people need to be aware of the risks involved in such an invasive type of surgery. For example, temporary loss of sense of smell is a common side effect of this type of procedure, in which nerve endings may be severed or in which tissue swells, thereby impeding nerve conduction of smell to the brain. Worse yet, a botched nose surgery can result in a permanent loss of smell.

It is essential, therefore, to select only a highly qualified surgeon with many years of experience to perform your procedure, such as a top rhinoplasty specialist in Chicago. A good starting point is making sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You should also ask to see before/after pictures of former patients who your doctor operated on and who underwent the exact type of cosmetic surgery you are considering. After all, you want to come out of the deal “smelling
like a rose.”

If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery in New York, make an appointment for a free consultation with a qualified surgeon to find out exactly what is entailed and what you should expect before, during, and after nose surgery.

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