Alzheimer’s has long been associated with decreased sense of smell or olfactory senses. But should the decreased sense of smell be used as part of diagnosing Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially with early onset?
We’re finding more and more confirmation that this is ONE of the symptoms we can use to determine if someone is in the early stages of dementia; which is often the preset of Alzheimer’s disease itself. However, it is important to remember that not everyone who has Alzheimer’s disease has a decreased sense of smell.
Alzheimer’s Is Not The Only Condition to Cause a Decreased Sense of Smell
You will want to make sure that there are not other factors or conditions which could be causing a decreased sense of smell. Other causes or conditions that could cause the sense of smell to be decreased include:
- Nasal Polyps
- Injury/Damage to the olfactory system
- Swelling of the nasal passages
- Nasal bone deformity
Needless to say, decreased smell is not a single factor used to diagnose dementia or Alzheimer’s. You must be certain that all factors are considered before diagnosing such a life changing condition. You don’t want to assume that you are experiencing early onset dementia simply because your sense of smell has diminished. Self diagnosis is never a good idea!
So if we’ve known that loss of olfactory senses is a sign of dementia/Alzheimer’s what’s the big deal now?
The answer is “The possibility of simplifying diagnosis.”
Researchers are hoping that with this knowledge, they will soon be able to have an inexpensive and simple way to quickly diagnosis a person’s brain cell loss and dementia. The ability to determine dementia as early as possible will result in faster intervention and providing a higher quality of life with proper treatment and care.
Quality of Life Is What Matters Most
Because early diagnosis plays a large part in the quality of life for those who suffer from dementia, it is important that we learn more about how the sense of smell associates with an earlier diagnosis of dementia and thereby, perhaps Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that while dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s, it does not mean that those with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep in mind that while caring for seniors in their Maryland home plays an important factor in relieving the pressure on full time caregivers; it also provides the opportunity to give your loved one the quality of life they deserve while being able to remain at home. Because quality of life is generally the most important aspect of life, it’s easy to understand why our local Baltimore and surrounding area caregivers are genuinely appreciated by the people they serve.
If you suspect that you’re having some memory loss, have noticed a decrease in your ability to smell, or just not feeling quite right, contact your doctor. If you’re a full time caregiver who has someone depending on them 24 hours a day, it’s time to let us help YOU enjoy life at home too.
We have the ability to serve you any time of day or night with highly rated, hand-picked caregivers who truly care. Let us provide you and your loved one with the quality of life you deserve if you’re battling Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other mental or physical decline as you age.
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