The olfactory system is responsible for our sense of smell. This sense, also known as olfaction, is one of our five main senes and involves the detection and identification of molecules in the air.
Once detected by sensory organs, nerve signals are sent to the brain where the signals are processed. Our sense of smell is closely linked our sense of taste as both rely on the perception of molecules. It is our sense of smell that allows us to detect the flavors in the foods we eat. Olfaction is one of our most powerful senses. Our sense of smell can ignite memories as well as influence our mood and behavior.
Our sense of smell is a complex process that depends on sensory organs, nerves, and the brain. Structures of the olfactory system include:
- Nose: opening containing nasal passages that allows outside air to flow into the nasal cavity. Also a component of the respiratory system, it humidifies, filters, and warms the air inside the nose.
- Nasal cavity: cavity divided by the nasal septum into left and right passages. It is lined with mucosa.
- Olfactory epithelium: specialized type of epithelial tissue in nasal cavities that contains olfactory nerve cells and receptor nerve cells. These cells send impulses to the olfactory bulb.
- Cribriform plate: a porous extension of the ethmoid bone, which separates the nasal cavity from the brain. Olfactory nerve fibers extend through the holes in the cribriform to reach the olfactory bulbs.
- Olfactory nerve: nerve (first cranial nerve) involved in olfaction. Olfactory nerve fibers extend from the mucous membrane, through the cribriform plate, to the olfactory bulbs.
- Olfactory bulbs: bulb-shaped structures in the forebrain where olfactory nerves end and the olfactory tract begins.
- Olfactory tract: band of nerve fibers that extend from each olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex of the brain.
- Olfactory cortex: area of the cerebral cortex that processes information about odors and receives nerve signals from the olfactory bulbs
Have you heard of olfactory bulb training?
I have heard this has helped many get their sense of smell back.
Your olfactory bulb is located in the forebrain and is responsible for your smell!
Taking 4 of your most familiar scents (mine are essential oils) smell them deeply 30 seconds each 2-3 times a day!
Try and remember how they smell and what memories they used to bring up. How they used to make you feel.
Practice 2-3 times a day!
Studies have shown significant increase in sense of smell with this practice.
Also taking 100mg of Zinc has also helped.
Our Sense of Smell
Our sense of smell works by the detection of odors. Olfactory epithelium located in the nose contains millions of chemical receptors that detect odors. When we sniff, chemicals in the air are dissolved in mucus. Odor receptor neurons in olfactory epithelium detect these odors and send the signals on to the olfactory bulbs. These signals are then sent along olfactory tracts to the olfactory cortex of the brain through sensory transduction.
The olfactory cortex is vital for the processing and perception of odor. It is located in the temporal lobe of the brain, which is involved in organizing sensory input. The olfactory cortex is also a component of the limbic system. This system is involved in the processing of our emotions, survival instincts, and memory formation.
The olfactory cortex has connections with other limbic system structures such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. The amygdala is involved in forming emotional responses (particularly fear responses) and memories, the hippocampus indexes and stores memories, and the hypothalamus regulates emotional responses. It is the limbic system that connects senses, such as odors, to our memories and emotions.
So interesting learning how our bodies work. Here are a few oils that I would use to help with getting my smell back.
Let me know how you make out.
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