Troposmia: Olfactory Dysfunction and Its Impact on Quality of Life

Olfaction is an important sense that affects our daily life in many ways. It is involved in flavor perception, memory formation, and social interactions. However, olfactory dysfunction, also known as troposmia, can lead to significant impairments in a person’s quality of life.

Troposmia is defined as a decreased ability to smell or an impaired sense of smell. It is typically divided into two categories: anosmia and hyposmia. Anosmia is the complete lack of smell, while hyposmia is a diminished sense of smell. The prevalence of troposmia is estimated to range from 4-15% in the general population, depending on the age group and the type of impairment (Møller, 2017).

The causes of troposmia can vary and range from congenital to acquired. Congenital causes, such as Kallmann Syndrome, are genetic disorders that affect the development of the olfactory system. Acquired causes include traumatic brain injury, viral infections, chronic sinusitis, and aging (Møller, 2017).

The effects of troposmia on quality of life are vast and include physical, emotional, and social impairments. Physically, a person with troposmia may experience decreased taste perception, which can lead to malnutrition due to an aversion to certain foods. Emotionally, a person may experience anxiety and depression due to the isolation that can result from their impaired sense of smell. Socially, a person may have difficulty interacting with other people due to their decreased ability to detect odors. In addition, people with troposmia may also have difficulty finding or maintaining employment (Møller, 2017).

Treatment of troposmia is typically tailored to the individual and the cause of the condition. For acquired causes, treatments may include medications, surgery, or stem cell therapy. For congenital causes, treatments may include olfactory training, behavioral therapy, or surgical intervention (Møller, 2017).

In conclusion, troposmia is a condition that affects the sense of smell and can lead to impairments in a person’s quality of life. It can be caused by both congenital and acquired factors, and its effects can range from physical, emotional, and social impairments. Treatment of troposmia is typically tailored to the individual and the cause of the condition.


Møller, P. (2017). Olfactory dysfunction and its impact on quality of life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(2), 118.

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