Parosmia: Support, information and the action Fifth Sense is taking
Parosmia – distortions of the sense of smell – has a significant impact on people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, with many people having difficulties eating, suffering anxiety and depression and withdrawing from social situations. Christmas is one of the toughest times of the year for those of us struggling with this hidden, life-changing issue.
Fifth Sense provides ongoing support and information to both adults and parents of children who have been struggling with ongoing parosmia for over two years in some cases.
This issue is being compounded by the lack of knowledge and specialist services within the NHS. People contacting Fifth Sense keep telling us they are not getting the information and support that they need from health services and often resort to spending money on unprescribed and ineffective treatments or complementary therapies. There is a lack of available treatment options due to a chronic lack of funding for research. The following quote from a Fifth Sense member highlights the situation:
‘I lost my smell and taste 14 months ago and what started as anosmia quickly turned into parosmia. I have tried so many treatments and therapies that have resulted in nothing other than disappointment and financial loss. I’m so depressed and cry everyday as I can’t live a normal life.’
People are frustrated and need answers, support and treatment. That’s why we have written to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP calling for urgent action on this issue.
Fifth Sense is also working with Long Covid multi-disciplinary teams and community nursing groups around the country to help them understand the challenges people with parosmia face and what can be done to help.
Support and Information
If you’re affected by parosmia then Fifth Sense is here to help. We hold regular Parosmia Network virtual support sessions, with the next one of these due to be held in January 2023. If you’d like to attend then join Fifth Sense for free here.
We also provide a range of information resources which you can access here:
Fifth Sense is here for everyone affected by a smell or taste disorder, regardless of how it affects you or the cause. If you need support or have questions then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org