Skip navigation
A. How To Test Your Sense Of Smell

Narrator: This is Science Today. The sense of smell is not usually tested during a regular physical exam. Dr. Terence Davidson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University of California San Diego Medical Center says it usually requires a series of tests by a specialist. But Davidson has discovered a simple, at home test.

Davidson: You can take these little one and a half inch or two inch alcohol packets that people use to sterilize the skin. One can tear that open and then with one's eyes closed, move it slowly towards one's nose, starting at your belly button and moving upwards and then measure the distance from you nose, at which you first detect this.

Narrator: Those with a normal sense of smell, will detect the alcohol 8 to 12 inches away; an impaired sense of smell, only four inches.

Davidson: Using that test, someone who's concerned about their sense of smell could test it and find out that it was diminished and if it were than presumably deal with it either with their doctor or specialist to have some understanding and experience with the disease.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.