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D. One of the Underrated Senses

Narrator: This is Science Today. If you lost your sense of smell, would you notice it? Surprisingly, Dr. Terence Davidson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University of California, San Diego says many times, people don't.

Davidson: It's not so well defined and it's not well picked up and it's not so obvious. So it takes them a while to figure it out, then they're not sure whether to make a big deal of it.

Narrator: Davidson says it's usually people who depend more on their noses who come in for treatment.

Davidson: The classic example is a housewife. She knows when the baby's diapers are full, she goes around picking up articles of clothing, giving them a sniff to see if it goes back into the drawer or whether it goes into the laundry. She cooks by her nose, she cleans by her nose. They'll come in day one when they lost their sense of smell. I assume a chef would know immediately. Wine tasters would know the moment the first neuron went.

Narrator: Most of the time, the loss of smell is caused by inflammatory nasal disease, which Davidson says is reversible. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.