Most of us take our sense of smell for granted. But have you ever thought about what it would be like to not be able to smell something? The complete loss of smell is called anosmia (an-OHZ-me-uh). Without your sense of smell, food tastes different, you can't smell the scent of a flower, and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation, unknowingly. For example, without the ability to detect odors, you wouldn't smell a gas leak, smoke from a fire, or sour milk.
Taste and smell disorders send...
Autonomic nerves. These nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of your body, including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation.
Motor nerves. These nerves control your movements and actions by passing information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles.
Sensory nerves. These nerves relay information from your skin and muscles back to your spinal cord and brain. The information is then processed to let you feel pain and other sensations.
Because nerves are essential to all you do, nerve pain and damage can seriously affect your quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?
With nerve damage there can be a wide array of symptoms. Which ones you may have depends on the location and type of nerves that are affected. Damage can occur to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It can also occur in the peripheral nerves, which are located throughout the rest of your body.
Sensory nerve damage may produce the following symptoms:
Tingling or prickling
Problems with positional awareness
In some instances, people with nerve damage will have symptoms that indicate damage to two, or even three, different types of nerves. For instance, you might experience weakness and burning of your legs at the same time.
What Causes Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?
There are more than 100 different types of nerve damage. The various types may have different symptoms and may require different types of treatment.
It is estimated that about 1 in 50 Americans suffers from peripheral nerve damage. This type of damage becomes increasingly common with age. In one out of every four people with diabetes has some nerve damage.