Epworth is the first rehabilitation facility within Australia to offer an Olfactory Impairment Clinic to assess and manage the loss of smell (known as olfaction) and associated changes in taste.
Olfactory impairment can be caused by different medical conditions, including:
- facial fractures
- facial surgery
- neurological conditions
- Parkinson's disease
- traumatic brain injury
- viral infections (including COVID-19)
Losing your sense of smell can impact your daily life in different ways, including:
- safety and your ability to identify smoke and gas (this can result in increased stress and anxiety and feelings of vulnerability)
- interest in food, which may affect weight (loss or gain) and nutrient intake monitoring of personal hygiene relationships
- a lack of understanding regarding the impact of loss of smell or taste;
- reduced intimacy and decreased sex drive.
- interest in leisure activities like cooking and wine tasting work opportunities (for example, chef, nurse, fresh food sales, mechanic, gas technician)
The Olfactory Impairment Clinic provides
- a comprehensive assessment of smell function
- an objective score of severity of impairment
- support to access other resources
- targeted education around changes to smell and taste.
The program is managed by speech pathologists who specialise in this area. Referrals to other allied health clinicians including dietitians, occupational therapists and psychologists can be made if needed.
- Epworth Hawthorn