The loss of olfactory abilities has, as a consequence, also a loss of quality of life, a loss of self-confidence, an alteration of eating habits or a tendency to depression. Olfactory disorders are generally classified in quantitative and qualitative disorders. Quantitative disorders are represented by an elevation of the thresholds of detection of odorous substances and are classified in anosmia and hyposmia. The patient who has a normal sense of smell is called normosmic. When olfactory abilities are partially diminished, the patient is considered hyposmic, and when olfactory abilities are reduced to zero, the patient is considered anosmic. These quantitative disorders are usually present for all odors, although there are some selective anosmias that are, usually, secondary to the lack of a receptor type for a particular odor of genetic origin. Qualitative disorders are represented by parosmia and phantosmia. Parosmia is an altered perception of a present olfactory stimulus, while phantosmia is the perception of an olfactory stimulus in the absence of chemical stimuli in the environment. Parosmias are typically represented by a differently perceived odor (coffee) (gasoline). These parosmias can have a positive hedonic valence or, typically, a negative valence. When these parosmias have a negative valence, they typically involve significant psychological consequences. The term cacosmia, which is the perception of an unpleasant odor at the level of the nose, must, therefore, be considered as a parosmia with negative valence. The term “euosmia” is used to characterize a positively valenced parosmia. In general, the prevalence of parosmia and phantosmia is greater in hyposmic patients than in anosmic patients. Parosmias are common in post-viral olfactory disorders
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