Skip to main content
Olfactory System: Basic Anatomy and Physiology for General Otorhinolaryngologists. Clinical and experimental otorhinolaryngology Han, S. A., Kim, J. K., Cho, D., Patel, Z. M., Rhee, C. 2023


Olfaction is one of the five basic human senses, and it is known to be one of the most primitive senses. The sense of olfaction may have been critical for human survival in prehistoric society, and although many believe its importance has diminished over time, its impact on human interaction, bonding, and propagation of the species remains. Even if we are unaware of it, the sense of smell greatly affects our lives. Sense of smell is closely related to overall quality of life and health. However, olfaction has been neglected from a scientific perspective compared to other senses. Olfaction has recently received substantial attention since the loss of smell and taste has been noted as a key symptom of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Studies investigating olfaction loss in association with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have revealed that olfactory dysfunction can be both conductive and sensorineural, possibly causing structural changes in the brain. Olfactory training is one of the effective treatments for olfactory dysfunction, suggesting the reorganization of neural associations. Reduced ability to smell may also alert suspicion for neurodegenerative or psychiatric disorders. Here, we summarize the basic knowledge that we, as otorhinolaryngologists, should have about the sense of smell and the peripheral and central olfactory pathway for managing and helping patients with olfactory dysfunction.

View details for DOI 10.21053/ceo.2023.00185

View details for PubMedID 37669740