Have the time but not the smeller?  Better make an appointment with an Otolaryngologist.  A what?  An Otolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in “diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck” says the NIDCD or the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.  An Otolaryngologist would be a specialist.  Individual health plans sometimes require a higher doctor co-pay to visit a specialist. The senior health plans like Medicare Advantage also require higher co-pays for specialists. Trying to keep health insurance premiums less expensive by paying for doctor visits out of pocket?  If you used the services of a licensed health insurance broker when you bought your policy he/she would have found a policy that gave you network discounts when using an in-network provider.  In-network discounts are the contracted rate the insurance carrier has negotiated with the provider.  Another good thing to know would be if the payment for the visit to an Otolaryngologist would go towards the deductible.  Even if you have a high deductible health plan every little bit helps, right?  The services of a broker are free and if we can give you a helping hand just give us a call here at Insurance Medics.

Back to smelling the roses.  Or baking bread.  The smell of the sea.  Puppies.  The smells of the seasons.  Without a sense of smell our enjoyment in life would not be the same.  Our sense of smell is also like a siren, warning us of fires, leaked gas, spoiled food.  How many of you, when removing food that has been in the refrigerator for a while smell it before you eat it?  I bet just about everybody.  If you lose your sense of smell can anything be done?  Again, from NIDCD “Diagnosis by a doctor is important to identify and treat the underlying cause of a potential smell disorder.  If your problem is caused by certain medications, talk to your doctor to see if lowering the dosage or changing that medicine may reduce its effect on your sense of smell.  Surgery to remove nasal obstructions such as polyps can restore airflow.  Some people recover their ability to smell when the illness causing their olfactory problem is resolved.  Occasionally, a person may recover his or her sense of smell spontaneously.”

NIDCD also has a list of common causes of smell disorders.  They are:

  • Sinus and other upper respiratory infections
  • Polyps in the nasal cavities
  • Frontal head injuries
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Dental problems
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as insecticides and solvents
  • Numerous medications, including some common antibiotics and antihistamines
  • Radiation associated with the treatment of head and neck cancers
  • Aging
  • Other health issues that affect the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease.

Here’s a fun test to show how strongly your sense of smell affects you sense of taste.  Cut open an orange and hold it to your nose while taking a bite of an apple.  Amazing.