Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Missouri Worker Compensation for Loss of Smell and Taste

Missouri Worker Compensation for Loss of Smell and Taste

By James Hoffmann  Sep. 26, 2017 7:53a

It may be difficult to imagine a life without the sense of smell and taste. An episode of the flu or a sinus infection, wherein temporary loss of smell and taste is common, is enough to make a person feel very uncomfortable. It is therefore understandable how permanent loss of these senses can severely affect a person’s quality of life, and lead to further conditions such as weight loss and even depression. In this post, our St. Louis worker injury lawyer will talk about loss of sense if smell and taste.

Loss of sense of smell and taste

Smell and taste are the chemical senses of the body. The senses of smell and taste help a person in detecting substances in food, drink, air, and water through a unique chemical signature. Molecules released by these substances stimulate nerves in the mouth, throat and the nose, which send signals to brain receptors. The brain receptors then analyze the signals and send back messages helping identification of the substance’s smell and taste.

Any damage caused to either the nerve cells or the corresponding brain receptors can lead to impairment of smell and taste. Impairment in the sense of smell is known as anosmia. Losing the ability to identify texture and differentiate between tastes such as umami, sourness, bitterness, sweetness and saltiness is called ageusia.

Causes of impairment

The senses of smell and taste are closely related. Impairment of either senses, or both, can occur due to a number of reasons –

  • Any illness such as flu or sinus infection

  • Any neurological disorder

  • Exposure to certain toxic chemicals

  • Due to trauma to the brain during head injuries

  • Due to any ear, nose or throat surgery

  • Certain medications

Head injuries are among the most common injuries that can result in loss of sense of smell. The impairment is usually caused when damage occurs to the frontal lobes of the brain, the nerves traveling from the olfactory receptor cells to the brain, or to the nose itself.

Injury caused by chemicals and toxic fumes are seen mostly in industries that use and handle solvents, insecticides and heavy metals (such as, nickel, chromium, cadmium, manganese, etc.). These can cause irreversible damage. Toxic fumes can damage the olfactory neuroepithelium tissue in the upper nasal chamber.

Claims for impairment of smell and taste

Impairment of olfactory senses are quite common. Also, considering that sense of smell and taste are related, it is seen that both are usually affected.

It is essential for workers developing impairment of smell and taste to be able to identify the cause of the loss of senses. Workers with smell and taste impairment should consult with a medical practitioner to get a professional diagnosis. This diagnosis is essential to base a workers compensation claim on.

An experienced and qualified St. Louis workers compensation attorney can help get the benefits you deserve. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

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