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Olfactory Impairment and Close Social Relationships. A Narrative Review

Authors
  • Blomkvist, Anna1
  • Hofer, Marlise2, 3
  • 1 Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Frescati Hagväg 14, 106 91 Stockholm , (Sweden)
  • 2 Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Greater Victoria, BC , (Canada)
  • 3 Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Chemical Senses
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Aug 05, 2021
Volume
46
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjab037
PMID: 34351415
PMCID: PMC8385889
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • AcademicSubjects/SCI01180
License
Unknown

Abstract

Olfactory impairment is one of the more unique symptoms of COVID-19 infection and has therefore enjoyed increased public attention in recent months. Olfactory impairment has various implications and consequences ranging from difficulty detecting dangerous pathogens to hindering social functioning and social behaviors. We provide an overview of how olfactory impairment can impact 3 types of close social relationships: family relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. Evidence is divided into several categories representing potential mechanisms by which olfactory impairment can impact close social relationships: bonding disruptions, decreased social support, missed group-eating experiences, hygiene concerns, and altered sexual behaviors. We conclude with a discussion of emerging future research questions.

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