Please click here for information about how many people suffer from anosmia.

We have received hundreds of responses to the Anosmia Foundation Questionnaire since it was first posted on this Web site in the summer of 2001. These responses have been sent in from across North America, South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and other places in between. Now, after two years, the Questionnaire is officially closed. The information you have submitted to us is being organized and should be posted on this page in the near future. Thanks for your participation! The following results were gleaned from the first batch of data (64 individual responses) we collected in the summer and fall of 2001.

Basic characteristics of respondents:

  • 43 Female

  • 15 Male

Note: this raises the question of whether olfactory loss really is more common among females, whether they just notice it more, or whether they are just more willing to ‘talk’ about it!


  • 18 – 83, average: 43.3

  • Average for males: 47.6, for females: 42.1

  • Age at diagnosis: 27.3 (n=55); range: 2 - 53


  • United States of America

  • Canada

  • Bermuda

  • New Zealand,

  • India

  • Australia

  • United Kingdom

  • Africa


  • Few reported experiencing discrimination

  • 14 reported harassment of various forms, ranging from teasing or practical jokes at school to difficulty in the workplace. [Note: We would consider these a form of discrimination.]

  • Majority (57) felt their loss had a significant detrimental effect on their quality of life, primarily due to safety issues, dependence on others for detection of hazards, changes in lifestyle, missing enjoyment of food, perfume, people

  • Majority felt isolated

  • Majority felt that anosmia places limits on what can be enjoyed or experienced and the kinds of jobs one could have

  • Majority (40) felt their loss should be considered a disability

  • Majority aware of major dangers of failing to detect natural gas, smoke, spoiled food


  • 13 reported congenital anosmia or loss as long as they could remember

  • 8 reported loss due to head trauma

  • 18 reported loss related to URI/sinus infection/viral rhinitis remainder unknown cause

Other responses:

  • Majority willing to release information (59) to researchers or participate in research (62)

  • Majority discovered they lacked a sense of smell by themselves; next was parent, spouse

  • Majority were frustrated with lack of awareness, knowledge by medical profession

  • Majority of those responding felt funds should be spent on research into treatments/cures/ to understand causes; second most mentioned was to increase awareness by public and medical profession

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