Outcome measures: Edited by Henry Milgrom and Ralph MösgesHow relevant is the impairment of smell for the quality of life in allergic rhinitis?Passàli, Giulio C; Ralli, Massimo; Galli, Jacopo; Calò, Lea; Paludetti, Gaetano Author Information ENT Department, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Medical School, Rome, Italy Correspondence to Giulio Cesare Passàli, MD, PhD, Clinica ORL Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore L. go A. Gemelli n. 8, 00168 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 03331727194; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 8(3):p 238-242, June 2008. | DOI: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3282ffd6bb Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review In the present review, the authors try to evaluate how relevant smell impairment is in patients suffering from allergic rhinitis and how it affects their quality of life. Smell dysfunction has a significant impact on the quality of life as it can lead to a wrong choice of food and intake, a reduction in appetite and eventually to weight loss, malnutrition, immunity reduction and worsening of medical illness. Patients with smell impairment are reported to use larger quantities of sugar and salt to highlight flavours, thus worsening their general health condition and increasing the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. Recent findings Recent studies estimate that a complete loss of the sense of smell can be found in at least 1% of the US population, and that an impairment in the olfactory function can be highlighted in about 24% of individuals aged 53–97 years and 19% of individuals aged 20–92 years. Despite the high prevalence, subjective complaints do not accurately reflect the real disturbance experienced by the patient, and usually go unnoticed. Summary Current information in literature highlights the need for additional studies that concentrate on the impact of olfactory dysfunction on the quality of life of patients affected by allergic rhinitis. Copyright © 2008 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.