The Effects of Hypoxic Hypoxia on Olfactory Sensitivity in Humans

Abstract

This study examined the influence of hypoxic hypoxia on olfactory sensitivity in humans. Olfactory detection thresholds for n-butanol were studied when the subjects (male volunteers aged 18–20 years without ear, nose, or throat diseases and with low tolerance to hypoxia) breathed a hypoxic gas mixture. To mimic hypoxic hypoxia, participants were asked to breathe a gas mixture containing 10.5% oxygen. The oxygen level in the blood was controlled by the degree of hemoglobin oxygenation, as measured using a Nonin 9843 digital portable pulse oximeter (United States). The results of our study show that with a low fraction of inspired oxygen the olfactory detection thresholds for n-butanol increased (p ≤ 0.01). Therefore, a human olfactory receptor becomes less sensitive under hypoxic hypoxia.

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Correspondence to E. V. Bigdaj.

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Original Russian Text © E.V. Bigdaj, E.A. Bezgacheva, V.O. Samojlov, Y.N. Korolyev, 2018, published in Biofizika, 2018, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 598–605.

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Bigdaj, E.V., Bezgacheva, E.A., Samojlov, V.O. et al. The Effects of Hypoxic Hypoxia on Olfactory Sensitivity in Humans. BIOPHYSICS 63, 463–468 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1134/S000635091803003X

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Keywords

  • hypoxic hypoxia
  • olfaction
  • olfactory detection thresholds
  • olfactory testing