Although "loss of smell" caused by coronavirus infection has not received as much attention as the more common respiratory complications (dry cough, fever and shortness of breath), this complication should be taken seriously.
British writer Holly Byrne tweeted that this became a viral side effect as she developed a loss of smell that lasted five days until she finally "began to feel something". By day 12, she felt she had regained "70 percent of her sense of smell" and then her sense of taste. “But I still don’t smell myself, my partner or something like a cleaning spray,” she wrote.
Byrne said she also had other unusual symptoms, including loss of smell. "No fever, no cough. Strange headache, like an electric orgasm. And so it went on for two weeks."
People flooded her comments with stories about losing their sense of smell. “Day 15. I cried yesterday because I don’t think I’ll ever fully taste it again,” wrote one. “It's third day and I'm going crazy! I have Vika's menthol inhaler, which usually helps with colds, but I don't feel it, ”added another Twitter user Road.
But some say they can't smell anymore. "Three weeks tomorrow, no smells." Thanks for "tip". I didn't expect it to take so long, for some reason I thought it was part of main symptoms, and now it's just a mild cough," wrote one person. “Third week. Still no taste or smell. Every morning I think I'll be back to normal, but it hasn't happened yet! “It was a strange experience,” someone interjected.How long does loss of smell due to COVID-19 last?
Rachel Kay, MD, assistant professor of laryngology at Rutgers University: "Viruses are a common cause of changes in smell or taste associated with upper respiratory tract infections." - Disorders of voice, respiratory tract and swallowing. Viral infections can cause inflammation and swelling of lining of nasal passages, leading to nasal congestion and, in turn, an altered sense of smell. There is also evidence that viral infections can damage your olfactory receptors, she says.
Unfortunately, there is little concrete evidence to support this. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) has created a reporting tool to try and collect more information, but results have yet to be released to public. And, as those who replied to Byrne's tweet attest, it looks like things are different.
Dr. Richard Watkins, infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at Northeastern Ohio Medical University. “We don’t yet know when people’s senses of taste and smell will return, and if this will have long-term consequences,” doctor said.
However, in some people, sense of smell is restored. .“Reports ranged from a week to three weeks, but there were other reports of longer periods of loss of smell,” he said. COVID-19, when do these patients develop anosmia, how severe is the loss, what is associated with other symptoms, and for how long." What can you do to restore your sense of smell?
By way, it's unclear if everyone's sense of smell has returned. "We don't know if people will get complete improvement or if some people will have long-term impairment," said Dr. Watkins.
Byrne, who posted this tweet, said she does a "smell training" (finds a strong smell, rubs it lightly on her wrist and inhales for 20 seconds, focusing on taste of smell) and then challenges food with something spicy — which actually makes sense, says Dr. Holbrook.
He noted that clinical trials have not yet shown that any drug is effective in restoring sense of smell after virus. However, many studies have shown that ability to smell improves after patients undergo olfactory training. "Not everyone reacts same way, but in these studies, when looking at exercise group as a whole, exercise group performed better on smell test compared to control group," said Dr. Holbrook.
Anosmia caused by a virus is nothing new: it has been observed for several years in a small percentage of population. Cold or flu symptoms. "A significant proportion of these patients improve over time, usually within months or years," he said. "Unfortunately, some people lose everything (smell) forever."
Others on Twitter talked about when their sense of smell finally came back, with one person writing: "It was a joy: when my sense of smell came back, I had a lot of related feelings - memories." a cigarette on a train platform isn't disgusting, it's filled with memories of smoking behind theater in high school. Candy is Halloween, etc.”
"My sense of taste and smell disappeared for 12 days and, oddly enough, returned overnight," added another. “At end of 11th day, I slept for another day without taste and smell, and next morning, applying hand cream, I smelled cocoa butter!” I jumped for joy! "