A study of about 200 COVID-19 patients last year found that nearly half reported a loss of taste or smell. While most of them regained their senses within four weeks, roughly 10% reported their condition had been unchanged or worse. Doctors are still learning about this COVID-19 related symptom and what possible treatments could be helpful. Some physicians have begun studying the benefits of steroids and olfactory implants!
In an ABC News article, Dr. Hakim Benkhatar, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the Centre Hospitalier de Versaille, says olfactory training is most likely to treat anosmia related to COVID-19. “It involves patients picking out a few scents and setting time aside at least twice a day to practice smelling them in hopes that it will reawaken their senses. It was at Paris’ Institut Superieur du Parfum where Brossard began his olfactory training. The institution was built on the idea that scent can be learned, and it’s where the country’s future “noses” learn to hone their senses.”
“Olfactory is something really distressful for patients because it impacts their daily life in many activities, such as cooking, and usually they have a loss of appetite,” Benkhatar said, “and they have more anxiety and depression because of the consequences on their social interactions.” Losing your sense of taste and smell may not seem like a big deal but it is! Many Americans are considered “long-haulers” and have suffered with these symptoms for months. Maybe some olfactory training would be a good place to start? Stay well, mask up indoors, stay tuned!