- The sudden loss of smell and taste is one of the strangest symptoms of COVID-19 reported by those infected.
- Most people recover their senses in a matter of weeks or months, but there are COVID-19 survivors who may take longer to regain their lost senses.
- Now, a new study suggests some people may regain their senses of smell or taste after surviving COVID-19.
The clinical presentation of COVID-19 is not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis, and this is because the vast majority of symptoms that can appear from an infection are not unique. But there is a sign doctors spotted at the start of the pandemic that is more likely to be associated with COVID-19 than anything else. It is the sudden loss of smell and taste that many patients with COVID-19 have experienced. The phenomenon has been studied over the past few months and while it is indeed quite bizarre, we now have an explanation for its reasons. The virus infects cells in the nose, resulting in local inflammation that can prevent olfactory neurons from detecting the smell. This, in turn, can make the sense of taste disappear at the same time.
Most people will regain both senses within weeks or months of clearing the infection. It may take a bit of recycling, but eventually the senses return. However, some patients with COVID-19 will have to wait much longer to regain their senses of smell and taste – and some of them may never regain those senses at all.
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A recent study has shown that most people who have lost their senses of smell and taste have developed mild cases of COVID-19. This seemed like a good thing, as the symptom could act as a kind of marker for the severity of COVID-19.
Then another study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine (JIM) showed that many volunteers took several months for the senses to return. About 15.3% of patients have not recovered their senses after 60 days. The percentage dropped to 4.7% after six months, but that still leaves people who weren’t able to smell the scents or taste the food long after COVID-19 had recovered.
By Yahoo Live, an April study showed that many patients with COVID-19 still had these symptoms long after the other symptoms disappeared. the European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology found that only about a quarter of participants recovered their senses within two weeks.
Explaining the lingering symptoms at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August, Dr Jessica Grayson said hope is not lost on those who still aren’t able to taste or smell. “Patients with post-viral odor loss have about a 60 to 80 percent chance of regaining some of their olfactory function at one year,” she says. But cognitive and neurological expert Leo Newhouse addressed the same question on Harvard Health in mid-August. “Some of us might never regain our sense of smell or taste at all,” Newhouse wrote, citing the same chance of recovery a year after illness.
It can be a long and boring wait. the Yahoo report notes that a 2016 study Chemical meaning found that “patients with olfactory dysfunction exhibit symptoms of depression that worsen with the severity of the loss of smell.”
A significant percentage of COVID-19 survivors continue to show various symptoms for months after infection. A ABC News detailed report a case a few days ago. A survivor who overcame the disease more than nine months ago said she still had not fully recovered her smell and taste, and that she still suffered from brain fog. These studies cannot determine whether COVID-19 survivors who cannot smell or taste after more than six months have other symptoms of COVID long.
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