Losing your sense of smell is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, and it can have a major impact on your quality of life. While the loss of smell is usually temporary, it can be a sign that the virus has caused damage to your olfactory system. In some cases, the loss of smell may be permanent.
If you have COVID-19 and you lose your sense of smell, you may not be able to enjoy your favorite foods or smells. This can be a major inconvenience, but there are ways to cope with it.
Treatments for Lack of Smell
There is no specific treatment for loss of smell caused by COVID-19. Many times your sense of smell will spontaneously return often within six months of the onset of symptoms. However, there are some things you can do to try to improve your sense of smell during this time:
- Rinse your nose with a saline solution. This can help to remove any irritants that may be blocking your sense of smell.
- Use a humidifier. Dry air can irritate your nose and make it difficult to smell. A humidifier can help to keep the air moist and make it easier to breathe.
- Avoid strong smells. Strong smells can irritate your nose and make it difficult to smell. If possible, avoid strong smelling perfumes, cleaning products, and smoke.
- Try smelling different things. Smelling different things can help to stimulate your sense of smell. Try smelling things with different textures, such as coffee beans, lemons, or roses.
- See an ENT specialist. If your sense of smell does not improve after trying these home remedies, you may need to see a doctor. An ENT specialist can help to determine the cause of your loss of smell and recommend further treatment.
When is it Time to See an ENT?
If you have lost your sense of smell from COVID and tried some of the above treatments at home to try to improve your sense of smell with no luck then you may need to see a doctor. An ENT specialist can help to determine the cause of your loss of smell and recommend further treatment. The ENT specialist can diagnose you with anosmia or hyposmia and begin treatment to help resolve these symptoms.
What is Anosmia and Hyposmia?
Anosmia and hyposmia are both conditions that can cause a person to have a reduced ability to smell. Anosmia is the complete loss of the sense of smell, while hyposmia is a partial loss. Both conditions can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, as the sense of smell plays an important role in many aspects of daily life, from enjoying food and drink to detecting danger. There are many possible causes of anosmia and hyposmia, including damage to the nose or olfactory nerve, certain medical conditions, and medications. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, anosmia or hyposmia may be temporary and resolve on its own. However, in other cases, it may be permanent.
Loss of Taste After COVID
If you have lost your sense of taste after having COVID this can be a big inconvenience. This can make it difficult to enjoy food and drink, and can also be a sign that your sense of smell may be affected.
Because your senses for taste and smell work together to help you enjoy eating and drinking, your sense of taste being affected by COVID can then alter your perception of smell as well.
Olfactory training is basically smell training and it is sometimes used to help regain the sense of smell. It often consists of a daily routine of spending time twice a day smelling familiar odors for a couple of minutes at a time.
Training usually starts with four different scents being used that are often rose, eucalyptus, lemon, and clove. Smells are commonly divided into different categories with floral, fruity, spicy, and resinous being some of those categories. By practicing smelling the four different scents from these categories it can help reconnect the connection between the senses and the mind for some patients. Dr. Reddy often combines olfactory training with steroid saline irrigations and omega 3 supplementation.
If you or a family member are struggling with the loss of smell after COVID then call Reddy Sinus, New Jersey’s top rated ENT for an evaluation and to find out what treatment options are available for you.