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Post COVID-19 related sensory loss of Taste and Smell

Jan 18, 2024

Post COVID-19 related sensory loss of Taste and Smell

Long COVID-19 symptoms had affected people's life drastically. One of the Post COVID-19 symptom include sensory problems with taste and/ or smell. Now, theres is good news for people struggling with these sensory problems after a bout of COVID-19. Although mild cases of disease often impaired the ability to taste and smell, and the problem can drag on for months, a new study from Italy shows that most people start improving fast and almost all return to their normal sensory state of taste and smell senses, as it were, well within three years. 

Dr. Boscolo-Rizzo analyzed data from 88 adults with mild COVID-19, defined as having no lower respiratory disease and blood oxygen of 94% and compared to another group of 88 adults who never contracted the virus, but sometimes had difficulties with smell and taste. Results showed, overtime only fewer people had difficulty distinguishing orders that is 3 years after developing COVID-19, only 12 people had impaired smell compared with 36 people at one year one and 24 people at year two. And at three years mark, all participants had at least a partial ability to smell. The story was similar with sense of taste.  These results were published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery (2023 November 9).

Another study this past June showed a strong correlation between severity of COVID-19 symptoms and impaired sense of taste and/or smell and estimated that millions of American maintained altered senses. Although there are fewer people with remnants of post COVID-19 sensory loss, there are still people suffering from it stated by Dr. Fernando Carnavali, MD, an Internal Medicine, physician, and a site Director for the center for post COVID-19 care at Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He called for similar studies in diverse population.

Treatments are emerging for COVID-19 related loss of smell. One approach is to inject PRP - platelet rich plasma into patient’s nasal cavities to help neurons related to smell repair themselves. This treatment significantly out performed in a placebo based study. Another technique called Stellate, ganglion block helped to address olfactory condition known as Parosmia, in which patient generally experience a benign odor as rancid. It involves providing a shot into nerves in the neck. People with COVID-19 related Parosmia reported that this method cures them.

Parosmia linked to COVID-19 is extremely distressing. It is associated with an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. For the well being of one's People face huge range of challenges with the loss of smell and taste. It significantly affects, not just a mental health but these people also have huge impact on physical health due to the fact that proper nutrition is getting compromised. Inability to enjoy food affects one's well being. The psychological affects of COVID-19 related sensory loss are devastating for patients and their families.

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