(INTER-MOUNTAIN HEALTH) – As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, more and more people are reporting prolonged loss of smell after contracting the virus.
A study found that up to 77% of people with COVID-19 had a loss of smell.
“Other viral illnesses are known to cause loss of smell, but it was rare before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Alexander Ramirez, medical director of the otolaryngology clinical program for Intermountain Healthcare, ” The SARS-CV-2 virus binds to the ACE receptors that we see in abundance in the olfactory area of ââthe nasal cavity, so it’s no surprise that we see it more frequently with COVID-19. â
In most patients, the loss of smell is temporary, but for others it can be prolonged and take months or even years to fully recover. In fact, Dr Ramirez says it’s a common problem he sees in Long COVID patients.
âThis lack of smell also causes dysgeusia, which is a disruption in their ability to taste that is largely regulated by smell,â Dr. Ramirez said. âAs a result, patients will often lose their urge to eat, lose significant amounts of weight, and lose the joy of smells in life. In addition, there is the risk of fires and not smelly things that could burn.
Courtney Wightman, 34, is one of those Long COVID patients who lost their sense of taste and smell after contracting the virus in January 2021.
âIt has been a long, stressful year,â said Wightman. âMy life is completely different. I used to enjoy the smells at the spa and the food I eat.
Dr Ramirez and other doctors recommend a treatment called scent formation, also known as scent formation, to help their patients regain this sense of smell. It has been shown to be beneficial for patients with anosmia or loss of smell caused by other viruses, so it has been applied to COVID patients.
Wightman turned to smell training to recover some of his senses and told others, “You have to be patient and consistent.”
For more information, visit the Intermountain Healthcare website website.
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