Loss of smell and taste are symptoms of a corona infection. But will it pass again? Usually yes, but not always. ENT doctors and scientists are busy looking for the cause and the course. What is now known?
1. Suddenly I don’t smell or taste anything anymore. Could it be corona?
Yes, that’s possible. So far 84,000 people have been infected. 30-90 percent of people with a corona infection have a loss of smell and taste. The RIVM advises having a corona test done in the event of a sudden loss of smell or taste. It is wise to quarantine for ten days anyway. After that, the smell and taste may not have improved, but the contagiousness is so small that you can be quarantined.
2. Will the weather recover?
Often yes, but not always. Four weeks after being infected with a loss of smell, half of the people have fully recovered, they can smell again. After eight weeks, 76 percent of people have fully recovered. ‘Only four percent of people have no improvement after eight weeks.
Loss of taste is also a result of loss of smell. Most people can still taste with their tongue, but the smells of the food no longer enter. That means that food doesn’t taste like anything anymore.
With corona, it often happens that people experience smells differently than before. Wine suddenly smells like vinegar, for example. It sounds crazy, but if your first one couldn’t smell anything at all, that’s a good sign. It’s a sign of recovery. The brain processes odor stimuli again but needs some practice in recognizing them.
3. When should I see the doctor?
If your sense of smell and taste has not returned after four to eight weeks, it is advisable to see a doctor. He can refer you to the ENT doctor.
The doctor may also prescribe medications, such as steroid nasal sprays. There is much more on the market, but none of these have been proven effective in the loss of smell due to corona. So don’t expect much from zinc, ginkgo, vitamin A supplements, alpha-lipoic acid, omega-3 supplements, n-acetyl cysteine, vitamin C, stem cell implantation, or PRP injections (injections with the body’s own blood plasma).
4. What can you do about it yourself?
First, be patient. Recovering smell takes time. You can also follow a smell training with the app from smelltraining.nl. The loss of smell in the corona is usually caused by a swelling of the olfactory organ or damage to the olfactory epithelium at the top of the nose. The smell signals do not arrive well in the brain. Smell training can train the brain to smell and recognize smells again.
5. And what else can you do?
The olfactory taste disorder association has set up a Facebook group for people who smell bad because of COVID. In addition, there are other large Facebook groups on this topic that you can join. You can also read more about loss of taste , train your sense of smell and watch a nice video about a coffee gourmet who lost his smell due to corona.
Source: reuksmaakgedrag.nl, in collaboration with the Smell and Taste Center in Ede, the ENT association and the olfactory clinic of the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft.