Even smelling milk from coffee… There is no cure for loss of sense of smell

If one day, suddenly, as if the sense of smell is paralyzed, it becomes difficult to smell or taste, it may be due to a COVID-19 infection.

The most common symptom among COVID-19 patients is loss of smell or taste, along with cough, fever, and fatigue.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread last year, patients with these symptoms began to be reported.

Some patients report that changes such as a strange aftertaste after eating sweet food or a burning sensation in the lips but no taste when eating spicy food occur. These physical changes lead to mental confusion.

The COVID-19 virus is analyzed to cause loss of smell by infecting and damaging cells that control smell and surrounding cells. It is estimated.

About half of COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell and about 40 percent lose their sense of taste, and early research found that half of them suffer from distorted smells, such as smelling spoiled milk when they should smell coffee. done.

Loss of the sense of smell or taste seems like a minor symptom compared to the life-threatening side effects such as shortness of breath. However, according to experts, it reduces the overall quality of life and risks depression and anxiety. If you can’t smell the scent of flowers that give you a sense of security, or if you feel the unpleasant taste of your favorite food, you can take a psychological blow.

It can also lead to situations that pose a threat to the body. If you eat spoiled food without knowing it, or if you can’t smell the smoke even if there is a fire, you can actually damage your body.

Smell is also a factor that forms a bond between people. This is especially true in romantic relationships. Thus, loss of smell or taste can potentially affect human relationships as well.

Thus, loss of smell and taste is not a trivial problem, but in some cases a serious problem. The problem is that there is no clear improvement or treatment for these symptoms, such as having an eye exam at an ophthalmologist and fitting glasses. There are no clear clinical guidelines for treatment.

According to a study published by Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States in October, 80% of people who have lost their sense of smell or taste due to coronavirus recover within six months, especially those under the age of 40. However, some patients experience problems with these symptoms being prolonged or recurring.

Currently, one of the representative treatments to improve this is ‘olfactory training’. You train yourself to smell strong scented substances such as roses, lemons, and eucalyptus every day. This training can take weeks or even months, and this training doesn’t work for some patients at all.

There are also studies showing that rinsing the nose with saline to reduce inflammation and spraying a nasal spray containing vitamin A is helpful, but it is still limited to preprint studies.

By Moon Se-young, staff reporter [email protected]

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