The long list of COVID symptoms includes an alarmingly wide range of complications that can come with the virus. One of the most common symptoms among COVID patients, especially those with mild cases, is loss of smell and taste. For some, these senses return in a few weeks, while others wait months before their senses reappear. At worst, experts say some COVID patients lose these senses for good. Keep reading for more on how coronavirus can kill your sense of smell and taste forever, and to get more symptoms to be aware of. If you have any of these symptoms, CDC says Go to the hospital now.
Your sense of smell and taste may never return after COVID.
Losing your sense of smell and taste are common COVID symptoms. A survey from January 5 Journal of Internal Medicine (JIM) found that 86 percent of patients with mild cases of COVID experienced a loss of their sense of taste and smell. And while a significant portion of these patients’ senses end up coming back, Wall Street Journal reports that doctors say some people’s senses may never return.
On the Harvard Health website, cognitive and neurological expert Leo Newhouse, LICSW, writes, “Some of us may never regain our sense of smell or taste.” And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Most patients’ sense of smell and taste return after six months.
A study of April 6 published by European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology found that the majority of the patient’s loss of taste and smell lingered long after other symptoms had disappeared. According to the study, at least a quarter of participants’ ability to taste and smell returned within two weeks after their other symptoms disappeared.
That JIM study concluded that after 60 days, 15.3 percent of patients had not yet regained their senses, and by the 6-month mark, 4.7 percent of people’s senses had still not returned. And to get more symptoms to monitor if you have this subtle symptom, you may have already had COVID.
Even if your senses come back, they may not come back the same.
“The good news is that olfactory neurons are capable of regenerating,” Newhouse writes. “The bad news is that not everyone returns to his or her level of functioning before COVID.”
If your senses are still gone, you should not lose all hope. Experts say there is a significant chance that your senses will recover within the first year of loss. Assistant Professor Jessica Grayson, MD, told the University of Alabama at Birmingham that “patients with postviral odor loss have about a 60-80 percent chance of regaining some of their olfactory function in one year.” And to get yet another long-term complication of coronavirus, you can discover The disturbing new symptom of long COVID doctors that you want to know.
Loss of smell and taste can lead to depression.
This common COVID symptom can have an even more detrimental effect than previously thought. Experts say that losing your sense of smell and taste can lead to unwanted emotions. A 2016 study published in Chemical senses found that “patients with olfactory dysfunction have symptoms of depression that worsen with the severity of odor loss.”
Chemosensory scientist Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., told Wall Street Journal that when our sense of smell and taste disappear, “we have taken out a whole piece of our consciousness that we did not even realize we were using every day.” When people are not able to enjoy the food they want or get their partner’s scent, it can lead to less serotonin, Dalton explains. And for even more symptoms you need to know, this is the “strongest, most consistent” sign you have COVID, the study says.