People who have had Covid-19 tend to have weeks of illness and weakness. Even after recovery, the post-Covid symptoms might hamper the patients. Such symptoms can cause inconveniences of different sorts for varying lengths of time.
One of the most prevalent symptoms of Covid-19 that had stayed people for long times is the loss of smell, a condition called Parosmia.
If you notice that things have started to smell different or you can't smell them at all, accompanied by a loss of taste, you might be suffering from Parosmia.
It occurs when the smell receptor cells in your nose, called olfactory sensory neurons, do not detect odour and send them to the brain. A more accessible way to explain this disorder is if you eat a banana and instead of its fruity aroma, you catch a bad foul odour and taste something entirely different.
Study shows that Parosmia happens to at least 25 per cent of people who catch SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Few reports have also linked COVID-19 infections to Parosmia.
Many patients with a complete loss of smell (called anosmia) from COVID-19 find that their senses go back to normal over time. But problems can linger in a few people, or they may have an altered sense of taste and smell for weeks or months after the infection.
CitySpidey talked to Dr Khusrav Bajan, Head Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Consultant, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai to understand more about this condition. He said, “Parosmia, Anosmia is basically a loss of taste and smell mainly because of any viral infection which causes rhinitis. However, it is seen more profoundly in Covid as it affects the paranasal sinuses and rhinitis much more than any other viral infection.”
“This usually may last only 2-3 days and sometimes, even after the Covid is better, it might take two-three months to get better. Having said that, this symptom of loss of smell is the best marker for Covid, it means that Covid is most mild in such patients. This symptom is quite significantly associated with Covid itself. Loss of smell is much better than high-grade fever and other things as a Covid symptom,” he continued.
On being asked about people who haven't gotten back their sense of smell and taste even after 5-6 months of Covid recovery, Dr Bhajan said, “By and large, it takes 2-3 months to get these senses back. Usually, prolonged loss of these senses doesn't occur with Covid. Such people definitely need a good ENT checkup to rue out any other problems. Parosmia can happen with any other virus as well.”
Can parosmia be treated?
Well, parosmia can get better on its own over time. Still, you can do something for better results.
A procedure called smell training is being utilised to treat parosmia because of COVID-19. Smell training includes sniffing similar gatherings of fragrances for 20 seconds. This is normally done in some measure two times in a day.
Cutoff specific food sources that regularly trigger parosmia, like meats, onions, or eggs. Eat bland food like cereal or steamed vegetables, which might be more averse to trigger parosmia. Keep away from places that may have strong aromas like the supermarket, eateries, or the fragrance counter at a retail chain. Any such aromas can trigger your parosmia. Open the windows or use a fan to assist with disseminating aromas that trigger parosmia.