When I had COVID-19 back in December, I was like many and lost both my taste and smell.
It’s been close to nine months, and my smell still isn’t fully back yet. I know I am not alone in this situation. I recently asked my Facebook friends if anyone else has experienced this. Many friends told me they hadn’t regained their sense of smell in over two years.
So, what are we supposed to do? Do we just wait it out and see if that sense comes back entirely? Or will that sense be tainted for the rest of our lives?
Doing some research, many doctors recommend scent therapy. It seems silly at first, but looking into it -- the results seem somewhat promising.
In a health article, Dr. Melissa McBrien, a Beaumont otolaryngologist, wrote that recovering from the loss of smell is a slow process. “Treatments such as smell training can be helpful in the recovery of this important sense.”
The Baylor College of Medicine writes that some patients might be prescribed steroids to address the issue, but physical therapy is an option for your nose.
The physical therapy entails that patients gently smell different oils or herbs for 20 seconds while focusing on the memory or any experiences with the scent. According to the university, this practice should be repeated twice a day for four to six months. Many use familiar scents like clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rose.
So why commonly these four scents? Well, these scents have vastly different smells. The American Academy of Otolaryngology Foundation states that this combination will help encourage improved brain connectivity. Just like how there are various categories for our taste buds, these scents can be categorized as floral, fruity, spicy and resinous.
Dr. Sunthosh Sivam, assistant professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, writes that the retraining requires dedicated effort and that recovering smell may not return to the same level before the COVID-19 infection.
Have you been trying different techniques to get your smell back? Tell me about it in the comments below.