Date: September 23, 2023 06:41PM
Good news on the improvement front b.g.!
Unfortunately, I don't know what an MD can do for the loss of sense of smell or taste that many people do experience post-COVID. It may have to be a wait-and-see kind of thing, with the sense/s returning at some point in the not-too-distant future after a COVID infection.
Here’s an article (June 2022) from UNC about loss of sense of smell after COVID. It’s interesting and useful information I think.https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/still-cant-taste-or-smell-since-covid-19-it-may-take-time-to-recover/
“A loss or disruption of the sense of smell is a well-known symptom of COVID-19, says UNC Health rhinologist Brent Senior, MD. As many as half of all people who had earlier variants of COVID-19 lost their sense of smell. With omicron and its subvariants, about 1 in 5 people lost their sense of smell.
“The good news is that people do recover,” Dr. Senior says. “But it can be quite disturbing for patients, especially since it’s unclear what the time frame is for improvement.”
“Disruption to the sense of smell can happen to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people with COVID-19, but vaccinated people tend to have milder symptoms overall and are much less susceptible to serious illness.
“People with COVID-19 also report being unable to taste food, Dr. Senior says, but that problem may be caused by the inability to smell.
“Taste goes hand in hand with the sense of smell,” he says. “We haven’t found any damage to cells that directly support the sense of taste. But to really appreciate flavors, you need to be able to smell.”
“On average, patients report losing their sense of smell for two or three months after they have recovered from other COVID-19 symptoms, Dr. Senior says. However, doctors don’t know yet how long it will take people infected with omicron variants to recover, though it appears to be shorter.
“Dr. Senior says that the virus that causes COVID-19 seems to affect cells that support the olfactory nerve, the nerve that transmits messages about smell to the brain. This nerve is found high in the nose. When the supporting cells are unable to remove toxins and provide nutrition to the olfactory nerve, then the messages about smell don’t get to the brain.
“It’s not unusual for a viral infection to disrupt a person’s sense of smell, Dr. Senior says, but that’s typically because of nasal congestion, and less commonly from involvement of the cells around the olfactory nerve or damage to the nerve itself.
“The thing that is unusual here is the degree of loss of the sense of smell,” he says. “It’s almost complete loss and occurring in a large percentage of COVID-infected people and for a long time.”
I've been complaining for a while that food doesn't taste as good as it used to. Everybody automatically tells me that means I must have had COVID. I don't think so as I haven't been noticeably ill and have had all negative tests since the pandemic started.
But it's possible to have a mild case that doesn't signal itself as being COVID and then still end up with some of the side effects.
I may never know whether to blame COVID or if it's a coincidence about the taste thing. For now I'm mostly thinking that somehow the food producers/makers/chefs, whoever, aren't using the same quality ingredients or have changed their preparation techniques or any one of a number of other possibilities to explain the before-and-after differences I'm experiencing.
One example is a local bakery my family's been going to for a long time and loving their sausage rolls, meat pies, bread and baked goods. Suddenly one weekend nothing tasted the same, or as good, as it always has, and since then the situation has remained the same. It did make me think I must have had COVID and that it had killed my taste buds. But then a more tangible explanation became obvious: the married couple who had owned the place for decades has retired and now their kids have taken over. They may use the same recipes as their dad the baker did but somehow they don't have his same fine hand. Maybe it's something they'll develop. I sure hope so.
Interesting to try and dissect all the ins and outs of these things.
Glad to read you're feeling better b.g. Keep it up!