Millions of people around the world are trying to adapt to a life without smell and taste after being infected with Covid-19.
For most, this olfactory dysfunction lasts only a few days or weeks, but some still suffer months after contracting the virus. A study last year found that between 700,000 and 1.6 million people in the US had lost or altered their sense of smell over six months. after having Covid.
The “exact cause” of coronavirus-related sensory loss is unknown, says Sky News, but experts believe it is related to “damage to infected cells in the part of the nose called the olfactory epithelium”. Cells in this area of the nasal cavity protect the olfactory nerve cells that enable humans to smell.
A study published in Natural genetics This week’s journal shows that genetics play an important role in determining whether a person loses or experiences changes in smell and taste after being infected with Covid-19.
Analysis of DNA data from nearly 70,000 adults in the UK and US with Covid found that those with “some genetic modification” on chromosomes near two olfactory genes, known as UGT2A1 and UGT2A24, were at increased risk. 11% higher loss of smell. or taste than people without change, explain Scientific news.
The researchers suggest that genetic variants “may affect how two genes are turned on or off to somehow mess with the smell during an infection,” the website says.
A related and lesser-known symptom of Covid is arrhythmia, where people develop a disfiguring smell after contracting the virus. Certain odor molecules can act as triggers, which vary from person to person but typically include flavors like coffee, meat, and eggs.
According to Fifth Sense, a charity for people affected by olfactory and taste disorders, an estimated 25,000 UK adults with Covid-19 have been affected by parosmia. can mean food with an unpleasant smell or taste, such as rotten meat or chemicals,” says BBC.
Although there is currently no cure for cold blood, Fifth Sense and experts from the University of East Anglia have created an online guide for an “olfaction technique” that advocates say can help anyone who has lost or altered their sense of smell.
Training usually involves sniffing at least four particular smells, such as oranges, coffee or garlic, twice a day for several months in order for the brain to recognize different smells.
Another potential treatment for olfactory dysfunction is steroids – anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat a range of conditions from eczema to arthritis. Along with suppressing inflammation, they work by reducing the activity of the immune system.
According to the researchers NHS website.
Experts have argued that olfactory training is better than steroids for people with a lack of smell and taste caused by Covid. Professor Carl Philpott’s University of East Anglia described olfactory training as “an inexpensive, simple, and side-effect-free treatment option.”
“Fortunately,” he added, the majority of people who have lost their sense of smell and taste due to the virus eventually regain these senses “naturally.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/science-health/955451/how-to-get-your-smell-and-taste-back-after-covid How to get your smell and taste back after Covid