Insensitivity to taste and smell, seen as an infection of the coronavirus, can last for 6 months, even if the disease turns negative. One of the known symptoms of Covid 19 is a lack of smell and taste. This temporary situation, which is experienced by the majority, if not everyone, significantly affects the quality of life. The well-known symptoms of high fever, sore throat, cough, and shortness of breath, as well as the deterioration of the sense of taste and smell, point to the infection of the coronovirus. Providing information on the subject, Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital ENT Department Head Assoc. Abdülkadir Özgür stated that sometimes the lack of smell and taste continues for a while in people who turn negative after the isolation process, and said that there should be no panic.
Stating that in fact, odor disorder is a common condition after many upper respiratory tract infections in Otorhinolaryngology, Assoc. Dr. Abdulkadir Özgür answered the most curious questions and gave information by saying, "Although the incidence of new variants has decreased, it has started to arouse a lot of interest since it has started to be seen more in the society after the Covid pandemic."
How long does an odor disorder last?
In the first year when the epidemic started to appear, we saw that the smell disorder improved in an average of 3-6 months. However, as the duration of the epidemic extended, we saw that there were patients who did not fully recover even after a year, with a recovery period of one year. Therefore, it is very difficult to give an exact time on this issue. But we can say that 90-95% of the patients fully recovered within six months.
What can be done to shorten the healing process?
Unfortunately, we do not have a medicine that will cure the smell disorder for sure. Recovery differs from person to person. In some patients, it completely resolves within a few days, while in some patients it does not improve even in more than a year. Moreover, this situation does not depend on the severity or duration of the disease. We recommend a patient to use nasal sprays containing steroids for the reduction of intranasal inflammation. But apart from that, there are those who use drugs, especially those containing B12 and vitamin E, and various aromatic oils. But none of these have proven effects. After the diagnosis of drugs, we recommend smell exercises with sharp smells such as coffee. It is assumed that pungent odors contribute to healing by stimulating odor perception.
Does the sense of smell affect taste?
The sense of smell and taste are closely related. Loss of the sense of smell leads to a decrease in the sense of aromatic flavors, especially spices. However, the tastes perceived by the tongue's taste nerve, such as salty and sour, do not disappear completely with the disappearance of the smell, but the perception may be weakened.
Does this process affect a person's appetite for food?
It definitely affects. Because the smell of good food increases the desire to eat in people. When the sense of smell decreases, the instinct to eat weakens. In addition, during the different perception of odors that we see in the recovery period of the smell disorder, the smell of all dishes may be the same or the smell of all dishes may be perceived as a bad odor. This perception disorder can lead to loss of appetite in humans.
What should the person who does not smell smell pay attention to while continuing his normal life?
The sense of smell is very important not only for perceiving good smells, but also for warning us against dangers in our normal lives. Smells such as the smell of gas, the smell of burning are a warning for us when there is a dangerous situation in our environment. Those with a smell disorder are unprotected against these dangerous situations. Therefore, they should be more careful.