Successfully Manage Loss of Smell & Taste Due To COVID At Home
Did you know that around 86%* of people with confirmed COVID-19 have lost some or complete sense of smell? Well, over the past few months, loss of smell has become a ‘characteristic symptom’ of COVID-19. Often accompanied by respiratory symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and runny nose, loss of smell can also be an early symptom of a mild case of COVID-19.
While it’s common for respiratory infections like common cold or flu to affect the sense of smell and taste, people with COVID-19 usually experience a gradual loss of smell which is then accompanied by loss of taste. Whereas, on the other hand there are times when the patients with COVID-19 do not realise the sudden loss of smell, but instead observe a loss of taste. If you are concerned that you are losing your sense of smell or taste, here’s what you can do at home.
Two steps to test your sense of smell & taste
- For smell
Try sniffing foods with a strong smell like garlic, cinnamon, ajwain or coffee beans. If you are unable to pick up the exact scent, then you are experiencing a loss of smell.
- For taste
Pick up food with distinct flavours, like chocolates, oranges, lemon, coffee powder and salt. If you experience a loss in its characteristic taste, be it sweet, bitter or sour, then you are experiencing loss of taste.
Well, sudden or gradual loss of taste or smell could be an early indicator of COVID-19. If you experience any of these, make sure to self-isolate, watch out for other symptoms and get tested. You can even book your COVID RT-PCR test online.
What other symptoms should I look out for?
This loss of smell or taste is usually followed by other symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, body ache, cough, tiredness, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose and even digestive troubles like diarrhea and nausea. If you experience one or more of these, isolate yourself, consult a doctor immediately and get tested for COVID-19.
When will I regain my sense of smell & taste?
Not being able to smell or taste for days in a row can be infuriating, but the good news is that it usually comes back in a few days. In most cases, it is temporary and people regain their taste and smell within 7-14 days. Whereas, for some, it may take up to 6 months to regain these senses.
What can I do about it?
There is no doubt that smell and taste play an important role in everyday life. You’d agree that losing smell or taste can be unsettling and even lead to a change in food preferences because you can’t enjoy the flavours or aroma anymore.
If you've been going through the same experience, here’s what you can do at home.
- Start by smelling characteristic scents
People usually benefit from smell training therapy that speeds up the process of regaining a sense of smell. This’ll involve sniffing at least four different scents for around 20 seconds each day. Try using fragrances of lemon, rose, eucalyptus oil and clove for your therapy. You can even select strong-smelling herbs or spices from your kitchen to stimulate your sense of smell.
- Add aroma & colour to your meals
Use different coloured vegetables, fruits along with aromatic herbs and spices like oregano, basil, ajwain, lemongrass and cloves in your meals. This’ll help you improve your appetite and you’ll be able to regain your sense of taste with these strong flavours.
Loss of smell or taste can be an early indication of COVID-19 infection. People may experience a partial or complete loss of smell or taste. However, these symptoms are temporary and get better from 14 days to 6 months. If you experience sudden or gradual loss of smell or taste, self-isolate, consult your doctor for complete diagnosis and get tested for COVID-19.
By: Navreet Kaur | on 2021-05-28