During the first wave of COVID-19, loss of taste and smell was a major symptom. Could this change in sense of smell be permanent?
A new study that is soon to be peer reviewed, found that for a specific group, their sense of smell is yet to return.
COVID-19 took my ability to smell, and it hasn’t come back
The study took place in Sweden. 100 people who were infected with COVID-19 in the first wave were used for this study at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. More information is available here.
18 months after COVID-19 recovery scientists found 4% of people had lost their sense of smell entirely.
A third of the patients had a reduced ability of smell. Almost half complained of parosmia. Parosmia is a distorted sense of smell.
Roughly 65% of people who recovered from COVID-19 had either loss of smell, reduced sense of smell or smell distortions. These symptoms were still reported 18 months after infection.
Another study was recently published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
This research estimated that between 700,000 and 1.6 million people in the United States who contracted Covid-19 have lost or had a change in their sense of smell that has persisted over 6 months.
Loss of smell is much less common with the Omicron variant.
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