How to Get Your Sense of Smell Back After COVID-19

Local News

BATON ROUGE La, (BRPROUD) ––– People who test positive for COVID-19 sometimes report a loss of taste or smell. Some people deal with the symptoms, while others participate in viral social media challenges.

Lauren West is an EEG Technician at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. She says after feeling fatigued and sneezing a lot one day, she got a rapid COVID-19 test, and the results were positive. “You never thought it would happen to you and then it happens to you,” she says.

Roughly four days after her diagnosis, West noticed a new symptom, she says, “I really wasn’t eating that much anyways, but what I was eating, I couldn’t taste.” Knowing her sense of smell would likely go as well, she tried spraying her perfume. “I couldn’t smell my Versace perfume, and I was like, okay, this is it.”

West tried taking vitamins and hot showers, but neither brought back her sense of taste or smell. Over time, her senses returned, and she returned to work.

Not all who experience these symptoms take to them in such a mild-mannered way. Some take part in viral trends on social media apps like TikTok. These videos often show people who have lost their sense of taste from COVID-19 attempting to eat or drink things they usually would not.

Some try to test their limits by drinking straight liquor or hot peppers.

While most foods and beverages may be harmless in this case, Dr. Aldo Russo warns of alcohol use when sick. Alcohol weakens your immune response, so your ability to fight the virus is weakened. Also, “it can cause some liver injuries that may compound on the effect of the virus on your liver and your kidneys,” he says.

Russo shares a similar warning about eating spicy foods. The stimuli associated with spicy foods like peppers is not as noticeable without the ability to taste, so eating spicy food in excess “can cause problems with, uh, increased acid reflux or more acid production,” he says.

His recommendation for those waiting for their sense of smell and taste to return is to “just let time go by. Time is the best treatment for this,” he says.

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