Coronavirus: Long term loss of smell is the new disability

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Coronavirus: Long term loss of smell is the new disability

Survivors have to struggle with loss of smell

Monday, 6th July 2020

Survivors are now going through a new disability after fighting coronavirus- anosmia, a long-term loss of sense of smell. 


Jean-Michel Millard said, “What I miss most is the smell of my son when I kiss him, the smell of my wife's body”. He exclaims that it a disability that’s difficult to live with as it has no proper treatment.


President of, Jean-Michel Millard added, “Anosmia cuts you off from the smells of life, it's a torture”.


Not able to smell the aroma of morning coffee or freshly cut grass, or “the reassuring smell of soap on your skin when you're preparing for a meeting”, he said. Only when the ability to smell is lost do we realize its importance, he added.


It’s not all about the olfactory pleasures. It is a problem when someone can’t smell gas from a leak or smoke from a fire. Also, food is associated with smell, Alain Corre, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the Hopital-Fondation Rothschild in Paris said.


He said, “There are dozens of causes of anosmia”. Along with chronic rhinitis, Alzheimer's, diabetes, nasal polyps and Parkinson's, coronavirus now adds to the list of diseases that brings anosmia.

He added, “When people lose their sense of smell and don't get it back, we note a real change in the quality of life and a level of depression that is not insignificant”. “To be deprived of your sense of smell for a month, it's not serious”, said Maillard. “Two months, it starts to become a problem. But after six months, you're all alone under a bell jar”.

“There's a psychological aspect to this which is very difficult to live with," he insists. "You need to get help”.


Unfortunately, no treatment has been found for this disability.

“The problem of the anosmias linked to the virus is that often, the treatment of the viral infection has no effect on your smell”, said Corre.

“According to the first numbers, around 80 percent of patients suffering from COVID-19 recover spontaneously in less than a month and often even faster, in eight to 10 days”.


For many, however, the infection might have damaged their olfactory neurons which are, fortunately capable of regenerating at the back of the nose.


“CovidORL” is launched by two hospitals- Rothschild and Lariboisiere in Paris to look deeply into how anosmia can be cured using different nose washes.


A cortisone-based treatment has been found efficient in treating instances of anosmia post Covid-19 infection, said Corre. Olfactory re-education can be another method to stimulate the smell-related associations in memory.


“His advice is to choose five smells in your kitchen that are special to you, that you really like: cinnamon say, or thyme. Breathe them in twice a day for five to 10 minutes while looking at what it is you are inhaling”. (Quoted from NDTV)


“As early as March, we got several hundred phone calls, emails from people who had COVID and who were calling for help because they couldn't smell anything anymore”, Gurden said.


Millard exclaimed, “Today, I have 10 of them," he says, including fish, cigarettes and rose essential oil. "I've even found a perfume that I can smell”.



Source: NDTV


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