60% of patients experienced this death of smell after contracting COVID-19
Katherine Trujillo Useche
Latin Agency for Medicine and Public Health News
One of the most noticeable symptoms when people are infected with COVID-19 is loss of smell, 60% of patients experienced this death and 10% had persistent symptoms. Which means that almost 6 million people suffer from some level of symptoms.
Is there any treatment to combat it?
The loss of smell and taste have not been concepts that have been validated in the medical literature, since it was not something prevalent until the arrival of the new coronavirus.
The arrival of COVID-19 to the whole world, created a state of challenge, especially to science because, by studying this virus and the symptoms it causes, scientists managed to understand a little more why one of the signs of the pathogen could be the distortion of smell and taste.
This is why, with the great advances in science, there is a project to solve the absence of the senses, but for this, time is still needed to publish the results of the study.
An international group of experts reviewed the scientific evidence that is currently available to treat loss of smell caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With these studies, they managed to apply their experience in treatment and were able to publish a document on alternative therapies to reduce olfactory alterations that persist after the disease.
It was pointed out that the best treatment is to do olfactory training and the application of vitamin A drops is another option that may work. Steroids, despite not having a direct role in treating the disease, can help avoid complications such as rhinitis, which in some cases tend to block the nose, the study authors explained.
Dr. Carlos Durango, an otolaryngologist, explains that before starting any kind of treatment, the doctor in charge must carefully diagnose the patient, because if this does not happen the treatment will not work.
“Normally the pathology produces damage at the nerve level, there are times when the patient loses his sense of smell, but there are others in which it distorts it, I have infected patients who have cacosmia, which means a foul odor, often like excrement”, Indian.
That is why the doctor recommends ruling out any pathology that prevents smell, except for COVID-19, since olfactory re-education cannot be started.
What is olfactory training?
This is a type of therapy that has been used for some time by ophthalmologists to cure olfactory disorders. This has the advantage that it does not cause side effects to those who perform this treatment and it also does not need a prescription, it is an inexpensive treatment and can be done from home.
This training is based on four sessions of essences: clove, rose, lemon and eucalyptus, in the same way it can also be done with more household items that provide a wide range of scents, patients can choose the ones they like the most or with the that they feel connected.
Lemon, nutmeg, cloves, mint, coffee grounds, orange peel, cinnamon, coconut and eucalyptus are the most frequent elements used by patients.
“Olfactory training stimulates the regeneration of specialized neurons, which helps to recover olfactory function”, some studies showed that they can also generate changes in neurological areas related to the sense of smell.
More recent studies relate the four scents used in training to constant change, every twelve weeks. The results of the studies show that the new approach enables a higher degree of smell recovery.
It is important to note that these recoveries are delayed, since the longer this training lasts, the better the result will be, but it is key to continue with this training so that an immediate improvement is not perceived.