17 days ago
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One of the most peculiar symptoms of mild COVID-19 infection is the loss of taste or smell, or both, that persists long after the virus has passed.
Many longhaulers, as those with lingering symptoms are called, are suffering from a condition called anosmia. While the data is limited, a study of about 200 COVID-19 patients last year found that nearly half reported a loss of taste or smell. While most of them regained their senses within four weeks, roughly 10% reported their condition had been unchanged or worse up to a year later.
The Paris’ Institut Superieur du Parfum had previously developed a program of olfactory rehabilitation, known as the Olfactory Stimulation Therapy and Memory Reconstruction (OSTMR) method, which is now being used to help COVID-19 long-haulers experiencing anosmia.
Doctors are still learning about COVID-19-related anosmia and possible treatments, and some have begun studying the benefits of steroids and olfactory implants.
For now, however, Dr. Hakim Benkhatar, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the Centre Hospitalier de Versaille, says olfactory training is most likely to treat anosmia related to COVID-19. It involves patients picking out a few scents and setting time aside at least twice a day to practice smelling them in hopes that it will reawaken their senses.
Read more about scent therapy at this link,