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COVID Loss of Smell

Covid-19 will hopefully be in our rear view mirror soon, but some of us may have lingering problems with our noses. Covid-19 and other infections can cause a loss of smell or a change in how things smell. Often this goes away a few days after the infection resolves. But if it has not gone away, there are medications that may help.

Home remedies can be started prior to seeing a doctor. Before starting any medications, cut out smoking if you are a smoker. Wash the nose with a saline irrigation. The Neti Pot or similar devices may help. Fluticasone or triamcinolone nasal spray can be tried for a few weeks. A daily multivitamin with zinc or a zinc supplement may also be of benefit.

If the sense of smell is weak or is present but not quite right, smell therapy can be tried. Smelling scented candles, essential oils, or spices can help to train the nose. Eating foods with distinct strong aromas could also help.

If there is no improvement after one month, it’s time to meet an ENT to have the nasal passages checked. ENTs will check for polyps, tumors, septal deviations and other diseases can contribute to loss of smell. If everything else checks out, medications including oral steroids and theophylline nasal spray may stimulate the nerves in the nose to grow back.

– Dr. Afser Shariff, Wood County ENT Physicians