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Why do you lose your taste and smell when you have COVID-19?

It disappears overnight: there is no pleasant aroma of fresh coffee in the morning, nor its bitter taste strangely comforting. What would you do if you suddenly lost these senses? The answer is becoming more familiar to people across the country, as we continue to learn about the coronavirus (COVID-19), its symptoms and long-term effects.

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In recent months, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases where the accompanying anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (decreased sense of taste) are persistent symptoms. This development puzzles both specialists and civilians, especially since COVID-19 presents a wide variety of symptoms and levels of severity. So why losing taste and smell affects most COVID-19 patients before the other systems appear? We're taking a closer look at this quirky COVID-19 clue:

Why did this happen?

More than six million people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections reported problems with their sense of smell, and a similar number of people reported changes in taste perception. Taste and smell are two senses that work together as part of your chemosensory system, so when one is affected, the other tends to decline as well. Why is the loss of these senses a common symptom among most COVID-19 cases? Scientists and research experts knows little about how the virus affects the chemosensory system. What we do know is that anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (decreased sense of taste) have many common causes, such as upper respiratory diseases or infections, which could explain their connection to COVID-19.

Coping with Loss of Smell and Taste

When you put things in perspective, this COVID-19 symptom may not seem as drastic as your other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or extreme fatigue. However, the sudden loss of smell and / or taste can exacerbate the overwhelming situation and affect your physical and mental well-being. Our senses contribute greatly to how we live our lives. If you are someone who is privileged to have all five senses, the sudden loss of one or two can greatly affect your quality of life. In the same way, the sudden loss of smell or taste for someone with COVID-19 in the deaf community and / or the visually impaired community can be even more distressing.

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It's easy to freak out at the mere mention of COVID-19, let alone its symptoms and a positive test result, but there are a few ways you can deal with this shocking symptom:

  • Hope for recovery
  • Consider cooking with spicier foods
  • Join a therapy group

Other red flags

In certain scenarios, the sudden loss of smell and taste has become an essential clue to the coronavirus, which precedes other symptoms and acts as a kind of warning sign of a possible infection. However, a new loss of smell and taste could also be the cause of something else, such as conditions that affect the nervous system or growths in the nasal cavities. If you are unsure of the root cause, monitor for other COVID-19 symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath or shortness of breath
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Throat pain
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When to seek immediate medical attention

If you experience emergency warning signs of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, persistent chest pain / pressure, new confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, and bluish lips, seek medical attention immediately. For those who are at risk of developing complications with COVID-19, minor symptoms or a positive test result should prompt you to take extra precautions and alert your care team. Hayden Health & Safety can help you benefit from the immediate relief you need in these acute care situations.

covid-19 mobile testing service

We provide personalized same-day medical care, treatment and testing to people of all ages in the comfort of their homes and workplaces. In response to the pandemic, we are testing for COVID-19 and supporting patients with positive tests by providing care in a familiar family setting. Our staff protect themselves and others by following rigorous disinfection protocols before, during, and after patient visits. And our kits also come prepared with PPE gear. Contact us today!