Loss of smell and taste with COVID19

img_0842Here are a few fancy ENT words for you:

Olfactory (smell) disorder:

Anosmia: No smell (I can’t smell coffee)

Hyposmia: Reduced smell (I can smell coffee faintly)

Parosmia: Smelling a different smell (This coffee smells different)

Phantosmia: Smelling something that isn’t there (There’s a coffee smell but no coffee)


Gustatory (Taste) disorder:

Dysgeusia: dysfunction of taste

Parageusia: distortion of taste

Hypogeusia: reduced taste

Ageusia: No taste

ALSO, did you know that humans have 5 kinds of taste: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami (taste of MSG)

Read here from Europe the latest and so far the biggest study on smell and taste disorder in association with COVID19.

Key findings:

417 patients

85.6% had olfactory disorder, of which 79.6% of patients thought they were anosmic and 20.4% thought they were hyposmic. Phantosmia and parosmia concerned 12.6% and 32.4% respectively during illness.

The olfactory dysfunction appeared before (11.8%), after (65.4%) or at the same time as the appearance of general or ENT symptoms (22.8%).

The olfactory dysfunction persisted after the resolution of other symptoms in 63.0% of cases. For those who recovered their olfactory sense, 72.6% of these patients recovered smell within the first 8 days

88% gustatory disorder. Olfactory and gustatory disorders were constant and unchanged over the days in 72.8% of patients, whereas they fluctuated in 23.4% of patients.

Among the cured patients who had residual olfactory and/or gustatory dysfunction, 53.9% had isolated olfactory dysfunction, 22.5% had isolated gustatory dysfunction and 23.6% had both olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions.

What does this mean for us?
Keep an eye out for loss of smell as a possible early indicator prior to other symptoms. Resolution takes time. There’s still a lot we have yet to discover. Keep an open mind. This is not a protocol or policy. This is something we all should think about. Signals.

ENT Tips:

Check smell with coffee, mint, vinegar, chocolate lip balm, strawberry lip balm, etc. Check taste with salt, sugar, soya sauce (umami)