Covid-19 survivors must undergo 'smell training' to regain sense of smell & taste

Covid-19 survivors must undergo 'smell training' to regain sense of smell & taste
Courtesy: Reuters

The loss of smell and/or taste is one of the main symptoms of Covid-19. Covid-19 survivors are being urged to undergo “smell training” to regain their sense of smell and taste after battling the virus.

The loss of smell and/or taste is one of the main symptoms of Covid-19, as well as fever and a cough, and researchers from the University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School said the unusual 'smell training' was more effective than steroid treatment.

In a majority of coronavirus cases, smell and taste does return after around six weeks, but for some – approximately 1 in 5 – the effects of surviving Covid are long-term, and scientists have called for people still suffering to undergo a unique process.

The “smell training”, which takes place over the course of several months, involves participants sniffing distinctive odours, such as oranges, garlic or mint, twice a day in an effort to retrain the brain to identify scents.

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The researchers said that the training is much more effective than a course of steroids or corticosteroids, usually given to treat asthma sufferers, and could also cause side effects such as high blood pressure and mood swings.

Study leader Professor Carl Philpott said corticosteroids do little to help with the loss of smell, and he did not recommend that they be prescribed to Covid-19 survivors, but suggested 'smell training' be used instead.

"It aims to help recovery based on neuroplasticity - the brain's ability to reorganise itself to compensate for a change or injury," he said of the unique process.

(Cover Media/Reuters)

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