Covid: Loss of Smell And Taste Linked With Depression

Covid: Loss of Smell And Taste Linked With Depression

We know the loss of smell and taste is a common and long-lasting symptom of COVID-19. In a web-based study of 322 adults with COVID and a sudden improvement of scent or taste, 56% reported reduced pleasure of life, and 43% reported feeling sad after losing their sense of smell.

Covid: Loss of Smell And Taste Linked With Depression

“All of us who have our senses of smell and taste take them for granted, so it’s difficult to think losing them will be a huge deal,” said study lead author Dr. Daniel Coelho, an otolaryngology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Covid: Loss of Smell And Taste Linked With Depression

“Food that doesn’t taste amazing or flowers that don’t smell like flowers aren’t the only problems. It has far-reaching consequences for both quality of life and protection.” 

More than half of those polled (57%) said they had encountered at least one safety problem as a result of their scent failure, such as being unable to sense smoke. According to the VCU researchers, 36% identified two or more safety-related problems. The results were presented recently online in the American Journal of Otolaryngology

Aside from safety, a loss of smell and taste could be devastating, especially if those senses are linked with earning an individual’s ability to earn their bread and butter.

According to a survey conducted by the French Union of Oenologists, one-third of tainted wine stewards said that contracting COVID had hampered their ability to function. 

While Richard Doty, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Scent and Taste Center, was not involved in the new study, he and his colleagues did follow COVID-19 patients for smell loss in their own studies.

“In a sample of 100 patients, 96 participants had evidently demonstrable scent loss when assessed, but a large amount, almost a third, were unaware of it before they were checked,” Doty said. “We have tracked these individuals for up to eight weeks and discovered that roughly two-thirds return to normal over that time frame, as calculated objectively.”

When the sense of smell is compromised due to a common cold or head wound, the chances of regaining it aren’t nearly as strong, according to him. 

Throughout the pandemic, TikTok videos and support groups like AbScent have appeared or grown to provide a forum for those afflicted to explore their cases and share do-it-yourself smell-retraining tips.

On “The Daily” podcast, a New York Times restaurant columnist also outlined her journey to regaining scent and taste, including burning oranges based on a viral video tip. (This did not work.) 

There is reason to believe those who do not have the patience or desire to consciously seek to retrain their noses.

Researchers at Doty’s center discovered that the same number of patients would spontaneously regain their sense of smell. For those who can never restore it, counseling and a larger perspective may be beneficial. 

Doty described it as “extremely idiosyncratic.” “Some people are not stressed at all, and others are extremely depressed.

But, I believe that, at some point, the majority of people come to terms with the situation, particularly as they know that it isn’t as life-threatening as lack of vision, hearing, or other senses. Putting things into context will help people conquer depression. 

What a time to be alive when we understand how grateful one should be for the little things in life such as sense of smell and sense of taste. Honestly, from one perspective, it is an eye-opener. 

Those who are unable to recover their senses should consider involving themselves in mind-body medicine.

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