It turned out that the sense of smell was impaired in some Covid-19 patients with a long effect in the UK. Some people emphasize that even though they survive the virus, they constantly smell bad fish and burnt bread. Some patients say that coffee smells like exhaust and toothpaste smells like gasoline. So why does coronavirus dull the sense of smell and taste? Could this situation be permanent? When does the lost sense of smell and taste of people with Covid-19 return? For those who are curious about the subject, ENT Specialist Prof. Dr. Murat Topak made it clear.
In detailed studies with patients who had Covid-19, it was seen that the rate of those who stated that they felt disturbed by smell was 85 percent, and the rate of those who stated that their taste was impaired was 88 percent. ENT Specialist Prof. Dr. Murat Topak explained the reason why the coronavirus dulls the sense of taste and smell as follows:
“In experimental studies, it has been shown that the virus reaches the olfactory center in the brain through the olfactory nerve fibers after it is injected into the nose. Some of the viruses taken through the nose reach the lungs and cause infection here. It is thought that some of them proliferate in the epithelium in the olfactory area located on the ceiling of the nasal cavity and reach the brain through the olfactory nerve and cause smell disorder, and taste disturbance develops as a result of similar effects on the nerves that transmit the sense of taste to the brain.
In most patients, the situation is not permanent, but...
Giving an example from a study on the subject, Prof. Dr. Murat Topak said:
“In a study, it was found that 88 percent of the patients who reported smell and taste disorders improved within 4 weeks. In 12 percent, it was observed that the situation did not change and the disorder continued. Most smell and taste disorders were reported to be non-permanent. However, this period is short to make a clear assessment of whether the disorder is permanent or not. Clearer information can be obtained with longer-term studies. "
Could the loss of taste and smell be a sign of other diseases?
Underlining that smell and taste disorders can also be seen in other viral infections affecting the respiratory tract, Prof. Dr. Murat Topak said, “Tests should be performed for differential diagnosis. Apart from infections, smelling disorders may also occur in benign or malignant tumors that occupy space in the nasal cavity, which may prevent the inhaled air from reaching the olfactory area on the nasal ceiling. Other than that, the perception of the present odor in a different or bad way may be a symptom of some neurological diseases.
If it takes longer than four weeks, watch out!
Prof. Dr. Murat Topak advised, " Although it is difficult to say a clear time, it would be appropriate for patients with Covid-19 infection to apply to a physician for differential diagnosis in case of smell and taste disturbance lasting more than four weeks."