24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Cataracts: Common, and Easy to TreatThere Are Many Good Reasons for Kids to Get the COVID VaccineBabies Produce Strong Immune Response to Ward Off COVID-19: StudyNovavax's COVID Vaccine Shines in Latest TrialAHA News: U.S. Appears to Lose Ground in Controlling High Blood PressureOdds for Death, Hospital Care Rise When Statins Are StoppedWeight-Loss Surgeries Used Least in U.S. States That Need Them MostObesity Could Raise Odds for 'Long-Haul' COVID SymptomsSmokers, Obese People Need Major Heart Interventions Earlier in LifeOld Age No Bar to Successful Heart Transplant, Study FindsCOVID Antibody Treatment Is Safe, Effective in Transplant PatientsThere Is No 'Healthy Obesity,' Study FindsExpiration Dates on Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine ExtendedWill People Really Need a Yearly COVID Booster Vaccine?America Is Losing the War Against DiabetesGene Editing Technique Corrects Sickle Cell Disease in MiceCOVID Vaccines Appear Safe for People With IBDNew Treatment Fights Rare Cases of Vaccine-Linked Blood ClotsWoman Dies From Dengue Fever Acquired in FloridaAstraZeneca COVID Vaccine Tied to Rare Cases of Low Blood PlateletsWhy a COVID Diagnosis Could Cost You Way More Money in 2021New Links Between Poor Sleep, Diabetes and DeathVaccinations More Urgent as Variant That Crippled India Shows Up in the U.S.Think You Can Skip That Annual Physical?  Think AgainReal-World Study Shows Power of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines to Prevent COVIDDeath Rates Are Rising Across Rural AmericaWhat Diet Is Most Likely to Help Ease Crohn's Disease?'Breakthrough' COVID Infections May Be Common in Vaccinated Transplant PatientsYour Teen's Smartphone Could Be Key to Unhealthy WeightToo Much Caffeine Might Raise Your Odds for GlaucomaPeople of Color Have Twice the Risk of Dying After Brain Injury, Study FindsStudy Pinpoints Cancer Patients at Highest Risk From COVIDMany Existing Drugs Could Be Potent COVID Fighters: StudyAntibiotics Won't Help Fight Lung-Scarring Disease IDF: StudyNew Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital DischargeDeclining Vaccination Rates Threaten Biden's July 4 GoalYour Doctor Appointments Might Look Different Post-PandemicPrior COVID Infection May Shield You From Another for at Least 10 MonthsTeens: You Got Your COVID Vaccine, What Now?White House Lists Countries Getting First Batch of Extra COVID VaccinesStrokes Hitting COVID Patients Are More Severe: StudyAverage COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy May Help Parkinson's Patients Long TermNIH Starts Trial Assessing 'Mix & Match' COVID Vaccine ApproachAllergy Treatment Crucial If Your Child Has AsthmaScientists Discover Rare Form of ALS That Can Strike KidsGlobal Warming to Blame for 1 in 3 Heat-Related Deaths WorldwideBlood Sugar Tests Using Sweat, Not Blood? They Could Be on the WayU.S. Set to Send Millions of COVID Vaccines to Countries in NeedAs Teen, He Made News Opposing Anti-Vax Mom. Now, He's Urging COVID Shots for Youth
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Nothing to Sniff at: Depression Common for People With COVID-Linked Smell Loss

HealthDay News
by By Sarah D. Collins HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 27th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, April 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Loss of the sense of smell and taste is often an early and enduring symptom of COVID-19. Now, research suggests that for many COVID survivors with long-term sensory loss, it's also depressing.

In a web-based survey completed by 322 adults with COVID and a sudden change in smell or taste, 56% reported decreased enjoyment in life and 43% admitted feeling depressed after losing their sense of smell.

"For those of us who have our sense of smell and taste, we take it so much for granted that it's hard to imagine it would be a big deal to lose it," said study lead author Dr. Daniel Coelho, an otolaryngology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. "But it's not just about food not tasting great, or flowers not smelling like flowers. It has much more serious implications for both quality of life and safety."

More than half of the respondents (57%) noted they had experienced at least one safety-related issue as a result of their smell loss, such as being unable to detect smoke. Thirty-six percent reported two or more safety-related issues, according to the VCU researchers.

The findings were recently published online in the American Journal of Otolaryngology.

Safety aside, reduced smell and taste could be devastating enough for some, especially if those senses are tied to their livelihoods. A third of infected wine stewards who responded to a French Union of Oenologists' survey said contracting COVID had affected their ability to work.

Richard Doty, director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania, was not part of the new study, but said he and his colleagues also followed COVID-19 patients for smell loss in their own research.

"In a study of 100 patients, 96 people clearly had demonstrable smell loss when measured, although a significant number, close to a third, weren't aware of it until they were tested," Doty said. "We also followed these people over the course of up to eight weeks and found that about two-thirds get back to normal during that time period, objectively measured."

He said the odds of regaining smell aren't nearly as good when the sense is lost through the common cold or head trauma.

During the pandemic, TikTok videos and support groups like AbScent have popped up or expanded to give those affected a space to discuss their cases and swap do-it-yourself smell-retraining tips.

A New York Times' restaurant critic even detailed her path to regaining smell and taste on "The Daily" podcast, including burning oranges based on a social video tip. (It didn't work.)

For those who don't have the time to actively work to retrain their noses or aren't interested in trying, there's reason for hope. Researchers at Doty's center have found that the same percentage of patients will get their smell sense back naturally.

For folks who may never regain it, therapy and looking at the bigger picture can be helpful.

"It's highly idiosyncratic," Doty said. "Some people are not depressed and other people are severely depressed. But I think at some point, the majority of people come to grips with dealing with the situation, particularly when they realize that it's not as life-threatening as loss of vision or hearing or other things. Putting it into perspective can really help people overcome their depression."

More information

New York Times' restaurant critic Tejal Rao explained how she retrained her sense of smell after COVID on The Daily podcast.

SOURCES: Daniel Coelho, MD, professor, otolaryngology, and section chief, otology and neurotology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Richard Doty, PhD, professor, otorhinolaryngology, and director, Smell and Taste Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; American Journal of Otolaryngology, March 22, 2021, online