Doctors identify best treatment for covidian olfactory loss

A group of olfactory experts has just announced that they do not recommend the use of steroids for Covid-19-induced olfactory loss and instead are far better off doing…re-training the nose.

Doctors identify best treatment for covidian olfactory loss

Doctors estimate that it will take months in some cases, but trying to sniff at least 4 different aromas twice a day can help you recover more quickly and fully, without unwanted side effects. The latter are unfortunately standard with the steroid therapy that is currently prescribed – this is because steroids are quite commonly prescribed for nasal inflammation, where they work very well. Only that the cause of covidian olfactory loss is different, and steroids don’t seem to necessarily work on it, which is why researchers are calling for them to be abandoned in this case. Especially since they have many side effects, sometimes as bothersome as the condition they treat, such as mood swings, fluid retention and high blood pressure.

Instead, researchers recommend the aforementioned olfactory training, which often yields positive results after viral infections have resulted in loss of the sense of smell: – As an expert group, we strongly urged you to consider olfactory training. It has no side effects and is inexpensive to administer. What’s more, it is the only therapy available…validated by numerous studies,” their statement reads. Of course, it’s difficult to compare the effectiveness of the two forms of treatment in the case of Covid-19 because no such studies have yet been conducted, but it is true that the idea of olfactory training has been with us for quite a long time and has often been used with good results for other infections manifesting as loss of smell.

For example, in 2020, comparisons were made of potential therapies for post-viral olfactory loss involving olfactory training, steroids, medications to be applied to the skin, acupuncture, and oral nonsteroidal medications – based on the evidence, it is safe to say that among these, olfactory training should be recommended as a first step. And now the issue seems more pressing than ever, with about 60% of Covid-10 sufferers experiencing olfactory problems and 10% of sufferers having symptoms that don’t go away for weeks or months.

Fortunately, there is hope for a full recovery, because as a fresh study from earlier this year involving 1,363 Covid patients suggests, after 6 months 95% of them had completely recovered their sense of smell, and one of the recommendations for them was to just do the twice-daily olfactory training. How many of them actually listened to those recommendations? We don’t know, so it’s hard to say how many were helped by the training and how many recovered without any help, but one thing is sure – olfactory training can’t hurt, unlike steroid therapy. And how to do it? It’s simple, stock up on four scents, i.e. clove, rose, lemon, and eucalyptus, and sniff them twice a day while trying to recall relevant memories. If the sense of smell does not return within 12 weeks, then change to 4 other scents after that time and continue the procedure.

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