Covid-19 smell and taste loss

The loss of smell and taste is one of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19.

Just over half of patients with the virus will lose their sense of smell, but most will recover smell and taste after two or three weeks.

Unfortunately, one in ten people who lose their sense of smell will have persistent smell loss which can last at least eight weeks, but commonly lasts for many months. Many people also experience distorted and disgusting smells as they recover.

You're not alone. The AbScent Network is your space to connect with others who understand what you're going through.

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Discover more in our insights to Covid-19 and smell loss

When you've lost your sense of smell again 

How much does Covid-19 affect taste?

How many people have lost their sense of smell because of Covid-19?

Persistent smell loss: what you need to know

Distorted and unpleasant smells known as Parosmia are a common feature of the recovery process. 

Smell doesn’t come back all at once, and you may find progress stalls or even goes backwards for a while. 

This is a natural healing process so there is no cure, but smell training can help recovery.

Eating well can be difficult, especially if parosmia makes some food repulsive. 

Smell loss can get you down. You may be more vulnerable to depression with a reduced sense of smell. 

It won’t always be like this! It takes time to heal so be kind to yourself as you recover. 


Although there is no treatment to 'get your smell back' there is help and treatment for symptoms like weight change and low mood and depression. If you're finding it difficult to cope, please speak to a doctor. It can also be helpful to join the AbScent Network to connect with other people experiencing the same thing.

Hungry for information?

Leading researchers and practitioners in the field of smell loss and olfactory rehabilitation share their knowledge in our regular 

AbScent Presents webinars. Specialist doctors and researchers share their knowledge. Watch againCovid-19 Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Our Blogs regularly share latest research.

Key research papers share published and peer reviewed science.

The Altered Eating network explores ways to enjoy food and cooking with altered smell and taste.

The AbScent Network. Our free membership hub is buzzing with top tips, shared experiences and listening ears.