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.
...persistent smell loss can last for many months
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.
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