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.
For most people, recovery will happen naturally after a few weeks. For those with persistent smell loss the road to recovery will be longer.
If you want to know more about how to help your recovery, NoseWell has been created by doctors for Covid-19 patients.
Smell training is recommended to support recovery and you can find out more about that here.
Distorted and unpleasant smells are a common feature of the recovery process. Known as parosmia, Covid-19 patients with persistent smell loss commonly report strong disgusting smells. The good news is that this is seen as a sign of recovery, but it can be very difficult to live with and can affect your enjoyment of food.
Smell doesn’t come back all at once, and you may find progress stalls or even goes backwards for while.
AbScent works with the Altered Eating Network to understand how this affects eating, and ways to make sure you continue to eat a good diet.
Smell loss can get you down. Not just because we don’t enjoy things as much if we can’t smell, but it has been demonstrated that people who lose their sense of smell are more vulnerable to depression. You may find it helps to share your experiences with others going through a similar experience - The AbScent Network is one place to make connections. If feelings of low mood or anxiety persist, please speak to your doctor.
It won’t always be like this! Most people recover their sense of smell eventually, although they may find it’s different from before. It’s an injury that takes time to heal so be kind to yourself as you recover.
Leading researchers and practitioners in the field of smell loss and olfactory rehabilitation share their knowledge in our regular AbScent Presents webinars. Check out the Covid-19 Playlist on our YouTube channel.
Our Blogs regularly share latest research and ideas for meeting the challenges of living with altered smell.
Curious to know more about smell training? We’ve gathered together key research papers.
Tap into the Altered Eating network to find new ways to enjoy food and cooking.
Learn from the experts and join us at The AbScent Network. Our free membership hub is buzzing with top tips, shared experiences and listening ears.
President of the British Rhinological Society, Professor Claire Hopkins, answers our questions about vaccination against Covid-19.
Click through to follow reports and publications about smell and taste loss through the pandemic.