Coronavirus Loss of Taste, Loss of Smell: Is It a Common Symptom?

A woman leans over a pot on the stove to smell the food that's cooking. partake on PinterestGranger Wootz / Getty Images COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the fresh coronavirus, can have a variety of symptoms. Often, the types of symptoms and their asperity can vary from person to person. In summation to respiratory symptoms like a cough and shortness of breath, COVID-19 can besides have other types of symptoms. One of these is losing your sense of smack or taste.

Let ’ s take a closer front at the loss of smell and preference with COVID-19, how common it is, and how long these symptoms may last.

How can COVID-19 cause you to lose your sense of smell or taste?

It ’ s still indecipherable precisely how a loss of smell and taste happens with COVID-19, but there are some theories. SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, binds to a protein called ACE2 that ’ s found on the surface of potential host cells. ACE2 is abundant on cells found in your nose and sass. It ’ s potential that the virus could directly invade the nerve cells associated with your senses of smell and taste. however, a recent learn in the journal Science Advances has cast doubt on this idea. Researchers failed to find ACE2 on nerve cells that detect scents. alternatively, they found ACE2 on cells that environment and support these nerve cells. It ’ s possible that infection of these surrounding cells could lead to levels of ignition or damage that impact your ability to smell. Less research has been done on how COVID-19 specifically affects taste. Since passing of smack and loss of taste frequently occur together, it ’ mho presently believed that people with COVID-19 probably have personnel casualty of taste as a consequence of loss of smell.

How common is this symptom?

The reported prevalence of a loss of smell and taste with COVID-19 varies greatly across studies. A recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings took a deep dive into how common a loss of spirit or taste is in COVID-19. Researchers reviewed results from 24 studies, which represented data from over 8,000 people with a confirm case of COVID-19. They found the follow :

  • The reported prevalence for loss of smell ranged from 3.2 percent to 98.3 percent. The average prevalence of loss of smell was calculated to be about 41 percent.
  • The reported prevalence for loss of taste was between 5.6 percent to 62.7 percent. The average prevalence for loss of taste was calculated to be about 38.2 percent.
  • Older age correlated with a lower prevalence of loss of smell or taste.
  • No difference in the prevalence of either symptom was seen in men versus women. However, other studies have found that loss of smell or taste tends to occur more frequently in women than in men.

How to test your sense of smell and taste

Are you concerned that you may be losing your sense of smell or taste ? If so, you can use common family items to test these senses.

Smell and taste test

  • Smell. Find something that has a strong, characteristic smell. Foods may be a good option here, such as coffee beans, cinnamon, or fresh garlic. You can also choose to use non-food items like baby powder or a scented candle.
  • Taste. Locate foods with different taste characteristics. Some good examples include things like chocolate (sweet), citrus (sour), coffee (bitter), and pretzels (salty).

If you find that you have disturb picking up on the scents or tastes of your selected items, you may be experiencing a loss of smell or taste. If these symptoms developed suddenly, they could be an early indicator of COVID-19. If you ’ re concerned that you may have contracted the raw coronavirus, you can seek out a testing locate near you to confirm whether you have COVID-19 .

How long is your sense of smell or taste affected with COVID-19?

Loss of smell or taste due to COVID-19 appears to concluding slightly long compared to early upper respiratory infections. For exercise, loss of these senses due to a cold typically lasts for 3 to 7 days. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) assessed the duration of symptoms in 274 adults that had mild COVID-19 symptoms. The median reported duration of loss of smell or taste was 8 days. This is supported by a smaller study from Europe. In this study, loss of smell and smack were strongly associated with each early, lasting an average of 8.9 days. For 98 percentage of people, these symptoms cleared up within 28 days.

When to get medical care

Most of the time, mild cases of COVID-19 can be treated at home. however, in some cases the illness can become more dangerous. This is more likely in older adults and in individuals with certain underlie health conditions, such as :

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • heart disease

seek emergency aesculapian care immediately if you experience :

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain or pressure that doesn’t go away
  • lips, face, or fingernails that are blue in color
  • confusion
  • trouble staying awake or difficulty waking up

The bottom line

A loss of smell or taste can happen with COVID-19. These symptoms often occur in concert, although they can they can besides occur individually.

With COVID-19, a loss of taste or spirit can come on on the spur of the moment and occur early, sometimes before other COVID-19 symptoms develop. Unlike early upper respiratory infections, a loss of smack or taste international relations and security network ’ thymine always associated with a fluid or stuffy nose. Most people who experience loss of spirit or taste due to COVID-19 detect that these symptoms resolve within a few weeks. Although COVID-19 is mild most of the prison term, it can escalate to a serious illness. Seek emergency aesculapian care if you have symptoms such as difficulty breathe, chest pain, or confusion .

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