‘Olfactory training’ can help COVID patients regain smell, studies say: ‘You may have some level of control’ – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-05-30 15:37:26 –

(NEXSTAR) – More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 “long-haul carriers” may feel urgent in their sense of smell.

A recent study estimates that approximately 10% of COVID-19 patients experience prolonged, persistent symptoms such as respiratory problems, fatigue, headaches, and even brain fog. However, one of the most common side effects, loss of odor, can be similarly upset.

“If you had to choose to lose your sense of smell, most people would probably choose to lose their sense of smell,” said Dr. Toby O. Steele of the University of California, Davis. “But without it, you can’t enjoy your diet and lose weight. I don’t know if milk is rotten …. It has a big impact on your quality of life.”

Steele is an assistant professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and specializes in sinus and skull base disorders.He is also new to UC Davis Health Post COVID-19 Specialty ClinicSpecifically, the goal is to study and treat patients with symptoms that appear to last for months, and often longer.

“Some patients still have dysosmia and dysgeusia after a year,” Steele said.

According to Steele, a study by the University of California, Davis shows that anosmia, or anosmia, affects 5% to 10% of all COVID patients, not just “long-haul carriers” who have persistent symptoms. It is estimated to give. Some people simply suffer from a decrease in the sense of smell, known as hypoesthesia or microscopy, while others experience even more strange symptoms, such as smelling a non-existent odor or being “distorted” by the brain.

“Many people are feeling a change in their sense of smell,” Steele said. “They can no longer enjoy the frosted flakes and the scents they loved and can’t stand the scent. It’s important for people to know that because it’s alarming. “

However, olfactory dysfunction is not the only symptom experienced by COVID patients. “Post-virus olfactory loss” can be seen in patients with influenza and especially those with severe respiratory infections, Steele said. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the problem, interest in its treatment has increased.

“This is the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Steele said. “Before the pandemic, odor and taste disorders were put off. Now we get more time and more money from the federal government to do research and potential to identify the mechanism. You can study different treatments and treatment options. “

To that end, Steele has worked with other faculty members, including Professor Qizhi Gong and Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis, to identify treatments for people experiencing sensory loss. So far, Steele has observed good results with an approach that treats two different mechanisms (conduction pathways and neural pathways) that can cause a patient to lose their sense of smell. The former problem generally tends to block the olfactory receptors in the nasal cavity, while the latter problem blocks the brain’s ability to recognize signals from the olfactory receptors.

“This is where odor training may help,” said Steele, who recommends two approaches. First, buy four essential oils, lemon, rose, clove, and eucalyptus, and then buy two essential oils a day. It is recommended to smell each time for 10 seconds.

“You see the smell and tell your brain,’This is a rose,’ and you’re trying to reestablish that neural connection,” he said. When this method is practiced, some sense of smell will be restored within 3 to 6 months.

Steele combines this treatment with a nasal irrigation agent that contains the prescribed anti-inflammatory drug budesonide.

“That part doesn’t make much sense,” he admits. “I don’t think COVID affects the conduction pathway, but what medicated rinses do is create an environment for these odor nerves to succeed.”

The combination of these two methods has shown that recovery has been “significantly improved” and that “40% or 50%” of patients have improved in 3 to 6 months, Steele said. ..

Of course, the patient can also “spontaneously recover”, that is, wait for the sense of smell to return, essentially doing nothing. Steele sees that about two-thirds of patients suffering from olfactory dysfunction after recovering from other respiratory viruses regain their odor within a year, and this is “a good chance” of success. Said there is.

“But in the case of COVID, we don’t know,” he said.

According to Steele, the best thing to do is to talk to your GP about treatment or book an otolaryngologist to discuss anti-inflammatory rinses. However, he is just as passionate about training in the sense of smell, and encourages people with a sense of smell to go to the store and buy and try essential oils.

“You may have some control over this result, and I think that’s a factor in your motivation,” he said. “And don’t give up. Don’t give up if you don’t get immediate results. It takes time.”

‘Olfactory training’ can help COVID patients regain smell, studies say: ‘You may have some level of control’ Source link ‘Olfactory training’ can help COVID patients regain smell, studies say: ‘You may have some level of control’

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