Can’t taste or smell?
How it could be related to COVID-19.
Beth Stambaugh Published: 4/24/2020
By now, we can all recite the symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough and shortness of breath. But we’re also hearing a new one – a loss of taste and smell.
This is because a virus can affect your olfactory nerve, which transmits impulses to the brain for sense of smell.
“A virus can inflame or attack the olfactory nerves, which results in a loss of smell and taste,” he explained. “This can also happen to people with allergies and sinusitis.”
Usually, the sensory loss happens after a person develops COVID-19 symptoms, but in some cases, it can occur before.
Because of this, the American Academy of Otolaryngology recently published a statement proposing that loss of taste and smell be added to the list of screening tools for COVID-19.
“If you don’t have nasal congestion or allergies, but you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste, let your doctor know,” said Dr. Walker. “It could be an early warning signal.”
For most patients, the senses return after the virus runs its course, according to Dr. Walker.
Baptist Health has secure online visits, so you can meet with a specialist, like an ENT, or a primary care doctor without having to leave the house. Call 904.202.4YOU to change an existing appointment to a virtual visit, or to schedule a new online appointment.