Lost your sense of smell after COVID? Here’s how to re-train your nose

Loss of taste and smell

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re On Your Side with ways you can re-train your nose after smell loss from COVID-19.

A defining symptom of COVID-19 is loss of smell, and for some people, that can last weeks or months.

Doctors at UAB said the best thing to do if you’ve lost your smell is something called “smell training.”

Smell training starts with getting four types of essential oils: rose, eucalyptus, clove, and lemon.

You need to smell each scent for 10 seconds twice a day.

Dr. Do-Yeon Cho with UAB’s Department of Otolaryngology said you probably won’t see improvement overnight, but over a few to several weeks, most people see improvement.

You don’t even have to have the virus to do smell training.

“I try to smell every day to see whether I have the viral infection or not,” said Dr. Cho. “It’s kind of sentinel testing by myself to see whether I still can smell in the morning. So, I can tell whether I have it. Because a lot of patients are asymptomatic usually smell loss is one of the symptoms they complain, so that’s something you can test yourself every day.”

And another really important reminder from Dr. Cho: with winter coming, make sure your smoke detectors are working, because if you have lost your smell, that could be your only way to know of smoke.

And check the expiration on food before eating, since you can’t smell if it’s gone bad.

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