How To Get Sense Of Taste Back Post-COVID, According To Doctors

4 min read
Doctors explain how to get your sense of taste back after losing it to COVID.
You had COVID-19, managed to finally rid yourself of the nagging cough — but you still can't taste your favorite spicy noodles, no matter how much hot sauce you use. Losing your sense of taste after COVID-19 is common, and many people find that their taste slowly returns over time. If you're still struggling, though, doctors tell Bustle that some therapies can help get your sense of taste back post-COVID.

"Both taste and smell rely on chemical receptors in the mouth and nose that react with molecules in their environment and then transmit through a complex neural network to the brain," Dr. Kathleen Jordan M.D., a doctor at medical provider Tia Health, tells Bustle. A lot of people, she says, experience problems with these senses when they have a cold, because the inflammation in their nose and throat interferes with taste. "The sense of taste or smell recovers once the inflammation and cold improves, but this effect on smell seems to be more pronounced in COVID-19," she says. A roundup of studies published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection in 2021 found that ageusia, the technical term for loss of taste, occurs in between 30 to 70% of all COVID patients.

So what can you do about it? Number one: wait. In a study of 200 COVID patients published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection in 2021, 73% recovered their sense of taste within six weeks of treatment. If you really hate doing without your ability to savor cookies, though, there are other options.

"Nasal steroid sprays and systemic steroids may be helpful but should be used with the recommendation of a physician," Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh M.D., otolaryngologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center, tells Bustle. Steroids have been shown to help post-viral taste loss for viruses other than COVID-19, but there are no…
JR Thorpe
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