COVID Compromised My Sense of Smell, Now I’m Trying to Get it Back w/ Smell Training
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can really mess with you and give you side effects that can last a really long time, possibly even the rest of your life. One common side effect is a loss of smell or a compromised sense of smell. I tested positive for COVID at the beginning of November and to this day I'm still dealing with a compromised sense of smell. That's why I'm trying out smell training, which doctors say might be able to help retrain your brain so you can smell properly again.
Let's start with my experience with COVID. I had a very minor case. I never fully lost my sense of smell or taste and I only had a couple of days where doing things like my radio show made me out of breath, but other than that I didn't have many issues. Post-COVID, my side effects were also minimal but there's one that has stuck around now for almost 4 months, and that's my compromised sense of smell. Let me tell you, it's incredibly frustrating knowing what something is supposed to smell like but you cannot for the life of you smell it accurately.
I can still smell, there are just some things that smell weird to me now. For example, freshly ground coffee, onions (those are the worst, and I'm an onion fan so this makes me sad), bread, and red wine just don't smell right. It's super frustrating, so instead of waiting around and hoping that my sense of smell comes back to normal one day, I wanted to try out smell training.
Smell training is something easy you can try too if you've had COVID and are having difficulties smelling. Dr. Derek Schmidt with Health Partners spoke with KARE 11 about smell training and how it can help get your sense of smell back. Dr. Schmidt says that smell training can also be called aroma therapy, aroma training, or olfactory training. It's sort of like physical therapy for your nose.
If you want to try out smell training yourself, it's very simple. You just need to create a smell training kit that has different essential oils that you know the smells of. For example, two that I have are peppermint and lemon. We all know what that smells like. Dr. Schmidt says, that a couple of times a day "'you open up a container you smell it and try to remember what it smells like.'" He also said to not get frustrated because this won't fix it overnight. It's a process but like "with anything, training will pay off." Depending on your situation, you may not be able to get back to 100%, but some smell is better than no smell.
To build your own smell training kit, Dr. Schmidt recommends the following sites to help you out:
I'm definitely getting the COVID vaccine once it becomes available to me. The potential side effects from the vaccine last a much shorter amount of time than the four months (and counting) of me not being able to smell properly.
Many people still have questions or reservations about the COVID vaccine though. If you keep scrolling, you'll find the answers to 30 common questions about the COVID vaccine. Hopefully they're able to answer the questions you have!
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.