Regaining Your Sense of Smell Post COVID

Smelling essential oils on a daily basis could be key in helping former COVID sufferers regain their sense of smell. / Getty

As we near 2023, most of us have pretty much settled back into regular life. No more wearing masks all the time, no more extra COVID precautions, no more state regulated curfew and no more strict social distancing rules. With the way this year is going, we are grateful and definitely relieved that the mess is somewhat over. The year 2020 was a hard one, and now we have new ways of treating COVID, and testing to see if the bacteria is active. The new quarantine period has shortened as well, going from two whole weeks to five days at the least. But what we thought was the end of an era, still leaves its remains to let us know that it’s still there. What exactly am I talking about you ask? Remember all the people at the beginning of COVID who lost their sense of taste and smell? I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been wondering for a minute what happened to all these poor people. Let’s talk about it!

The period of time for most people that suffered from loss of taste or smell gained these senses again is just about 30 days. About a month isn’t so bad, right? Now what if I told you that 5 percent of people that contracted COVID had these symptoms for almost half a year? That’s crazy isn’t it? According to OSF Healthcare, 27 million people are dealing with these prolonged disappearances of smell/taste. The only question behind it all, is why?

In an article with OSF Healthcare, Dr. Angela Vezzetti states that some patients have “certain mutations impact the sense of smell and the recovery rates.” In more simple words, these patients’ cells that contain DNA are literally changing. She also continues to say that more studies show that loss of tissue in the olfactory bulb (part of the brain that can detect odors and transmits smell information to the brain) has been shown to possibly be another reason for the extra long recovery period. The studies Vezzetti talks about go over other factors, like how those with nasal congestion might have prolonged time. Another factor being that women are more prone to this extension compared to men.

This is shown to really damage people’s mental health and psychological well being. Anxiety can easily be provoked around big life changes as such, and learning to adapt is such a scary yet crucial part of learning to come to terms with the long lasting symptoms. Vezzetti comments on this at the end of an interview, and states the main impacts of losing smell and taste. “I don’t think a lot of people really realized the impact of loss of smell and taste, the sense of smell in general, people kind of took it for granted to an extent, and a lot more people have seen the really importance of smell when it comes to just taste in general. Without the sense of smell and taste you can have aversions to certain foods, which for elderly people can lead to either a lack of desire to eat, or nutritional deficiencies, even malnutrition, because they’re not getting those vitamins that they need because the food either tastes bad, or they just can’t taste it at all.”

To help regain the sense of smell, Vezzetti offered some advice. “The number one protocol that we recommend is something called olfactory or smell retraining, which we recommend patients take some essential oils which are a nice concentrated scent,” says Vezzetti. “There are four of them that we recommend. They are a lemon, clove, eucalyptus and rose and they smell those scents for maybe 15 seconds a day, once or twice a day and we’ve have seen some patients regain some of that loss of smell or diminished smell, retraining their sense of smell with these essential oils.”

In a nutshell, I think we should all take this as an opportunity to love and appreciate our bodies. Treat yourself nicely! We are so lucky to have the ability to walk this earth, and it’s even more fascinating how our bodies learn how to adapt to whatever situation. If you have any more COVID related questions, you can always visit / to satisfy your curiosity. Stay safe y’all!


By Jada Strong, Freshman, Whitney Young Magnet

Twitter/Insta: @JadaStrongg


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Written by Jada Strong

Hey y’all, I’m Jada! Some things to know about me… I love to dance and I have a great passion for writing. <3

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