Odor loss is one of the known symptoms of corona virus with an estimated incidence of between 40.70% of patients. Many reports of patients in Corona about a variety of strange symptoms related to the senses of taste and smell, were also received long after they recovered. Now a new study led by Prof. Masha Niv from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University, confirms the phenomenon. The study found that many recoverers of those who suffered from loss of sense of smell, and even more so those whose sense of smell remained weak over time, also reported additional symptoms associated with hallucinations and distortions of the sense of smell.
The current study was conducted through an international association for the study of the senses of taste and smell, established by researchers from around the world, called GCCR. Prof. Niv and her team, who play a key role in the association, tested among 3,000 subjects, of whom 1,400 were corona patients who lost their sense of smell and taste during the course of the disease. The researchers found that between 2.11 months after the disease, 60% of women and 48% of men reported less than 80% of odor capacity relative to pre.disease. In general, the sense of taste usually recovered faster from the smell after recovering from the virus, and the loss of taste rarely continued when the sense of smell returned to us. Persistence of impaired sense of smell is accompanied by a higher number of other persistent symptoms (such as headache and fatigue), in contrast to what was previously thought, that loss of sense of smell due to coronary heart disease indicates milder illness.
Among other things, the rates of the following two phenomena were examined in the study. Prosemia, Is a condition in which there is a distortion of odors, so that certain odors smell different and often unpleasant. Pantosemia, It is a phenomenon of hallucinating odors that do not exist in reality. The typical reports received for prosemia during the study were that there are things that now smell different and unpleasant, or like chemicals, and the reports of pantosemia included reactions like “sometimes I smell a fire, that no one around me smells.”
Not good times. 9 months post covid and I’m still struggling to eat a chicken Caesar salad. But that’s a walk in the park compared to the smell of soap or perfume #parosmia Everything Smells Like Garbage 12 Months After I Contracted COVID.19 https://t.co/lSO7V6mxkW
. Jen Grinnell (@JWalz34) September 1, 2021
The study found new and surprising information – while during the disease the incidence of prosemia and pantosemia was about 10% of patients who lost their sense of smell, after recovery from the disease the incidence increased significantly, in 47% Prosemia and 25% reported pantosemia. That is, prosemia and pantosemia become more common over time. Prof. Niv estimates, based on the numbers recovering from corona and the prevalence of persistent odor loss, that millions of people around the world suffer from these problems today.
And what is happening in the Israeli sector? According to a rough estimate by Prof. Niv, if there are currently about a million recoverers from the disease and about half of them have lost their sense of smell, it is likely that tens of thousands “carry” a weakened sense of smell with them, and / or suffer from prosemia or pantosemia. “These are tens of thousands of Israelis with persistent olfactory impairment. Olfactory disorders impair appetite, mental state and quality of life in general. There is a need for further research and development of treatment methods for olfactory impairment, which appear as part of the post.corona phenomenon.” Explained Prof. Niv.