Some Covid Survivors Haunted by Loss of Smell and Taste
Michele Miller, of Bayside, N.Y., was infected with the coronavirus in March and hasn’t smelled anything since then. Recently, her husband and daughter rushed her out of their house, saying the kitchen was filling with gas.
She had no idea. “It’s one thing not to smell and taste, but this is survival,” Ms. Miller said.
Humans constantly scan their environments for smells that signal changes and potential harms, though the process is not always conscious, said Dr. Dalton, of the Monell Chemical Senses Center.
Smell alerts the brain to the mundane, like dirty clothes, and the risky, like spoiled food. Without this form of detection, “people get anxious about things,” Dr. Dalton said.
Even worse, some Covid-19 survivors are tormented by phantom odors that are unpleasant and often noxious, like the smells of burning plastic, ammonia or feces, a distortion called parosmia.
[Source: New York Times]