How to Regain Sense of Smell After COVID: Effective Strategies to Restore Your Olfactory Abilities

Regaining Your Sense of Smell After COVID: Effective Strategies to Restore Your Olfactory Abilities

COVID-19 has affected millions of people worldwide, with a significant number of patients reporting a loss of smell, also known as anosmia. This can be a distressing symptom, impacting quality of life and even safety. However, there are effective strategies to help regain your sense of smell after COVID. This article will provide answers to common questions about these strategies and offer valuable insights into restoring your olfactory abilities.

Understanding Anosmia: The Loss of Smell

Anosmia is a common symptom of COVID-19, with studies indicating that up to 80% of patients may experience some degree of smell loss. While most people regain their sense of smell within weeks, some may take longer. The exact reason for this symptom is still under investigation, but it’s believed that the virus may damage the olfactory neurons responsible for detecting odors.

Strategies to Regain Your Sense of Smell

While there’s no guaranteed method to regain your sense of smell, several strategies have shown promise. Here are some of the most effective:

  • Olfactory Training: This involves regularly smelling a set of specific scents to stimulate the olfactory neurons. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that olfactory training improved the sense of smell in 40% of participants.
  • Topical Steroids: Nasal sprays containing steroids can reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, potentially improving smell. However, this should only be done under medical supervision.
  • Vitamin A Drops: Some research suggests that vitamin A nasal drops may help restore the sense of smell by promoting the growth of olfactory neurons.

When to Seek Medical Help

If your sense of smell doesn’t return within a few weeks of recovering from COVID-19, or if you’re concerned about your symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice. Your doctor can rule out other causes of smell loss and may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

Living with Anosmia

While waiting for your sense of smell to return, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life:

  • Focus on Texture and Spice: Even without smell, you can still enjoy food by focusing on texture and spice, which stimulate different parts of the taste system.
  • Ensure Safety: Without a sense of smell, you may not be able to detect dangers like gas leaks or spoiled food. Install a gas detector in your home and be vigilant about food safety.
  • Seek Support: Living with anosmia can be challenging. Reach out to support groups or mental health professionals to help cope with the emotional impact.


While losing your sense of smell due to COVID-19 can be distressing, it’s important to remember that most people regain this ability over time. In the meantime, strategies like olfactory training, topical steroids, and vitamin A drops can help. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you’re concerned about your symptoms or if your sense of smell doesn’t return within a few weeks.

By understanding how to regain your sense of smell after COVID, you can take proactive steps towards restoring your olfactory abilities and improving your quality of life.

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