How Do I Recover My Sense of Smell Post-Covid?

“Not being able to smell is so frustrating! How to restore my sense of smell post-covid and get back to my normal lifestyle?”

Daniela S., 35

We can experience the full range of emotions through our five organs: smell (nose), touch (skin, tactility), sight (eyes), hearing (ears), taste (tongue). As soon as a person loses one of the senses, life becomes a nightmare. It takes time to adjust to the new conditions.

About 70% of patients complain about a decreased sense of smell post-covid. Smells are absent or become barely perceptible even after full recovery. So what can you do to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of scents again?

Treatment with essential oils

What you need to do is practically awaken your neural connections and olfactory receptors. There is a parallel with amnesia: people are shown photographs of loved ones, taken to significant places, and played their favorite songs. It helps the brain recover memory faster.

Choose any four essential oils (peppermint, lemon, rose, patchouli, lavender, jasmine, thyme, bergamot, etc.). Inhale each scent in turn for 20 seconds. Do this deliberately, slowly, and try to feel the scent at different distances.

Take a short break of 20-30 seconds between each change of scent. During this time, massage your wings of the nose – this will help improve blood circulation in the nasal cavity, which, in turn, will also speed up the process of restoring the sense of smell. For your convenience, add 2-4 drops of each oil to different cotton pads or pieces of cloth. Repeat this exercise two times a day. Change the essential oils every two days.

Serotonin therapy

Coronavirus disrupts the penetration of the odorant molecules into the neurons. As a result, the person loses the ability to perceive odors. Serotonin, known as the “joy hormone,” helps restore this function and protect the odorant.

Due to many factors, this hormone is secreted by the body in insufficient amounts. Serotonin is directly linked to the immune, endocrine, and circulatory systems, as well as neuronal activity.

As adjunctive therapy, serotonin therapy helps in the treatment and prevention of coronavirus infection. Your physician can prescribe the hormone in the form of injections. There are also other forms, such as tablets and patches.

Breathing exercises

To return the sense of smell and get rid of nasal congestion opt for breathing exercises. Opera singer Strelnikova gymnastics is a great way to improve your overall health, treat, recover from and prevent viral, cold, and allergic diseases. Here is how to do the exercise:

Medication therapy

Your doctor may also prescribe nasal irrigation with saline solution, nasal glucocorticosteroids, hormonal sprays, or vasoconstrictor drops. Every meal, walk around the town, or trip to the store should be as deliberate as possible because scents are all around us. It’s possible that the first smell you feel won’t be the most pleasant, but our job is to shake up the hibernating sensory organ.

Serotonin and other medications may be prescribed only by a specialist. Do not self-medicate – be sure to see a doctor.