One of the odd symptoms many people experience with COVID-19 is partial or complete loss of smell and taste (anosmia). According to Healthline News, this happens to 86% of people who come down with the virus.
A study titled "Prevalence and 6‐month recovery of olfactory dysfunction: a multicentre study of 1363 COVID‐19 patients," published by the Journal of Internal Medicine, indicated that on average, the olfactory was compromised for around 22 days.
However, 24% did not recover their sense of smell for 60 days, while 15% up to 6 months after having COVID-19.
Post-viral olfactory dysfunction – its dangers and treatment methods
There has been a lot of discussion and research around retraining your nose to help recover the sense of smell.
It may not seem like a big deal - but losing one’s sense of smell is quite dangerous. Aside from losing one’s appetite and experiencing weight loss, people who experience anosmia cannot smell spoiled food, chemicals, gas, smoke, or fire – putting their health and lives at risk.
Smell training is often employed to help people with this condition. This is a practice that repeatedly exposes a patient to various smells in an effort to help improve their ability to detect scents.
The Sniffin’ Sticks method was used in the study mentioned above to help COVID-19 patients retrain their nose. At the 2-month follow-up, 75–85% of patients recovered olfaction.
In a different study, smell training kits were offered with different scents such as lavender, thyme, coffee, and chocolate, just to name a few, to help strengthen the olfactory.
For a scheduled study (Coronavirus Smell Therapy for Anosmia Recovery (Co-STAR) to begin this year at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Jay Piccirillo, Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, shared that it now appears that 10% of people with COVID-19 do not recover their sense of smell after 6 months.
Based on that statistic, Dr. Piccirillo states that within the next 12 months, 150,000 Americans will suffer permanent loss of smell. His study will involve the use of essential oils to retain the olfactory.
Close to home – A colleague’s mom and her experience with anosmia
Recently, my colleague purchased Elequil aromatabs® for his mother, Lisa, to help her get through an hour-long MRI, after previously having a prior scan aborted midway due to anxiousness.
Lisa had COVID-19 in the fall of 2020 and has not fully recovered her sense of smell. She was surprised she could smell the Lavender-Peppermint aroma, which indeed did help her stay calm during her MRI this time around.
My colleague told me that she enjoyed the Elequil aromatab so much, that she continued to wear it on her clothes as she went about her day. After enjoying the benefits of the aromatabs, soon after Lisa realized she could smell other things again.
I spoke with Lisa directly to hear her experience.
“When I first had COVID-19, I couldn't taste or smell anything at all. I didn't even eat for days because I couldn’t taste anything, and I also had a stomachache. The taste did get better to where I could taste food 70% of the time.
“But I have missed my sense of smell, it was driving me crazy! After wearing Elequil aromatabs®, I lit a candle and I said, oh my goodness, I smell it. I can smell the candle!
Can essential oils help patients retrain their nose?
Of course, Lisa’s experience is anecdotal, so we are very much looking forward to the results of Dr. Piccirillo’s study to see if essential oils do indeed help people who’ve lost their sense of smell after being infected with COVID-19 begin to regain it.
Elequil aromatabs® have been used in over 2,000 healthcare facilities to help patients through their medical journey. Due to many patients wanting to purchase after experiencing Elequil aromatabs® in the healthcare setting, Beekley Medical® opened an online consumer shop for patients/consumers to order direct.
Available in four aromas – Lavender, Lavender-Sandalwood, Lavender-Peppermint, and Orange-Peppermint, the aromatab adheres to clothing, is discreet, and stays with you as you go about your day to have the continuous benefits of aromatherapy.
We are eager to learn if more people are having a positive experience using Elequil aromatabs® to help retrain their sense of smell. Please anonymously share your story with us to help others that may be looking for a solution.
Director of Brand Management