Doctors see influx in patients suffering from loss of smell after they catch COVID-19

Many patients are saying taste buds have changed

Health experts say the loss of smell has become the biggest issue emerging for sufferers who are recovering from COVID-19.

“Most of the studies are showing that about a half to three-fourths, so 50-75% of COVID-19 positive patients have some sort of smell and taste dysfunction,” Otolaryngologist Jeb Justice said.

Justice is also an associate professor with the University of Florida.

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It’s a complication Justice said he is seeing more and more in post-COVID-19 patients.

“Once delta came this fall, we’ve been inundated, people are coming up saying ‘we called your clinic we can’t get in for seven months because there are no spots what can you do?’” he said.

In some cases, Justice said patients are growing frustrated because they are discovering recovery is not quick or complete.

“Most people are ending up with hyposmia where it comes back a little bit but still not back to their normal baseline and then about 10% are having parosmia distorted senses of smell, that’s the one we have been seeing more recently,” he said.

While there isn’t a cure, there are treatments to improve the condition that affects roughly 10% of post-COVID-19 patients. Justice said the gender distribution is relatively equal.

“I’m seeing it across all ages I have 13-year-olds, 16-year-olds and 83-year-olds and everybody in between,” he said.


About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.