Third of long COVID patients suffer persistent smell loss, study finds

Smell loss is one of the most prevalent symptoms of long Covid according to a new study from the University of East Anglia.

New research published today reveals that almost a third of long Covid patients suffer persistent smell loss, with almost a fifth experiencing loss of taste.

The team say that Christmas in particular can be a difficult time for people who have lost their sense of smell and taste — who will be missing out smells like the Christmas tree and mulled wine, or being able to taste their Christmas dinner, mince pies and chocolates.

The research team investigated the prevalence of long Covid, and particularly ear, nose and throat related symptoms such as smell loss and parosmia — where people experience strange and often unpleasant smell distortions.

Lead researcher Prof Carl Philpott, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Long Covid is a complex condition that develops during or after having covid, and it is classified as such when symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks.

“Symptoms include headache, myalgia, fatigue and loss of taste and smell. Parosmia can persist for months after initial infection, alongside brain fog and memory loss.

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