It is true, you never miss something until it's gone. Now, usually, we're talking about missing items like car keys, baseball cards, or people from a previous relationship. But in this particular case, we are raising concerns voiced by many Louisiana based physicians concerning COVID-19.

Many of you are aware that one of the leading indicators of a COVID diagnosis is the loss of taste and the loss of smell. It is thought that those sensory perceptions are only lost temporarily because of the virus. But now, there are concerns that in some people the loss of smell, in particular, can be quite long-lasting.

Dr Kevin McLaughlin a professor of Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery at LSU Health New Orleans recently told the Louisiana Radio Network that most people do recover their sense of smell in a week or two. However, there are cases reported where patients have not regained their sense of smell for three or four months. The possibility that some of these patients will never have use of that sense again is a real possibility.

Brittany Colette via Unsplash.com
Brittany Colette via Unsplash.com
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One aspect of having your sense of smell diminished is how that sense affects your ability to taste things. As a resident of Louisiana not being able to fully enjoy our amazing food would be a most unfortunate result but there are far bigger concerns that trump being able to enjoy your red beans and rice.

Health experts warn that the loss of smell in some patients could lead to other issues. Namely the sense of smell is very important in detecting natural gas leaks or being able to detect smoke in the event of a fire. One health care professional even suggested that the inability to smell could lead to the ingestion of spoiled food which could lead to an entirely different set of health issues.

Many experts suggest that if you have experienced a loss of smell due to COVID, and even if that sense has returned, it's still a good idea to equip your home with a CO2 detector and to be very cognizant of expiration dates on food.

Elly Johnson via Unsplash.com
Elly Johnson via Unsplash.com
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While all of this sounds particularly concerning, I do think the loss of smell, known as anosmia, is a far better outcome than what some COVID patients have experienced when their sense of smell returns. That malady is known as dysosmia. In instances of that people do regain their ability to smell but the smells will be distorted. In some cases, patients reported flowers smell of dirty diapers or wet dogs.

Now there are ways to protect yourself from this and many of the other side effects of COVID-19. Doctors suggest that you get vaccinated and arrange to have your COVID booster shot when necessary.

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