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Published on June 14, 2023
Est. 28 Million Americans Left With Permanent Loss of Smell or Taste from the Lingering Impact of COVID

In a world where life, scents, and flavors intertwine, COVID-19 has left many grappling with the distressing reality of losing their senses of taste and smell. A recent study delves into the experiences of those whose olfactory journeys have been disrupted by the virus. With roughly 60% of COVID patients reporting a loss of smell and 58% experiencing a loss of taste, recovery is varied. While 72% regain their sense of smell, a quarter partially recover, and 3% never recover at all. That's an estimated 28 million Americans facing sensory oblivion.

Neil Bhattacharyya, professor of otolaryngology, conducts this study, which is limited to data from 2021, focusing primarily on those exposed to the earliest variants. Inspired by patients who experienced significant weight loss and even depression as a result of losing their senses, Bhattacharyya is determined to bring attention to the sentimental and practical implications, from enjoying life's flavors to detecting gas leaks and spoiled food. With treatments like retraining therapy, doctors are only now beginning to comprehend the scope of this lingering problem. Continue reading the complete article on SFist →

Photo: Jyoti Singh