Doctors FINALLY develop a treatment for loss of smell and taste caused by Covid

February 24th, 2024
pexels cottonbro 7000186
  • Numbing a cluster of nerves around the voice box helped restore sense of smell 
  • Over 60 per cent of Covid patients also saw changes in their sense of smell or taste

Doctors have identified a treatment for people whose sense of smell and taste was warped by COVID-19.

The 10-minute procedure sees a doctor inject a steroid into a collection of nerves at the base of the neck, which jumpstarts the nervous system.

Researchers are not exactly sure how it works, but the treatment has been used to treat PTSD, migraines and other issues involving the circulatory system.

In a study of 54 patients with persistent post-COVID parosmia, or distorted sense of smell, the injection provided them with some relief from their distorted sense of smell.

stellate ganglion block v2 web 1

An estimated 20million Americans have been affected by a loss or distortion of their taste or smell, often leaving them put off food and drinks they used to enjoy.

Doctors have found people with Covid lose their sense of smell because the virus damages the receptor nerve endings or supporting cells within their nose.

The scent-detecting nerve endings tell the brain how to interpret the chemical information that makes up a smell, and when damaged or if they heal incorrectly, this can lead to parosmia.

Loss of taste and smell were more common earlier in the pandemic, when up to three in five sufferers were estimated to have the symptom.

But amid vaccination and the spread of new variants, the symptoms have become less common.

Its mechanism of action is largely unknown but it is possible that blocking the nerve in the neck could alter the way the brain interprets smells coming in through the nose.

Parosmia, where the damaged nerves try to regenerate but send confused messages to the brain, distorting the sense of smell and taste, can be debilitating.

Parosmia is not a new phenomenon. It can be caused by damage to olfactory nerve cells following a head injury or sinus problems. But it also occurs following viral infections affecting the upper airway.

It has been known to cause severe nausea and disgust around food that could progress to an eating disorder as people suddenly cannot stomach basic nutrition.

The condition is not known to be a permanent after-effect of Covid, though millions of people still have not seen their symptoms subside completely over a year after getting sick in the first place.

To determine whether a stellate ganglion block (SGB) used for the treatment of pain could work for problems with sense of smell, radiologists recruited 54 test subjects who had been referred to them by ear, nose, and throat doctors after suffering from the condition for at least six months after their Covid infection.

Please click the link below to read further:

At Pain Spa, Dr Krishna is highly experienced in performing SGB injections under real-time ultrasound guidance. Dr Krishna has treated hundreds of patients with long covid and PTSD. Please contact us for further details if you are interested in having a consultation with Dr Krishna.