Loss of Smell or Taste Linked to Coronavirus COVID-19

written by Becki Andrus
Loss of Smell or Taste Linked to Coronavirus

The internet is filled with various details about the Novel Coronavirus, but it is important to look to trusted sources for correct information. At Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat, we are working hard to offer accurate, timely information for our patients. Today, we are sharing details about newly-discovered symptoms that can occur from this virus: a loss of taste or smell.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

These are the main symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as of March 26th, 2020:

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

In most cases, the symptoms of this illness are mild, and people can recover at home without medical interventions. But some people are highly susceptible to complications, which could lead to a fatal outcome. 

People with medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease are at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. It has also been found that people over the age of 60 have a higher risk of severe illness.

On the other hand, there are many patients who are carriers of the disease without exhibiting any symptoms. As a community, we all need to be proactive in minimizing contact to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among family, neighbors, and friends with a higher risk of complications.

Coronavirus: Loss of Smell or Taste

Anecdotal evidence has come to light, suggesting that dysgeusia and anosmia (a loss of taste and smell) is a common symptom of the illness. Smell blindness (anosmia) has been identified in patients who test positive for the virus, but don’t have any other related symptoms.

As such, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has recently recommended that these symptoms should be added to the list of symptoms used to detect a potential COVID-19 infection. Even with the absence of common Coronavirus symptoms (listed above), if a patient has any of the following symptoms, it could potentially be an alert that a COVID-19 test is needed:

  • Hyposmia: A reduced ability to smell.
  • Anosmia: Complete loss of smell.
  • Dysgeusia: A loss or distortion of taste.

According to a reputable ENT in the United Kingdom, “Post-viral anosmia is one of the leading causes of loss of sense of smell in adults, accounting for up to 40% cases of anosmia.” Evidence has been found in China, South Korea, Germany, and Italy that many patients with Coronavirus develop a loss of smell.

Keeping You Updated about Coronavirus

At this point, this information has not been officially added to the list of symptoms caused by the Coronavirus. As such, these patients don’t meet the criteria for self-isolation or testing. But these symptoms could be a signal to health care providers that full personal protective equipment is needed. The American Academy of Otolaryngology has stated that the presence of these symptoms without other respiratory symptoms should warrant “serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these individuals.”

When you are monitoring your health and the health of your loved ones, watch for potential signs of the virus – including a loss of taste or smell. If the symptoms are mild, you may choose to self-isolate because there is a chance that you might be a carrier of the virus. Paying attention to the additional symptoms is an important step in minimizing the spread of the disease by asymptomatic individuals.

How Collin County ENT is Protecting Our Patients

If you are looking for information and tips about Coronavirus, please visit our recent message to our patients. In our ENT offices, we see patients daily with other sources of coughing. Please read the guidelines in the link, and don’t hesitate to call us to determine if you should keep your appointment. Our medical assistant is available to answer your questions and help you determine the best options for diagnosis and treatment.

We continue to provide medical care for patients. Our routine sterilization practices and additional cleaning measures give you a clean place where you can consult with a doctor about your health concerns. Of course, we always recommend that patients use precautionary measures in protecting their health, such as using hand sanitizer and avoiding contact with other people who have symptoms. Our office is following the recommendations provided by the CDC:

  • Hand sanitizer is available for use and should be used when arriving and leaving the office.
  • Maintain 6 feet distance between yourself and others when possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes or face.
  • Avoid handshakes or unnecessary physical contact.
  • Always wash your hands or use sanitizer when touching doorknobs, telephones, chair arms, countertops, and other surfaces.
  • Wearing a face mask while in public

Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment

As the evidence is growing, our goal at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is to provide accurate, updated information about the ever-changing health concerns related to this virus, and other health concerns affecting the upper respiratory system. If you live near Dallas or Denton and would like to visit with an experienced ENT, then reach out to our team to schedule an appointment.

Our online form can be used for an appointment request, or you can call our office to talk to a team member. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat has two local offices in Frisco and Plano, TX. Call to learn more: (972) 596-4005.

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“We consulted Dr Tseng based on our pediatrician's recommendation. He's so great a doctor who took time to explain us everything and genuinely guided us in the right direction. He's such a caring, genuine and knowledgeable doctor. Oh how I wish there were more like him! ”

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