Coronavirus Information Center

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology reports this week that some patients infected with coronavirus may exhibit symptoms of loss of taste and smell.

In an interview with Sky News, the Ear, Nose and Throat industry leads in the UK suggest those without typical symptoms of COVID-19 may instead report anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste) or dysgeusia (change in taste).

As coronavirus can be transmitted by respiratory secretions, they may anchor in passages that line the nose and mouth, hence decreasing nearby organ function.

Professor Nirmal Kumarm, head and neck surgeon, states, “In young patients, they do not have any significant symptoms such as the cough and fever, but they may have just the loss of sense of smell and taste, which suggests that these viruses are lodging in the nose.”

These symptoms, in addition to those of fever, cough or shortness of breath, may require self isolation and/or treatment as they could be indicative of a COVID infection.

Ageusia and dysgeusia can be caused by other issues, however, such as:

  • vitamin deficiency, such as zinc
  • smoking
  • medication side effect (such as with albuterol, antihistamines, chemotherapy)
  • thyroid disorder
  • diabetes
  • infection (bacterial, fungal, viral)
  • dry mouth
  • dental issues
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • liver disease
  • seizures
  • head trauma
  • cancer
  • depression……. to name a few.

Other causes of anosmia include:

  • allergies/hay fever
  • nasal polpys
  • smoking
  • vitamin deficiency (such as zinc)
  • dementia (such as Alzheimer’s)
  • head trauma
  • tumor
  • multiple sclerosis
  • diabetes
  • infection (bacterial, fungal, viral)
  • poor nutrition
  • depression……to name a few.

So any change in one’s senses should prompt a call or visit to one’s medical provider to determine if an exam and/or testing is warranted.

This is a developing story……

Original article written by Dr. Daliah.