GatherWell is excited to now offer allergy testing! This non-invasive scratch test will check for 21 common cross reactive environmental allergies including grass, weeds, trees, molds, animals and insects. Results in approximately 30 minutes!

Why Does COVID-19 Cause the Loss of Taste and Smell?

Why Does COVID-19 Cause the Loss of Taste and Smell?

COVID-19, the disease caused by the infectious virus SARS-CoV-2, comes with a range of potential symptoms. You can even be infected, and infectious to others, without having any symptoms at all. This is one of the reasons why containing COVID-19 remains such a challenge.

One of the strangest symptoms that often appears with a case of COVID-19 is the loss of your sense of taste or smell. In fact, if you notice that smells seem to have disappeared, that’s often a good indicator that it’s time to reach for a COVID-19 test and learn more about your infection status!

At GatherWell COVID Testing of Ham Lake, Elk River, Edina, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, we specialize in COVID testing. Our team can also help you understand common symptoms of COVID-19 like the loss of smell or taste, and recommend strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19 in your household and community. Here’s what you need to know.

How COVID-19 affects your sense of smell and taste

The loss of smell associated with COVID-19 is also known as anosmia. Anosmia is a neurological symptom of COVID-19 and is associated with changes to activity in your brain.

Loss of taste and smell are common early symptoms of COVID-19. Records indicate that patients with COVID-19 are 27 times more likely to experience anosmia. And, sensory issues can continue as part of long COVID, as well, lasting for weeks or months after you recover from your infection.

We’re still learning more about the exact ways that COVID-19 damages your senses of taste and smell. Research shows that the olfactory cells in your upper nasal cavity are not vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection, but that the cells needed for metabolic and structural support of these processes are, and may be the root cause of this common COVID-19 symptom.

The good news is, because COVID-19 doesn’t seem to permanently harm the neural circuits in your brain that register sensory information about smells and tastes, anosmia associated with COVID-19 isn’t likely to last forever.

Keeping COVID-19 under control

However, no matter how long your sensory issues last, not being able to smell or taste correctly poses issues for your health and wellness. You can protect yourself against contracting COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, masking, keeping social distance, and getting tested as needed.

If you notice symptoms of COVID-19 like the loss of smell or taste, or if you have reason to be concerned about your exposure risk, you can always get in touch with the team at GatherWell to learn more about your COVID-19 infection status. We offer testing services that can let you know if you’re positive for a likely COVID-19 infection.

If you do test positive for COVID-19, finding out quickly helps you access treatment tools more promptly, leading to better likely treatment outcomes for you. Knowing about your COVID-19 status also allows you to make the right choices to limit the spread of COVID-19 in your household and community.

To learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, transmission risks, and your testing options, contact one of our GatherWell locations online or over the phone today.

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