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How Long Does Loss of Taste and Smell Last After the Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This highly contagious respiratory disease has a range of symptoms. In addition to symptoms such as fever, coughing, and fatigue, a case of COVID-19 can make you lose your senses of taste and smell.

To better understand the details of a COVID-19 infection and its aftermath, you can turn to our infectious disease experts at GatherWell of Otsego, Edina, and Ham Lake, Minnesota. We can help you confirm your COVID-19 diagnosis and advise you on handling symptoms like loss of taste and smell. In this post, we’ll explore how this symptom presents and how long it lasts.

Loss of smell? Get tested!

COVID-19 can impact your senses of taste and smell in several ways. You could completely lose your sense of smell or taste, or these senses could become less keen than usual for you. For some COVID-19 patients, some foods start to taste “wrong,” and certain scents seem different than normal.

Loss of sense of smell, also known as anosmia, is often an early indicator of a COVID-19 infection. In some cases, anosmia is the only symptom of COVID-19. Noticing this symptom can allow you to identify a case early and avoid infecting others.

If you notice changes in your ability to taste or smell, you should self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 right away. The team at GatherWell offers multiple types of COVID-19 testing and can rapidly get you the results you need to determine your next steps.

COVID-19 and your senses

If you or a loved one has had COVID-19, you might wonder what to expect in terms of your senses. When will you be able to taste and smell normally again?

For many patients, COVID-19 symptoms like loss of smell and taste improve within 4 weeks of the virus clearing the body. A recent study shows that in 75-80% of cases, senses are restored after 2 months, with 95% of patients regaining senses of taste and smell after 6 months.

However, we’re still learning more about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on people who have had it. For a small number of patients with so-called long COVID symptoms, anosmia and lack of taste can continue for longer than six months. 

Taste and smell are important parts of everyday life, and you may need support and coping strategies to continue eating normally. For instance, if you continue to experience loss of smell for an extended period, you may benefit from smell training to support your sense of smell.

Are you noticing changes in your senses of taste or smell? Get tested for COVID-19 now. The sooner you know your status, the more you can do to protect yourself and others. Schedule an appointment with our team of infectious disease specialists at GatherWell online or by phone today.