As we have previously posted: (https://www.theentclinic.co.uk/2020/04/02/covid-19-symptoms-loss-of-sense-of-smell-and-taste/), the loss of smell and taste has been added to the UK’s official list of COVID-19 symptoms along with a fever and a persistent cough. A fever is easy to test for, but how do you test for loss of smell? Research has discovered that a sudden and obvious loss of smell, and sometimes taste, is a good predictor of COVID-19 infection.
When testing your smell, it’s been advised that you should choose smells that are easily identifiable, particularly for children; such as orange, lemon, mint, vanilla. The obvious one for adults is coffee – but garlic, rosemary or coconut are also ideal to use as a test. There isn’t a specific list of smells to test for so choose something that individually suits your culture, age and circumstances.
Write a list of a few items that you are going to test. Hold the item to be tested close to your nose, but not touching it and inhale deeply. Do not use anything that could be an irritant – for example cleaning products.
If you have experienced a sudden loss of smell, you are advised to have a COVID-19 test and follow the Government guidelines thereafter regarding self-isolation.
If your lack of smell and taste persists and you haven’t been infected with coronavirus, or you have recovered, you may need to see an ENT Specialist to investigate this further. Smell disorders can be caused by a swelling of the lining of the nose or sinuses or due to trauma to the head. In these circumstances, further investigation with a Specialist is recommended.
Read here to find more information about nose conditions that affect your sense of smell: https://www.theentclinic.co.uk/conditions/nose-conditions/
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