How long loss of taste and smell should last after COVID recovery


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Some common symptoms of COVID-19 include the loss of taste and smell.

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, a professor of Public Health at New Mexico State University, said that symptoms can linger long after you have recovered from the virus.

Khubchandani told KTSM 9 News the best thing you can do if you’re trying to regain taste and smell is to taste or smell something you’re familiar with and imagine what it smells and tastes like. Also, remember that the loss of taste and smell is extremely common for people who contract the virus.

“That was one of the first symptoms that I had: I couldn’t smell or taste everything with sugar — everything tasted like water, to be honest with you — and my smell, I couldn’t smell anything at all,” said Mark Garza, an El Pasoan who recovered from the virus.

Garza said it took about three weeks for him to regain his sense of taste and smell.

“It was kind of scary at first but, like I said, I didn’t think much of it to be honest with you,” he said. “I thought it was just going to go away and come back, but after thinking about it, it was kind of annoying not being able to smell or taste.”

According to Khubchandani, losing your sense of taste and smell can be frightening.

“The world becomes so difficult. It’s so scary, causes anxiety, ruins your quality of life and you feel like you’re some kind of an alien in society when you don’t have the senses required to function,” Khubchandani said. “But you know, the vast majority of people, more than 90 percent, have to know that guaranteed, they will recover their sense of smell and taste eventually.”

He added that you should regain your sense of taste and smell within one to two months at the most.

“Now, within that time period, you have to accept that you have a disease and it has certain symptoms, practice acceptance, and then continue to wait,” Khubchandani said. “In the meanwhile, what you can do is force yourself to smell things and retrain yourself.”

Khubchandani said a lot of people regain their sense of taste and smell within a few weeks, just like Garza did. However, he said if it lasts for longer than two months, you should speak to a health professional.

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