smell loss

Recover your sense of smell (anosmia) thanks to olfactory training

The covid-19 brings with it, for some, dire consequences on our senses, among them the smell, better known as anosmia. How to treat it?

Since the beginning of covid-19, specialists have revealed over time the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 virus on health. One of the consequences, known but not well publicised, is the partial or total alteration or loss of smell.

According to a study conducted in 18 European hospitals with over 2,000 men and women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus, 73% of patients monitored reported a sudden and total loss of their sense of smell (anosmia). 14% noted a decrease in their olfactory sensitivity (hyposmia) in most cases in association with taste disorders. In fact, other conditions such as loss of taste (ageusia) or alteration or poor perception of taste (hypogeusia) have also been detected.

In addition, it is estimated that between 10 and 15% of the population already suffers from some type of odour disorder. That is to say, before this important sanitary crisis took place.

As we well know, smell is an indispensable sense for the tasting of spirits and wines. Our sense of smell allows us to better taste and detect the aromas that accompany the flavors of a spirit in its palette. Fortunately, there are methods that will allow us to recover the sense of smell.


The Olfactory Training

According to Dr. Jérôme Lechien from the otolaryngology department at Foch Hospital in France, olfactory training is “the best treatment”. Thanks to this training, 85% of the patients treated who had contracted covid-19 recovered their sense of smell in two months. The olfactory re-education technique is not new, however, it has been practiced for about ten years.

“We ask our patients to smell smells, in their homes, at least twice a day, for five minutes, and for two or three months”.

The first month of training is started with four odors, then the next month or so they are changed. The important thing according to doctor Philippe Rombaux is to try different smells of spices and essential oils. But above all to gather varied smells that allow a great stimulation of the smell: fruity, floral, woody.

A method developed by Jean Michel Maillard consists in smelling essential oils. A dose of 2 % (20 drops in 50 ml of water) is recommended twice a day blindly during 12 weeks. Of course, the results will depend on the severity of the olfactory problem.

Hirac Gurden*, recommends repeating the training at regular intervals. “As soon as we feel that the olfactory sensitivity decreases, we restart the daily stimulation sessions. At the same time, it is necessary to smell the smells around us. For example, in the kitchen or during a walk in the woods. The more we receive olfactory stimuli the more we will increase and preserve our sensory acuity.


*Neurobiologist and director of research in neurosciences at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).


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