Steroids Are Not an Effective Treatment for COVID-19 Smell Loss

According to researchers, steroids shouldn’t be used for treating smell loss due to Covid-19. The loss of smell is a well known Covid-19 symptom, and many individuals are left with long-term smell loss from the pandemic. Researchers have found that corticosteroids, a type of drug that reduces inflammation, aren’t recommended for treating loss of smell as a result of Covid-19.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1002/alr.22788

As an alternative, the researchers suggest ‘smell training’, a method that involves sniffing 4 or more different odors twice daily for a few months.

The massive increase in smell loss due to Covid-19 has resulted in an extraordinary demand for treatment worldwide. About 1 in 5 individuals who experience loss of smell due to Covid-19 say that their sense of smell hasn’t returned to normal 8 weeks after their illness.

Physicians generally prescribe corticosteroids for helping treat conditions like asthma, and they’ve been considered as a therapeutic option for loss of smell due to Covid-19. They do however have well-known side effects which include fluid retention, hypertension, and issues with mood swings and behavior.

The researchers conducted an evidence-based review to determine if corticosteroids can help individuals in regaining their sense of smell. Very little evidence was found that corticosteroids could help with loss of smell. And due to the fact they have potential adverse side effects; the researchers advise that corticosteroids shouldn’t be prescribed for treating post-viral smell loss.

Luckily the majority of individuals who experience loss of smell due to Covid-19 will regain it spontaneously. Studies show that 90% of individuals will have recovered their sense of smell completely after 6 months.

Smell training has emerged as a simple and cheap treatment option for a variety of causes of smell loss, which includes Covid-19. The goal of smell training is to help recover smell influenced by neuroplasticity, the ability of brain to reorganize itself for compensate for an injury or change.

Covid 19 Lingering Effects Infographic

Image Source – afp

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