COVID-19: 6 Ways to Tell If You’ve Lost Your Sense of Smell

The symptoms of COVID-19 vary greatly. However, one of the most unusual that stands out is the loss of smell and taste. In fact, many say that if you experience the loss of those key senses, then you almost certainly have the coronavirus.

Recently, the New York Times reported that 87 percent of all patients reported the loss of smell and taste with COVID-19. Another 25 percent of people diagnosed with the virus reported the loss of the senses was the only symptom that they ever developed. Now, healthcare professionals are calling the loss of smell and taste bellwethers of COVID-19.

A study performed in India looked at five scents to see if people with COVID-19 had a difficult time smelling them. They found that those who had the virus could not seem to smell peppermint, cardamom, fennel, garlic, or coconut oil.

The study found 25 odorants that sufferers had a difficult time smelling. Olfactory deficiencies were noticed in 50 percent of those who were asymptomatic.

People with upper respiratory conditions such as nasal symptoms, congestion or drainage often experience blocked nerve endings which impact their sense of smell. The virus appears to cause an inflammatory reaction within the nose that impacts the olfactory function.

Researchers believe that the symptom could have a huge impact on the global efforts that are being made to identify the coronavirus. Although not a foolproof method, there is some use for the key symptom.

If you are concerned that you are suffering from COVID-19, but you lack any concrete symptoms then why not test your sense of smell? Head into the kitchen to carry out the self-diagnosis.

6. Coffee


Who doesn’t love to wake up with the smell of java in the morning? It instantly revitalizes your sleeping brain and makes you ready to hit the day running. However, if you have COVID-19, your chances of smelling the strong brew might be impacted.

Brew a pot of coffee, pour yourself a hot black cup and try to inhale the aroma. Do you smell anything? If you have no sense of smell, then you might have the coronavirus.

5. Garlic

Eat Garlic

Garlic is the king of smelly kitchen spices. If you are Dracula you probably avoid the stuff, but for a normal person the smell of garlic is very pungent. However, if you are sick with the virus then you might not smell the cloves.

Professor Carl Philpott from Fifth Sense, a UK-based charity, suggests using a combination of garlic, coffee, and coconut to test. He stated, “Garlic, coffee, and coconut are additional scents you can use. However, this is not an exhaustive list. You should have several smells already in your cupboard at home that you can use, so there’s no need to purchase anything special for these tests.

He went on to say, “All you need to make sure is that, the smell that is safe to hold reasonably close to your nose—make sure you avoid any potential irritants like air freshener, bleach, or other strong smells that can cause a tingling sensation or harm to the nasal passage.”

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