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

By | June 30, 2021

According to researchers, steroids shouldn’t be used for treating smell loss due to Covid-19. Smell loss is a well known symptom of Covid-19, and the pandemic is leaving many individuals with long-term smell loss. But researchers have found that corticosteroids, a class of drug that reduces inflammation in the body, aren’t recommended for treating smell loss 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 at least 4 different odors twice daily for a few months.

The huge rise in smell loss due to Covid-19 has created an unprecedented worldwide demand for treatment. Around 1 in 5 individuals who experience smell loss due to Covid-19 report that their sense of smell hasn’t returned to normal 8 weeks after falling ill.

Corticosteroids are a class of drug that reduces inflammation in the body. Physicians generally prescribe them for helping treat conditions like asthma, and they’ve been considered as a therapeutic option for smell loss due to Covid-19. But they have well-known potential side effects which includes fluid retention, hypertension, and issues with mood swings and behavior.

The researchers conducted a systematic evidence-based review to determine if corticosteroids could help individuals in regaining their sense of smell. They found that there’s very little evidence that corticosteroids will help with smell loss. And due to the fact they have well known potential adverse side effects, their advice is that they shouldn’t be prescribed for treating post-viral smell loss.

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

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But smell training could be helpful. This entails sniffing at least 4 different odors twice a day each day for a few months. It has emerged as a cheap, simple and side-effect free treatment option for a variety of causes of smell loss, which includes Covid-19.

It aims to help recovery based on neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself to compensate for a change or injury.

Covid 19 Lingering Effects Infographic

Image Source – afp

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