Can't Smell After COVID? Try Smell Training!

Think not having a sense of smell isn’t a big deal? Our sense of smell is about more than just enjoying the roses; not having a sense of smell could prevent you from detecting spoiled food or being alerted to a gas leak in your home. For those who have lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19, smell training may be able to help!


According to doctors, approximately 80% of COVID patients lose their sense of smell. For some, this loss is short-lived, with the sense returning after a few days to just a few weeks. For some however, anosmia (the clinical term for the lack of the ability to smell) lingers on. So how do those afflicted with this long-term side effect fix it? One answer is smell training!


What is smell training (also called olfactory training or aroma therapy)? It’s using familiar scents to basically retrain your brain to “remember” smells it once knew. While it may take a while to re-educate your brain with these smells, the good news is, it is cheap and easy to perform.


How does it work? The olfactory nerves are the wiring between the nose and the brain. Damage to them, such as from a cold or virus, or even trauma to the head, can disrupt the communication between nose and brain and cause a change in smell (or even a complete loss). Just as a broken leg may need some physiotherapy to heal, your “broken” olfactory nerves may too! Smell training is like physiotherapy for your nose, and therefore helps your brain to recall scents it was once able to easily identify.


According to WebMD, using essential oils, build a kit of at least four scents that you are familiar with. Common scents include lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, rose, spruce, etc. Take time to sit and smell these same four scents every day, twice a day. Spend at least 20 seconds on each scent, and think about times when you were surrounded by those aromas. Remember to be patient with your healing body; it may take months before your sense of smell returns in some capacity.


Want help with scent training? We carry a full line of Plant Therapy essential oils and can help you build a kit in no time!

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