If someone caught covid at its height or even after, they must have noticed long-term smell loss after or during. Covid can often trigger long-term smell loss that doesn’t go away, even after the virus has been completely metabolized and expelled from the body.
This problem can become a significant issue, making eating and socializing with friends or loved ones difficult or impossible.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to prevent this kind of damage from happening in the first place: by wearing a mask that filters out the Covid virus before it gets anywhere near the nose and mouth.
What Is the Science Behind This?
The covid-19 virus belongs to a group of viruses known as retroviruses. The virus can cause various symptoms in different people, including persistent loss of smell and taste, known as long-term viral smell loss.
Long-term smell loss can lead to anosmia when someone experiences permanent smell loss. This can have serious implications for some people, particularly those who lose their sense of smell or taste for eating or cooking.
A mask worn over the nose has been shown to help restore lost long-term smell loss in around half of the people with chronic long-term smell loss due to chronic upper respiratory virus infection.
The Connection Between The Immune System and The Sense of Smell?
The nose is just part of an elaborate network that includes sinuses, tonsils, pharynx, larynx (voice box), ears, lymph nodes, eyes, and mucous membranes. When something goes wrong with any of these systems in the body, it can affect the sense of smell.
For example, Infections such as colds or allergies can inflame the nasal passages or sinuses. This can cause swelling and congestion that may temporarily block airflow to the nose or sinuses.
This means no air comes through when breathing. And if air doesn’t come through during inspiration (breathing in), air won’t go out during expiration (breathing out).
What Happens to Sense of Smell When People Wear a Face Mask?
A face mask will help prevent odor molecules from entering the nose and reduce the sense of smell, so people won’t notice if their sense of smell isn’t as good as usual.
However, it’s important to note that people with severe breathing problems are more likely to have permanent loss of their sense of smell than those with milder breathing issues.
When using a face mask, it is also important to clean it regularly since buildup can further block airflow through the nostrils. Additionally, always make sure to replace masks when they get worn out or if breathing becomes more difficult than usual.
If someone has previously been diagnosed with Covid or another breathing problem but still has trouble smelling odors even while wearing a face mask, they should speak with their doctor about getting tested for long-term smell loss. The doctor will likely recommend additional testing to determine what caused their loss of smell and how best to treat it.