With the original variant of COVID-19, about 48% of infected people were reporting loss of taste or smell, a review of 27 medical studies found. However, loss of smell may be making a comeback, as the BA.5 subvariant, which can easily. A review of nasal polyposis. This is not just about being able to enjoy a fine bottle of wine again; its about safety and preserving your quality of life, Coelho said. the most common cause of new COVID-19 cases in the US. Not being able to smell or taste can be stressful, regardless of the cause. By providing your email address, you agree to receive emails containing coupons, refill reminders and promotional messages from GoodRx. Hay fever or COVID-19: How do the symptoms differ? With age, youre more likely to take more medications or experience neurological conditions like Alzheimers disease. The loss of the senses of taste and smell can sometimes be the only symptom that COVID-19 causes. Probiotic supplements can be used as one part of an immune-boosting protocol to help reduce the likelihood of coronavirus infection. Sign up for notifications from Insider! But allergies arent the only causes of nasal polyps. And its not just cigarettes that can affect your sense of smell and taste. According to data gathered so far about the omicron variant, loss of smell and taste are not symptoms associated with this strain,. GoodRx is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party brands identified. A January 2021 study found that 86% of people with mild COVID-19 cases across 18 European hospitals had a reduced sense of smell. These days, the loss of your sense of taste (ageusia) or smell (anosmia) has taken on new meanings with added concern. Night sweatshave become one of the common omicron variant symptoms, along with muscle aches, fatigue and scratchy throats, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Doctors have said symptoms can vary based on vaccination status, but with omicron causing a rise in breakthrough infections, some are noticing one symptom in particular may be changing. Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. There are different degrees of loss, so you may still be able to smell, but not as sharp as before (hyposmia). Weve all been there. For example, one study of over 300 COVID patients with taste or smell loss saw 43 percent report feelings of depression, with another noting anxiety as a common association. A similar study from Imperial College London also found that there was lower reporting of loss of sense of smell and taste for the Omicron variant. Httenbrink, K. B., et al. Coelho and his team identified 6-week periods where cases were highest for each variant studied, then compared how many patients were diagnosed with smell and taste loss in these timeframes. German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. (2013). However, there isn't any data to confirm loss of smell is a feature of a BA.5 infection. Expert has identified a new but strange omicron variant symptom. But other factors can contribute to loss of taste and smell, including: Nasal and sinus problems, such as allergies, sinusitis or nasal polyps Viral infections, including the common cold and the flu Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Patients with smell loss also have a higher rate of dementia. Does omicron cause a loss of smell and taste? "They may only feel like they have a cold," she said. Omicron Symptoms: These Are The Most (And Least) Common Symptoms Sore throat, fever and cough were seen more often with omicron than other variants, while those with a loss of taste or smell has . By clicking Sign up, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider The symptoms are usually temporary, and taste and smell should significantly improve or. Omicron BA.5 is more likely to cause less severe illness compared to other variants. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest healthcare news and analysis delivered weekly to your inbox. One of the strangest and most concerning symptoms of COVID-19 is the loss of taste and smell. Among vaccinated people, Omicron may resemble a traditional cold more than prior COVID-19 variants. Theres a new COVID-19 variant, but what makes it different? Furthermore, they stated, patients should be reassured that recovery from smell or taste impairment may continue for many months after the onset.. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. More research is needed to explore if vaccination status also plays a role in the reduced rates of smell loss. Keep in mind that these medications may not just decrease your sense of taste or smell but may change it altogether like the metallic taste you can experience when taking lithium. Fortunately, the most common causes of loss of smell and taste (causes 1 to 3 below) usually get better with time. How Long Does the Omicron Variant Last on Surfaces. . A strange omicron variant symptom has emerged as COVID-19 has continued to spread across the country. Typically, allergies cause sneezing, congestion, and a cough. Itchy Throat: Could It Be COVID-19 or Something Else? Not being able to smell or taste can be stressful, regardless of the cause. TheWright Center, which oversees clinical research at VCU, established the database for the survey of those experiencing loss of smell and taste through funding from a National Institutes of Health grant and supports the National COVID Cohort Collaborative as a Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards Program hub. (2012). Loss of smell and taste has become a less common symptom as COVID-19 evolves and the population acquires immunity through vaccination and prior infection. Sore throats were detected in 53% of omicron cases (compared to 34% of delta cases) in the U.K. though the study notes the higher rate of sore throats could be associated with something else, since more people who tested negative for COVID were also reporting sore throats in the country. Sign up for notifications from Insider! Understandably, anyone experiencing a loss of taste or smell will look for approaches to prompt their return. Still, CDC data showed the most common symptoms so far are cough, fatigue, congestion and a runny nose. All patients in the study experienced the initial COVID-19 variant rather than the more recently emerged Omicron strain and subvariants. Parma added that the number of people reporting a loss of smell was "significantly less" than with the Delta variant, which was dominant in the US in 2021. Experts warn against using Benadryl and milk to treat COVID But the duration of symptoms will depend on the cause, and its different for each person. And for most, there are ways to get you back to sniffing and tasting like normal again. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Early data from French health authorities published on July 15found people infected with BA.4 or BA.5 were more likely to present with loss of smell or taste than those infected with BA.1, one of the earliest Omicron subvariants. But a new study shows those telltale traits are. Symptoms often improve after 7 days, with more noticeable improvements after 14 days. Loss of smell could once again become a hallmark feature of COVID-19, as health professionals say increasing numbers of people infected with the virus are reporting the symptom again. This happens with aging because the nerves that help you smell dont regenerate as effectively anymore. People with Omicron may report symptoms like nausea more often because loss of smell is less prevalent with the new variant, said Andrew Pekosz, a professor of molecular microbiology and. Loss of taste or smell, once a hallmark COVID-19, has become a relatively rare symptom. Quitting tobacco use is a surefire way to get you back to smelling and tasting normally (and being healthy) again. RELATED: Infected With Omicron? Many people lose their sense of taste or smell after a coronavirus infection, but scientists still aren't certain who is most at risk. However, "people are reporting night sweats, which is a very strange symptom . Multiple sclerosis: In this condition, your bodys immune system attacks your brain and spinal cord and can cause various symptoms from weakness to changes in vision. Our research shows that more than 50% of people suffering from smell and taste loss have reported feeling depressed. Smell training means regularly smelling different things to relearn them. Lung. The best way to tell if you have COVID-19 is to get a COVID-19 test. GoodRx provides no warranty for any information. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the omicron variant and its accompanying subvariants make up nearly 100 percent of all current COVID-19 cases in the U.S. That could have a huge impact for health care providers and patients that develop a COVID-19 infection. Most of the infected people were vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine. When the Delta variant was running rampant, 34% of people reported these symptoms. (2001). Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Hou, H., et al. Over 3,000 people across the U.S. participated in the survey, which tracked symptoms over time. All rights reserved. Can Probiotics Help Prevent or Treat COVID-19 Infection? Most Read. Aside from that, social distancing practices are the next best thing in terms of staying safe; wearing your surgical or KN95 masks and keeping track of the COVID-19 cases in your area will help you have some peace of mind and inform you of what is safe or unsafe in your situation. GoodRx works to make its website accessible to all, including those with disabilities. How do you regain your sense of smell after COVID-19? It's a question many are asking as omicron cases surge into the new year following holiday gatherings. Boesveldt, S., et al. Does the Omicron variant trigger this condition? Doty, R. L., et al. (2020). (2019). BA.5 is not currently the most common cause of new COVID-19 cases there. Can a healthy gut protect you from COVID-19? There may be hope for those that are still struggling with smell and taste loss, as Coelho and other researchers are developing an implant device that would restore the bodys sense of smell. Recently, most seem to be converging around one main idea: the virus appears to. Some people who lose their sense of taste or smell due to a COVID-19 infection may have an easier time fighting off the virus in the future, anew study suggests. TheWright Center, which oversees clinical research at VCU, established the database for the survey of those experiencing loss of smell and taste through funding from a, supports the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards Program, C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Compared to the original coronavirus strain, risk of smell and taste loss appears 50% lower for the alpha variant, 66% lower for the delta variant and 83% lower for the omicron variant, Virginia . Omicron has only a 17 percent chance of smell and taste loss, compared to 44 percent for delta and 50 percent for the alpha variant. Valentina Parma, a psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia who works with COVID patients, told NBC News she was seeing more people with loss of smell, compared with the beginning of the year. Plus, the ability to smell harmful fumes can protect you from danger. "But when you administer a smell test, we're seeing about 25% of people have an impaired sense of smell, which is not a small number," she said. Does the Omicron variant trigger this condition? These added factors can add to difficulty with smelling and tasting over the years. COVID infection could be impacting taste buds directly, said Wu. Other reported signs of the variant . smell and taste loss as a symptom of COVID-19. (2017). To make things more confusing, some people get their sense of taste and smell back without any treatment. RELATED: What to Do When COVID Kills Your Sense of Smell and Taste. STONE: The clinical picture of omicron is still messy. Is a 4th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine effective? The findings have a huge diagnostic impact, said Coelho, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at VCU. (2013). At the very least, experts said, Omicron has changed the nature of a mild COVID-19 case. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). How smell and taste change as you age. Stay up to date with what you want to know. (2020). America is changing faster than ever! (2019). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the CDC notes this list is not exhaustive, and people might experience different symptoms or combinations of symptoms. RELATED: Kids Who Had COVID-19 Are Twice As Likely To Develop This Chronic Condition. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Over 3,000 people across the U.S. participated in the survey, which tracked symptoms over time. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team. The rise of the Omicron variant has been swift, with cases in South Africa, the country where the variant was first discovered, rising from 300 a day to 3,000 within just a couple of weeks after the variant was first spotted last November.