Long COVID can be described as a condition in which a person still experiences symptoms of COVID-19 long after recovering from the virus or testing negative for it. While COVID-19 affects each individual differently, many of its associated symptoms may be enough for some people to experience chronic inflammation and nervous system involvement, leading to a host of uncomfortable symptoms. While there are many notable symptoms of long COVID, there is one on the list that tends to interfere with one’s enjoyment of life the most: a lost sense of smell.
How COVID Affects Your Sense of Smell
During the beginning stages of COVID-19, you may experience sinus or nasal congestion or swelling. As a result, there is a limited pathway for the molecules that carry scent, reducing your sense of smell. However, in certain cases, this congestion can be so severe that it causes lasting damage to the nerves around the olfactory area; this is one cause of the condition called anosmia, which is either the partial or total loss of smell.
When a person experiences anosmia, it can often be traced back to a disturbance (whether by head injury, infection, or blockage of the nose) to the sensory nerves anywhere along the path where the sense of smell is carried to the brain.
Treatment for Lost Sense of Smell or Long COVID
A lost sense of smell long after COVID-19 can affect many people, even if they don’t have a stuffy nose. Beyond just congestion, the symptoms of COVID-19 may lead to a dysregulation of some nervous systems associated with one’s sense of smell.
For this reason, Southwest Pain Management often advises patients with long COVID symptoms, such as anosmia, to receive a stellate ganglion block (SGB) treatment. During this treatment, the sympathetic nerves around your head and neck will be numbed with an anesthetic. This “resets” or corrects the sympathetic nerves, enabling you to recover your sense of smell. Under the right conditions, an SGB also has the potential to be a successful treatment for a variety of connected disorders, including a loss of taste.
Regain Your Lost Sense of Smell With Southwest Pain Management
Patients suffering from various symptoms, such as a lost sense of smell due to COVID, can count on receiving top-notch care and effective treatments at Southwest Pain Management.
Since 2020, we’ve become a trusted name in long COVID treatment, both nationally and internationally. We treat conditions such as tinnitus, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, brain fog, loss of taste, loss of smell, parosmia, and more. Our facility is also a pioneer in the treatment of PTSD and medication-resistant depression. Recovery is just around the corner, but relief begins here. Contact Southwest Pain Management today to book an appointment.