Anosmia or smell blindness: Is it early indicator of COVID-19?

Dr Ahmed Abdelhameed, Specialist Internal Medicine, Medcare Women & Children Hospital

Anosmia or sense of smell loss has been reported as common early symptoms in patients with COVID-19. These symptoms may be an initial manifestation of COVID-19.

There is a big difference in studies regarding the rate of reported Anosmia among COVID-19 patients but it has ranged from 5% to 98% across the studies.

A majority of COVID-19 patients experience some level of Anosmia.

Some studies report that Anosmia in COVID-19 differs from Anosmia caused by other viral infections.

Duration of recovery

Anosmia recovery in COVID -19 happens in a span of few weeks with average of 4 weeks. Some patients experience Anosmia without any nasal obstruction or discharge.

However, Anosmia is not considered as a serious condition but it can affect a patient’s quality of life by making them unable to fully taste foods, loss of appetite and sometimes it can plunge patients into depression if not treated properly.