People who’ve lost their ability to smell and taste due to COVID-19 have significant struggles, but they can find ways to cope with their situation, a new study shows.
One of the most common side effects of COVID-19 is the loss of the sense of smell, which severely affects the sense of taste. This can lead to anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life.
In this study, five women were interviewed about how they were affected by their loss of smell and taste due to COVID-19.
Here are some of their responses:
- “I mean, I can force myself to eat it, but it’s not enjoyable like it used to be.”
- “It’s very, very, very uncomfortable, upsetting. Like I said, I really enjoy food. From going to love and enjoying the taste of food, I can’t really enjoy or say I love food anymore.”
- “It gets emotional too, because like I said, I cook a lot for my children. I got five children, I got two grandbabies and I cook a lot. But now it’s like, I don’t even want to cook. My cooking has changed because I can’t smell or taste my food.”
How it can affect your mental health
Those responses reveal the emotional toll of the participants’ loss of smell and taste, study author Dr. Katie Phillips says.
An “important component for this whole issue is the real mental health impact it has on patients when they can’t taste and smell,” she adds. “I think just letting people know there is a mental health impact and acknowledging that, so that they need to get help and treatment if they’re having difficulty, and that they’re in the norm of people dealing with that.”
A Lack of sensory experience can have a severe impact on mood and individual well-being, and is