One of the most characteristic symptoms of COVID-19 is olfactory dysfunction. In the September issue of DMJ, Schwab and Fjaeldstad present results of a web-based survey, where more than 700 self-recruited patients experiencing sudden olfactory loss (app.56% with test-confirmed COVID-19) described the evolution of their olfactory and gustatory function up to one year after enrolment. The authors report that most subjects recovered at least some olfactory function within the first month and that recovery of olfactory function after more than six months without any prior improvement was also seen. One year after onset of smell loss, 42.0% of participants reported complete subjective recovery, 41.7% had partially recovered, whereas 2.4% reported no improvement. Some participants reported fluctuations with initial improvement followed by new worsening. Factors related to slow improvement were female sex, parosmia and severe initial olfactory dysfunction.
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Recovery rates and parosmia in olfactory loss during the COVID-19 era
Janne Schwab & Alexander Wieck Fjaeldstad