COVID-19: Distorted Perceptions

Some COVID-19 survivors are tormented by unpleasant and often noxious phantom odors, like the smells of burning plastic or feces, a distortion called parosmia.

Eric Reynolds lost his sense of smell when he contracted COVID-19 in April. Now, he often perceives foul odors he knows don’t exist. Diet drinks taste like dirt; soap and laundry detergent smell like stagnant water or ammonia.

“I can’t do dishes, it makes me gag,” Reynolds said. He’s also haunted by phantom smells of corn chips and a scent he calls “old lady perfume smell.”

It’s not unusual for patients like him to develop food aversions related to their distorted perceptions, said Dr. Evan Reiter, medical director of the smell and taste centre at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been tracking the recovery of about 2,000 COVID-19 patients who lost their sense of smell.

One of his patients said that “virtually everything that she eats will give her a gasoline taste or smell.”

Eric Reynolds lost his sense of smell when he contracted COVID-19 in April. Now, he often perceives foul odors he knows don’t exist. Diet drinks taste like dirt; soap and laundry detergent smell like stagnant water or ammonia.

“I can’t do dishes, it makes me gag,” Reynolds said. He’s also haunted by phantom smells of corn chips and a scent he calls “old lady perfume smell.”

It’s not unusual for patients like him to develop food aversions related to their distorted perceptions, said Dr. Evan Reiter, medical director of the smell and taste centre at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been tracking the recovery of about 2,000 COVID-19 patients who lost their sense of smell.

One of his patients said that “virtually everything that she eats will give her a gasoline taste or smell.”

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/some-covid-19-survivors-haunted-by-loss-of-smell-and-taste-13884190

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