Many people infected with SARS-CoV-2 lose their sense of taste and smell. They are often confused about the situation and don’t know what to do? – Life and Health
Acute loss of taste and smell following SARS-CoV-2 infection is a characteristic finding affecting 20-85% of infected individuals. While none of these manifestations are life-threatening, they reduce appetite and reduce the ability to sense ambient odors. Since then, patients have been prone to stress and anxiety due to SARS-CoV-2 infection and cravings.
Patients with anorexia, leading to malnutrition, reduce the body’s immunity to disease. This is a favorable factor that may worsen a SARS-CoV-2 infection and become a COVID 19 disease, or make an infected person more susceptible to post-COVID symptoms.
1. Why does SARS-CoV-2 cause loss of taste and smell?
Many scientists have been concerned about why people infected with SARS-CoV-2 lose their sense of smell and taste, but there is still no satisfactory answer.
People infected with SARS-CoV-2 lose their sense of smell and taste, possibly due to nasal obstruction covering the olfactory opening, possibly due to local cytokine storms, damage to the brain’s olfactory center, and impaired sense of smell. Direct damage to brain cells. Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), also known as olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) or central nervous system neurons (SUS).
The structure of the human olfactory system.
Given the close association between olfactory function and taste, the concomitant presence of olfactory dysfunction may adversely affect taste in COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, SARS-CoV-2 directly damages taste buds and salivary glands, binds to sialic acid receptors, and causes inflammation.
These studies found that the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with olfactory and taste neuron receptors causes the loss of smell and taste in infected individuals. But these people often develop mild or very mild infections because they benefit from the neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory or depolarizing effects of the link.
Acupuncture or electro-acupuncture for loss of taste.
2. Treatment of taste loss in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
2.1. Non-drug methods
– Good therapeutic effect on nasal congestion in people infected with SARS-CoV-2.
– Acupuncture or Acupuncture Pulse: Nghinh Huong, An Duong, Toan Cylinder, Tinh Minh, Thua Thien, Tongue.
2.2. Drugs for the treatment of taste loss
Based on the evidence from the above studies, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, insulin, and corticosteroids can treat the loss of smell and taste caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Drugs to treat loss of taste in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients are still in the research and testing process and should never be used alone in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.
Pentoxifylline (oral or injectable) is a methylxanthine derivative that affects olfactory function.
– Caffeine (IIb/B-R): is a central nervous system stimulant that can be taken with medication or with a daily cup of coffee (except for those who cannot drink coffee).
Theophylline (IIb/B-NR): Associated with lower cAMP and cGMP concentrations in nasal mucus and saliva. Patients receive theophylline orally or intranasally for 2-8 months.
– Intranasal insulin (IIa/BR): Insulin can participate in olfactory function through receptors on the surface of olfactory and taste cells, has neuroprotective effect, and can regenerate mucosa. Odor (Fadool et al., 2011; Lacroix et al., 2011). The function of the olfactory system was assessed 30 min after insulin administration.
Statins (IIb/C-EO): Statins are known 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors and are widely used in hypercholesterolemia. In addition to lipid-lowering activity, they have many beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective effects (Saee di Saravi et al., 2017). These studies all suggest that statins have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that improve olfactory dysfunction (loss of smell) associated with COVID-19.
Minocycline (IIb/C-EO): Minocycline belongs to the tetracycline class of antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections and has the ability to act on nerve cells, making minocycline a neuroprotective agent. Anti-olfactory dysfunction because minocycline inhibits apoptosis of olfactory and taste neurons.
Zinc (III/BR): Zinc is a trace element and growth factor that promotes taste and olfactory function by activating growth factors associated with stem cells in olfactory and taste epithelial cells. You can use 5% zinc sulfate nasal drops as prescribed by your doctor.
Intranasal vitamin A (IIb/C-LD): The metabolite of vitamin A, retinoic acid, is involved in v.