What is parosmia?

If you have contracted Covid-19, you may not feel good smells, let alone smells that make you disgusted. If so, you are probably suffering from parosmia, one of the many symptoms of the disease.

If the Covid-19 causes much more serious consequences, it cannot be denied that it has put smell of infected people strained.

First, there was talk of anosmia, a word that caused much ink to flow from the start of the pandemic and which is characterized by a loss of smell.

And if we believed that this symptom, already disabling, was the only one concerning smell, a new term has appeared in recent weeks: parosmia.

When favorite smells make you nauseous …

Some also speak of “fantosmie“to echo phantom smells, a “olfactory hallucination” as some health professionals say, which must however be distinguished from parosmia. The first is indeed an olfactory hallucination.

The second is a distortion of the olfactory perception when the subject is confronted with a smell and generally, the smell felt is unpleasant.

Parosmia is a “perversion of smell characterized by sensory perception not corresponding to the stimulation. For example, a perfume is perceived as a foul odor“, indicates the Larousse dictionary. The testimonies of people who contracted the Covid-19 go in this direction, evoking the odors of metal, of cigarette smoke, even of waste.

To put it simply, imagine yourself in front of your favorite meal or in front of a glass of wine which you inhale with relish without being able to perceive the smells which make you so crave. Instead, you perceive a scent that gives you a gagging.

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Olfactory rehabilitation may be necessary

If parosmia only affectsa minority of patients infected with Covid-19 (around 10% in the light of several studies), testimonies continue to multiply on social networks.

Parosmia after Covid-19 is no joke. Some food tastes chemical to me nowOne Twitter user notes. Odors of garlic, gas, rust, garbage, cigarettes and even household products are among the main perceptions mentioned by people who have developed parosmia.

To cope with this symptom, which can last from a few days to several months, health professionals recommend olfactory rehabilitation.

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