CNBC: Strange COVID-19 side effect makes things smell repulsive

UC rhinology expert explains parosmia

More and more stories are emerging of COVID-19 patients suffering from parosmia, which distorts a person's sense of smell. Many people report food smelling like garbage or sewage. In a story on CNBC on an 11-year old girl suffering from parosmia, Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, PhD, associate professor and director of the Division of Rhinology, Allergy and Anterior Skull Base Surgery in the UC College of Medicine, is featured as the medical expert explaining this unusual side effect of the virus. 

Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, PhD, associate professor and director of the Division of Rhinology, Allergy and Anterior Skull Base Surgery in the UC College of Medicine

Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, PhD, associate professor and director of the Division of Rhinology, Allergy and Anterior Skull Base Surgery in the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

"After COVID-19, which causes the death of some of our smell nerves, when those smell nerves start to regenerate and regrow, they don't necessarily wire to the right places in our brain," Sedaghat said.

He said usually what should be good smells are swapped with awful odors.

"If our smell nerves rewire in a off fashion, we err toward the side of smelling danger signals, rather than pleasant things," Sedaghat said. He also said that the fact that patients progress from a loss of smell and taste to being able to smell again is a step in the right direction. 

"It's a sign of recovery, but we have to remember that this is a neurological injury," he says. "Recovery from a neurological injury is a slow process." He says most parosmia patients go on to recover in a few months. 

See the entire story here

Sedaghat was also interviewed by Eat This, Not That! for a story featuring Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that listed nine signs of a possible infection of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Sedaghat discussed the loss of the sense of smell as one symptom. See that coverage here

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