UPI: Study: Food texture fills in during loss of smell, taste after COVID-19

UC research finds texture and temperature are two common adaptations

Two common side effects of COVID-19 are loss of sense of smell and taste. While there's currently no cure, a local researcher recently published her findings on coping mechanisms.

UPI covered the story, quoting Katie Phillips, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at the UC College of Medicine about the study. 

They also published some of the responses of the people involved in the study:

  • "I mean, I can force myself to eat it, but it's not enjoyable like it used to be."
  • "It's very, very, very uncomfortable, upsetting. Like I said, I really enjoy food. From going to love and enjoying the taste of food, I can't really enjoy or say I love food anymore."
  • "It gets emotional too, because like I said, I cook a lot for my children. I got five children, I got two grandbabies and I cook a lot. But now it's like, I don't even want to cook. My cooking has changed because I can't smell or taste my food."
a woman in a lab coat inside a medical building

Katie Phillips, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Those responses reveal the emotional toll of the participants' loss of smell and taste, said study author Katie Phillips, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine.

An "important component for this whole issue is the real mental health impact it has on patients when they can't taste and smell," Phillips said.

"I think just letting people know there is a mental health impact and acknowledging that, so that they need to get help and treatment if they're having difficulty, and that they're in the norm of people dealing with that," Phillips said.

The study was published recently in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

Phillips also said that the study participants found creative ways to cope with the loss of smell and taste.

"Crunchiness was one of those things that people mentioned along with texture, and then the temperature and carbonation was brought up in multiple interviews, too," Phillips said.

Read the entire story here.

The research was also covered by WVXU, which you can see here, and by WLWT, which you can see here

Read more about this research here

Lead photo/Masterfile

WLWT-TV also covered this study. See that coverage here

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