COVID-19 has been a trying and difficult experience for many. For those who contract the virus, the journey of recovery is one that can take both mental and physical strength—there may also be long-term effects to contend with afterward too. One such symptom is parosmia or olfactory distortion, which occurs when your senses of smell and taste become distorted or changed after being infected by COVID-19. Despite not receiving as much attention as other common side effects from COVID-19, it’s an uncomfortable problem that could have an impact on thousands of lives nationwide. Explore parosmia treatment below by understanding its causes, associated risks, and available therapies.
Parosmia is believed to be caused by derangement of the autonomic nervous system or dysautonomia. ,. Parosmia has been reported both during and after active infection, with some people experiencing it for months afterward. It’s important to note that parosmia is different from anosmia—the complete loss of smell—which is also associated with COVID-19 infections.
Symptoms of Parosmia
Parosmia is often characterized by an extreme sensitivity to smells or even phantom odors that aren’t actually present. It also can cause smells that were once pleasant to become unpleasant or unrecognizable. Moreover, parosmia can lead to changes in smell or taste thresholds which may cause food to appear bland or even metallic in flavor. Other symptoms may include:
- Sensing foul odor when food is present
- Feeling nauseous or gagging when eating
- Inability to distinguish between sweet and sour tastes
- Struggling to notice smells in your environment
- Finding previously pleasant scents overwhelming or overpowering
The Risks of Not Seeking Parosmia Treatment
Parosmia can be incredibly disruptive to everyday life, making it difficult to enjoy simple activities like eating and socializing. Additionally, research has found that in addition to decreased appetite, parosmia can lead to depression in some cases. Therefore, it’s important not to ignore symptoms and seek parosmia treatment if they persist after recovering from COVID-19 infection.
Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) for Parosmia Treatment
If you’re feeling any of the symptoms associated with parosmia, a stellate ganglion block (SGB) may be the right treatment option for you. SGB is a type of treatment that has been used to treat olfactory disorders, including parosmia and anosmia. This therapy involves injecting an anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, which is a bundle of nerves located in the neck near your carotid artery. SGB works by blocking nerve signals from being sent between the brain and nose and can reduce inflammation, allowing blood vessels in the nose to open up and improve smell sensitivity. The effects of SGB may last for several weeks or months, depending on the individual’s health condition.
Receive Parosmia Treatment Today
Although parosmia isn’t as well-known as other post-COVID-19 symptoms, it can have a significant impact on quality of life if ignored or untreated. If you’ve experienced any changes in your sense of smell or taste following COVID-19 infection, Southwest Pain Management can help you get back to enjoying the smells and flavors of life. We offer stellate ganglion block (SGB) for parosmia treatment, as well as a range of other services to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore balance to your life. Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment.