Smell Disorders and COVID 19 Pandemic: A Cross Sectional Study Smell Disorders and COVID 19 Pandemic

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Ahmed F. Alasfoor
Amjed Hayder Ali
Wael Jasim Hasan


: Olfactory, , Coronavirus,, Dysfunction, , SARS-COV2, Infection.



Background: Since its emergence in December 2019, SARS-CoV2 infection has been characterized by several signs and symptoms related to the respiratory and other body systems. One of the important symptoms of this infection includes smell disorders that result in the reduction, complete loss, or alteration in smell perception. Although several studies have investigated these disorders from various perspectives, these disorders require further elucidation.

Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze the data pertaining to COVID-19 infected individuals who suffered from smell disorders, and to identify the correlation between different variables.

Materials and Methods: A total of 310 individuals from 5 countries participated in the web-based electronic questionnaire conducted from June 15 to July 15, 2021. Data were collated and analyzed using the IBM SPSS (v. 23) software.

Results: Out of the 310 participants, 228 individuals (73.5%) exhibited a history of COVID-19 infection, with 151 males (66.2%) and 77 females (33.8%). The most common age-group infected by SARS-CoV2 was 41–60 years (44.2%), and 168 patients (73.7%) exhibited smell disorders during infection, with the most common disorder being complete loss of smell. Furthermore, 45.2% patients reported reduced or alterations in smell perception (hyposmia and dysosmia, respectively), while 87.5% patients recovered completely, with most patients recovering within 1–3 weeks. More than one-third of the patients with smell disorders undertook olfactory training at home, and more than half of them benefitted from the training. Moreover, 45.7% of the patients with smell disorders experienced some form of depression during or after the infection. However, no correlation was observed between patients with allergic rhinitis and COVID-19 infection.

Conclusion: Different types of smell disorders were common in individuals infected with COVID-19. Nonetheless, most patients recovered completely and spontaneously. While olfactory training may have benefitted in recovery, few patients suffered from depression and required early psychological intervention to overcome the COVID-19 sequelae.




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