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New treatment may help recover loss of smell from COVID, study says

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New treatment may help recover loss of smell from COVID, study says

New treatment may help recover loss of smell from COVID, study says 01:11

BOSTON - A new study finds some patients who have a persistent loss of smell after COVID-19 may benefit from an experimental treatment. 

Loss of smell has been a common symptom of COVID-19, especially with earlier variants. 

While most patients recover their sense of smell within a few weeks, for some, it has lasted months or even years, negatively impacting their taste, appetite, and quality of life.  

However, Jefferson Health in Philadelphia researchers have found that a nerve block could help bring it back.  

They took patients who had lost their ability to smell normally for at least six months post-COVID and injected both an anesthetic and a steroid into a group of nerves at the base of the neck.  

They found that nearly 60% of them reported significant improvement in their symptoms one week later.  

Of those, more than 80% reported even greater improvement at one month.  

While the nerve block didn't work for everyone, they say at least this treatment is showing promise where many others have failed.

Mallika Marshall, MD

Mallika Marshall, MD is an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician who has served as the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for over 20 years. A practicing physician Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Marshall serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital at the MGH Chelsea Urgent Care and the MGH Revere Health Center, where she is currently working on the frontlines caring for patients with COVID-19. She is also a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications (HHP), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School.

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