If you had COVID and lost your sense of smell

Was the loss gradual, sudden, or somewhere in between?

My timeline went like this:

Wednesday: stuffy nose, felt like allergies (which I assumed it was)
Thursday: same
Friday: same, but slight improvement in symptoms
Saturday: Woke up with no sense of smell whatsoever (got a test, which was positive)
Sunday: Still no smell
Monday: Midday I could pick up a hint of coffee beans with my head in the bag
Tuesday: Incremental improvement, probably 20-30% back

From there on, it got better every day and fully returned in about 10 days. I never lost taste (though without smell all I could taste was sweet, salty, sour, and bitter).

My sister lost her sense of smell and taste, and it was basically overnight. She still has only minimal sense of taste or smell back, 16 months later.



My sister’s husband’s family all had COVID-19 with severe symptoms. No deaths but her husband was hospitalized close to a month and was on O2 at home for awhile after.

My sister had no symptoms other than complete loss of smell/taste. She couldn’t tell the difference between chewing on an apple and chewing on an onion.

Last I heard her sense of taste was gradually returning, but I haven’t stayed in touch with them due to their attitudes about the pandemic and politics.

My wife had a cold a year ago, and the first real clue that it was COVID was when I made a perfectly good meal and she thought it was too bland. So one meal was fine, the next was bland, and IIRC after that she could taste nothing but salt.

My COVID symptoms followed just a few days after hers. My senses of smell and taste were more altered than lost. My nostrils were burning for a whole day from an ammonia smell that wasn’t real. That evening a glass of red wine smelled and tasted like wood putty. Eventually I couldn’t taste or smell anything except black pepper, which was extremely strong.

My senses recovered gradually along with the other symptoms. Then a couple of months after recovery, I started smelling smoky meat that wasn’t real. Mint smelled and tasted really weird. The smoke smell faded after a couple weeks, but was replaced by another. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in bell pepper juice. I lost the ability to smell poop for a while. Now I can smell it, but it smells sweet and creamy and not shitty. Dijon mustard tastes weird, and the taste lingers for a week. Cucumbers and green onions taste normal, but also linger for a week. Right now I’m tasting cucumber, probably from a pickle on a sandwich 3 days ago. I can’t complain, since I’m able to enjoy most meals.

I know someone who lost it gradually. Then it gradually came back to almost normal. Then after getting the second dose of vaccine, lost it again.

Do you mean they lost it due to catching Covid, or due to getting the first dose of the vaccine—and if the former, was it before or after the first dose of vaccine?

Got it after having covid. Then it gradually came back. Then disappeared after second dose.

I don’t know when I lost it. I noticed it maybe 2 - 3 weeks after I had what I believed to be a cold, and just before Missus got it in April 2020. It was not a 100% loss–mostly salt and sweet were gone–and it happened without fanfare. I don’t eat a lot of sweets and I tend to go easy on the salt for other reasons. I think I noticed a problem when a beer tasted rancid and I grabbed a Tostito to kill the flavor, and the chip was gross as well. So that would have been April 2020. Just noticed it was back to mostly normal about a month ago.

I’ve had covid since October 26th. Three days in I couldn’t smell anything other than some weird salty ocean smell. The next day I couldn’t taste much. The past couple days I’m getting my sense of smell back but everything mostly tastes and smells of BAND-AID. I can describe it no other way. I did get “covid tongue” though (and pneumonia! fun times indeed!). It became swollen and had a gross white crust that has faded in to a red rawness now with a sandy texture. It’s either covid or I’m turning in to my cat. Anyway I had some spaghetti tonight and I could vaguely taste the sauce but it didn’t have much of a scent.

Eat at Burger King while you can.

Someone I know lost taste and came across a tip to eat hot or spicy food. They say their taste is coming back.

I lost my sense of smell completely a few days in to my breakthrough infection. It was fairly sudden. My sense of taste was affected, but never completely gone. My sense of smell was so completely gone that I could not tell if something had a smell or not. I could (I literally did this) put my nose over an open bottle of hand sanitizer and inhale deeply, and had no sensory input from that at all. It was freaky.

After about a month, I started getting very subtle whiffs of things, sometimes. I’m more than 6 weeks out now, and still have that level – uneven, very subtle, unreliable.

For taste, things seem bland mostly. I’ve had a couple of instances of things I would normally like tasting very bad, like “chemicals” instead.

I have previously had a greatly diminished sense of smell for over a year from swine flu, over a decade ago.