I had covid in July 2021 and felt sick, but never scary sick - no shortness of breath, for example. but a year and a half later I don’t have a normal sense of smell and this bothers me a lot. I spent a long stretch of trying to smell by using a couple of esential oils and inhaling them while trying to remember what orange or peppermint smelled like but no improvement.
another symptom that never went away is I feel pressure in my ears - they feel a least mildly clogged all of the time. recently I traveled by air and while there was no problem with the first flight, on my return I had very sharp ear pain when the plane was decending. (and yes I tried swallowing and pretending I had gum to chew: didn’t help) It hurt enough I don’t want to fly again unless this pressure goes away. I guess it is just inflammation but don’t know what to do about it.
My NP could only suggest doing a saline wash with a neti pot or something similar and I have tried that with no improvement.
I’ve read long-term problems with sense of smell are happening to others, but have yet to find any info on others having the ear pressure. I’d appreciate if it anyone who has heard of this would share.
I can’t help you on the sense of smell, but regarding the clogged ears, I have a story I will try to make as brief as possible, then I’ll tell you how the resulting problem was fixed.
When I was a kid, I had a very bad case of glue ear, and needed to see an ENT. The condition was fixed for the moment, but after that, every time I had a cold, my ears would stop up. Once, when I had a cold and bad ear congestion, I was exposed to a very loud noise, and I felt something bad happen in my right ear. After that, my ears would stop up when driving through hills, or riding elevators more than a couple of floors. I got 2-day migraines from flying, and didn’t fly for more than 10 years.
thank you for the link, LSL guy, I started making my way through that thread from the beginning, gave up and glanced at the recent posts, and then started my own thread.
it’s like when I google for info, most long covid info is about people that are a lot sicker than I ever was, and also tons of stuff about the loss of smell/taste but not finding anything about general inflammation in my head, if it’s my adnoids or what ever it is.
I probably should go to an ENT. don’t have a lot of faith in what’s available locally, frankly.
If it truly is related to inflammation, it’s quite possible that a short course of steroids (either oral, or nasal spray) might yield some results. The ENT would be a good person to discuss all the options - and I’d be quite leery of someone who insisted that surgery was the only option, anyway.
It might well be that you’ve got some lingering enlargement of your adenoids or something, and surgery might well be the right approach, but hopefully the ENT can help you figure things out.
My bout of Covid in July was largely nasal and sinus, unfortunately it’s left me with tinnitus. My GP thinks it will resolve itself as the inflammation goes away, luckily it seems to be slowly getting better or I am learning to live with it.
Not sure, honestly. Your tonsils etc. might just be permanently enlarged, even though the inflammatory process has long since resolved. Many years back, I was advised to see an ENT for possible nasal polyps due to my history of allergies. He looked - and couldn’t even tell if I had polyps because my nasal passages were permanently enlarged due to the allergies. Nothing improved my ability to breathe.
Or maybe the nerve endings that sense smell etc. were damaged by the disease, and simply have not bounced back yet. I don’t know how all that works, nor why it is that COVID knocks out one’s sense of smell (and taste, related to smell; I am one of those who could still sense salt, sugar etc. but not real flavor).
The lack of smell is probably nerve damage. Nerves can grow back, but really really slowly. (And CNS nerves don’t grow back, but I’ve heard enough stories of people regaining their sense of smell that I think those nerves must.)
When I had damage to some “senses pain” nerves in my hand, they told me that stimulating the nerve would help it grow back faster, so I touched the spot a lot once it recovered from “searing pain” to “annoying tingle”. If the same is true of olfactory nerves, it may be helpful to continue attempting to smell essential oils and other stinky stuff.
The pressure in your ears could be inflammation, or it could be scar tissue or some other sort of growth, I suppose. It does seem like having an ENT examine it might be helpful.
I have a friend whose baseline temperature seems to have shifted since he had a bout of COVID about 6 weeks ago. His temp in never lower than 99.5, and in rhe evening, when everyone’s temp rises a little, it often goes up over 100.
He’s been testing negative for COVID for weeks, and flu as well, and has no cold symptoms whatsoever, unles you count “low grade fever,” except he doesn’t even technically have that, because you don’t clinically have a fever, I guess, until you are above 100.4.
I think people who were only sick a matter of weeks ago shouldn’t be too concerned as I have heard of a lot of people who had symptoms that lasted but eventually went away. like most people whose sense of smell wasn’t the same, they tend to get better.
Here’s a fascinating – if disturbing – article relating to Long COVID and its potential risk factors:
From the article:
Many studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that women are more likely than men to develop long COVID.
There could be biological reasons.
Women’s immune systems generally mount stronger reactions to viruses, bacteria, parasites and other germs, noted Sabra Klein, a Johns Hopkins professor who studies immunity.
Women are also much more likely than men to have autoimmune diseases, where the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells. Some scientists believe long COVID could result from an autoimmune response triggered by the virus.
Women’s bodies also tend to have more fat tissue and emerging research suggests the coronavirus may hide in fat after infection. Scientists also are studying whether women’s fluctuating hormone levels may increase the risks.
Another possible factor: Women are more likely than men to seek health care and often more attuned to changes in their bodies, Klein noted.