One of our customers recently contacted us asking if Procera products could help restore his sense of smell. The gentleman went on to say that he had come down with COVID-19 in early 2020 and has not been able to smell much of anything since. The good news is there are a couple solutions.
Loss of smell is one of the most common side effects of COVID-19. While most COVID-19 infected patients eventually recover their sense of smell, there are those who have yet to have it return. Anosmia is the medical term for a complete absence of smell, while hyposmia refers to a partial loss of smell. Viruses, ranging from the common cold to COVID-19, are one of the leading causes of an acquired loss of smell. There’s a risk of temporary and, less commonly, permanent loss of smell with any viral infection”, Dr. Raj Sindwani MD says. Up to 80% of COVID-19 patients experience some sort of subjective disturbance in their sense of smell.
Short-term loss of smell in this setting is usually from congestion or inflammation in the nose. Due to swelling caused by the virus, the odors just are not getting to the smell receptors that live high in the nose. According to Dr. Sindwani, “It happens with the common cold and it frequently happens early in COVID-19 cases as well.” With longer-term cases, that stretch on for months or even permanently, he says the issue may be damage to the smell receptors or olfactory nerves themselves.
How Is Our Sense of Smell Related To The Brain
Upon detecting a smell our olfactory neurons in the upper part of the nose generate an impulse which is passed to the brain along the olfactory nerve. The part of the brain this arrives at first is called the olfactory bulb, which processes the signal and then passes information about the smell to other areas closely connected to it, collectively known as the limbic system. The limbic system comprises a set of structures within the brain that are regarded by scientists as playing a major role in controlling mood, memory, behavior and emotion.
Smell, Memory & Emotion
The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. Those with full olfactory function may be able to think of smells that evoke particular memories such as the scent of a flower conjuring up recollections of a childhood field trip to a farm. In addition to being the sense most closely linked to memory, smell is also highly emotive. The perfume industry is built around this connection, with perfumers developing fragrances that seek to convey a vast array of emotions and feelings; from desire to power, vitality to relaxation.
Given that our sense of smell clearly plays an important part in our psychological make-up, in addition to it being one of the five ways in which we connect with the world around us, its absence can have a profound impact. Anosmia sufferers often talk of feeling isolated and cut-off from the world around them, and experiencing a ‘blunting’ of the emotions. Smell loss can affect one’s ability to form and maintain close personal relationships and can lead to low energy and mood. Research has shown that loss of olfactory function can be an indicator of more serious health issues so it is important to we take actions to regain our sense of smell.
Possible Health Solutions for Loss of Smell
1. Nasal steroid sprays – sprays such as fluticasone, may reduce inflammation around the olfactory nerve. “Data is lacking on this, but the thought is that these steroids can reduce inflammation in parts of the nasal cavity or in these smell receptors which are inflamed,” Dr. Sindwani says.
2. Olfactory training - like physical therapy but for the olfactory nerve. The olfactory nerve is responsible for the sense of smell and contributes significantly to the sense of taste. Olfactory training helps to restore normal function to the olfactory nerve. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that olfactory training can be very helpful for patients experiencing post-viral olfactory loss.
• Olfactory training is performed with four essential oils (Rose, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Clove) to stimulate different olfactory receptor nerves.
• For 15 seconds each, inhale slow, deep breaths through your nose while holding the open bottle of one of the essential oils up to your nose. Take about a 10 second break in between oils.
• Repeat this process two or three times daily, every single day, for 6 months.
3. Nutrition and Supplementation
• Alpha Lipoic Acid – ALA is a safe and powerful antioxidant that functions as a coenzyme in carbohydrate metabolism, has been used for decades in Germany to prevent and treat nerve damage. You can find Alpha Lipoic Acid in Procera NeuroGenius, which also helps to protect your brain and boost neuron health.
• Zinc – Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. Zinc is found in our cells and it helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Zinc can be found Procera Protect and Procera Advanced which help protect the brain and boost important cognitive functions such as memory and information processing speed.
• Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 is a family of essential fatty acids that play important roles in your body and provide a number of health benefits. As your body cannot produce them on its own, you must get them from your diet & supplementation. To consistently meet your daily needs of Omega-3, take advantage of Procera’s BOGO sale and purchase Procera Essentials Omega 3.