How Embracing Other Senses Can Help Those Struggling With Smell Loss
As the medical director of the Smell and Taste Disorders Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Evan R. Reiter has been especially busy in the era of Covid-19. He’s currently tracking around 2,000 virus patients as they recuperate, noting how the senses he studies change and, in some cases, disappear. The distortion of smell may be part of the recovery process, he believes, as receptors in the nose reawaken and send signals to the brain that misfire or are misread. The experience can be unexpectedly devastating. “People have a hard time understanding what life would be like if they lose their hearing or their vision,” he says. “But smell? You almost don’t even think about it and kind of toss it aside—until it’s gone.” Here, Dr. Reiter details the ways that smell loss has impacted his patients, and how using other senses can help them cope.