Rostov region, February 2, 2021. DON24. RU. Loss of smell and taste are known as the most common symptoms of covid. However, do not forget that such sensations can be caused by other diseases as well. Natalya Boyko, professor of the Department of Ear, Throat and Nose Diseases of Rostov State Medical University, told the newspaper "Molot" about this. On the role of the air jet - Why does the nose suddenly cease to distinguish the smells of coffee in the morning, and everything seems tasteless? - Loss of smell can be caused by damage to the olfactory analyzer at various levels: at the level of receptors located in the nasal cavity; the pathways of the analyzer, which deliver information from receptors to the brain, where it is analyzed; and finally, the lesion may be located in the brain itself. The nose perceives smells only in certain areas where there are olfactory receptors. With any runny nose in cases of severe nasal congestion, the inhaled air cannot reach these zones, and the sense of smell is sharply reduced. Loss of smell can be caused by atrophic rhinitis, severe curvature of the nasal septum, nasal polyps, allergic rhinitis, and other diseases. Cases of impairment of the sense of smell associated with diseases of the nose are completed by its complete recovery after the symptoms of the disease subside or as a result of surgical interventions that remove the obstacle on the way of the air stream to the olfactory zone. The pathways of the olfactory analyzer can be damaged, for example, in traumatic brain injury. In this case, the decrease in the sense of smell is irreversible. It's all about the central analyzer - What is the mechanism of loss of smell (anosmia) in covid? - In coronavirus infection, anosmia is associated with damage to the central parts of the olfactory analyzer located in the brain, which is confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging data. Anosmia can appear on the third or fifth day of the disease and persist from two weeks to three months, but in some cases it can remain forever. Anosmia with covid is usually accompanied by a loss of gustatory sensitivity. The appearance of anosmia may be the only manifestation of covid in its asymptomatic course. In this case, the patient should take a covid test to make sure he is not putting others at risk of illness. To date, no effective treatment for anosmia in covid has been found. All types of nasal washes, "olfactory gymnastics", which are recommended on the Internet, and other techniques have no effect. - Therefore, it is useless to "revive" your nose with onions, garlic and other products with a sharp taste and smell? - Yes, because we are not talking about mechanical barriers (for example, when nasal congestion blocked access to the area of the olfactory receptors), but about the damage to the central parts of the analyzer, which are located in the brain. In some people who have undergone covid, the smells return, but in a distorted form. Let's say a person smells sour cabbage or his favorite perfume smells completely differently. This also indicates damage to the nervous structure. In the vast majority of cases, the sense of smell returns spontaneously. - What symptoms, in addition to loss of smell, should alert the patient? - Covid often proceeds under the guise of an ordinary respiratory viral infection, which we get sick two to three times a year. In the early stages of the disease, the distinctive symptoms of covid may be severe weakness, pain throughout the body, high fever, which lasts for several days, despite taking antipyretics. With these symptoms, you should immediately call a doctor and observe the self-isolation regime until the diagnosis is clarified. Do not try to heal yourself, start taking antibiotics or drugs that "strengthen the immune system." In cases where shortness of breath appears, a feeling of lack of air, you need to call an ambulance and not refuse the proposed hospitalization.