Valley doctor skeptical of TikTok trend to regain taste, smell
PHOENIX – With a lingering loss of smell and taste following a COVID-19 diagnosis, many are desperate enough to restore their senses with trends seen on TikTok.
The “TikTok witchery” shows an open flame charring an orange and the users eating the flesh.
Videos published through the popular social media platform show burning an orange, peeling off the black peel, then mixing the fruit with a spoonful of brown sugar.
After the concoction is created and eaten it’s supposed to brings back senses of smell and taste.
Despite what some TikTokers may say, one Valley emergency room physician is not sold on the concept. Rather, he thinks it’s a result of some of the senses in your body still working behind the scenes.
“This is only because you do have some degree of smell left, so all that you’re actually doing is just smelling it,” Dr. Frank LoVecchio with Valleywise Health told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Up to 80% of people who test positive for COVID-19 report a loss of smell or taste. Most patients first notice problems with their sense of smell, but because smell helps you taste flavor, the symptoms are often connected.
“If you put something very obnoxious in your nose that smells really bad, you will smell it if there is any degree of smell left,” LoVecchio said. “So, it doesn’t make it better by any means.”
Although it’s still unclear why exactly coronavirus can take away the sense of smell and taste, LoVecchio believes one possibility is the congestion and drainage that can block odor’s ability to reach the smell nerve.
He described nasal steroids as a possible remedy for symptoms like congestion and allergies. Although there is no definite way to revive your senses after COVID-19, LoVecchio reports most people regain their senses of smell and taste.
About a quarter of COVID-19 patients are said to regain their senses in two weeks. The remainder regain smell and taste after about three weeks after their diagnosis.
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