London: UK researchers believe that people who lost their sense of smell after COVID infections can likely regain it by using nasal drops containing vitamin A.
Anosmia, the medical term for a partial or total loss of smell in a person, is one of the tell-tale signs that an individual has COVID. But the condition can also be long-term, with nearly 5 percent of COVID patients not recovering their sense of smell one year after being infected.
To better understand, a team from the University of East Anglia will run a 12-week trial, treating infected people who have lost their smell with nasal drops containing the nutrient, the Daily Mail reported.
The trial is based on a German study showing the potential benefit of the vitamin. The new study “will explore how this treatment works to help repair tissues in the nose damaged by viruses”.
The team hopes the treatment “could one day help improve the lives of millions around the world who suffer from smell loss, by returning their fifth sense”, the report said.
The trial will begin recruiting participants in December.
Vitamin A helps support the body’s immune system as well as keep the skin, and the lining of body parts such as the nose, healthy.
Good sources of vitamins include cheese, eggs, oily fish, and liver.
However, too much vitamin A in a diet can be harmful and damage your bone health later in life, the researchers said.
In June, a study led by researchers from the University Hospitals of Strasbourg in France showed that COVID-19-related anosmia could take up to a year to get back.
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, noted that COVID patients had not regained their sense of smell at all in that period, with no time frame on when or if it might return.