J Craniofac Surg. 2020 Nov 25. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000007284. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: It has been reported worldwide that patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 usually suffer a loss of smell and taste. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between the severity of the disease and the loss of smell and taste. In addition, we evaluated patients' smell and taste functions after recovery.
METHODS: Between March and May 2020, 418 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were divided into 3 groups: home-quarantined, hospitalized, and intensive care patients. The disease, smell, and taste functions of patients were evaluated with visual analog scores before diagnosis of COVID-19, during the disease, and fourth week after recovery. The types of smell loss and types of taste flavor loss occurring during the disease were questioned.
RESULTS: In all 3 groups, changes in smell and taste loss during the disease were statistically detected (P = 0.001). The smell loss rates determined in groups 1 to 3 were 45%, 43.7%, and 31.2%, respectively. The taste loss rates determined in groups 1 to 3were 46.6%, 32.1%, and 31.2% respectively. The rate of patients with a total recovery of smell loss in groups 1 to 3 were 95.5%, 93.7%, and 100%, respectively (P = 0.768). The rate of patients with a total recovery of taste loss in groups 1 to 3 were 97.1%, 91.4%, and 100%, respectively (P = 0.423).
CONCLUSION: COVID-19 causes significant loss of smell and taste in patients. The loss of smell and taste does not correlate with the severity of COVID-19 disease. The loss of smell and taste improves at a high rate after the disease.