COVID: Vitamin A nasal drops being trialled to cure loss of smell in patients

Researchers are set to trial vitamin A nasal drops to treat COVID patients that have lost their sense of smell.

COVID: Vitamin A nasal drops being trialled to cure loss of smell in patients
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The coronavirus brings with it a range of symptoms, from headaches to fever, joint pain, nausea, fatigue, and cough. One of the worst side effects, that has been reported to linger on for days and even months, is the loss of smell. Many patients have been complaining that even after they were no longer infected with the virus, their fifth sense did not return.

Losing the fifth sense

Some people have lost their ability to smell altogether and for others, their sense of smell was completely distorted after infection. In a few cases, foods started to smell like rotten meat and burning rubber.

Duncan Boak, founder of Fifth Sense, explains that the loss of smell is not only physically and mentally distressing, but it can also be dangerous on a day-to-day basis. He said:

Not being able to smell is not only physically distressing but can affect the enjoyment of social occasions and present hazards and risks that might never have been previously considered such as not being able to detect gas leaks or spoiled food.

Apollo trial

To tackle this concerning complication, researchers are launching the Apollo trialto test a vitamin A nasal drop which will hopefully bring back the lost sense in all affected people. The study will be conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia and funded by the National Institute for Health and Research.

They said that the research was prompted by findings in Germany which showed that this vitamin has the potential to ‘repair tissues in the nose damaged by viruses.’ The team states:

They hope that the study, which has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), could one-day help improve the lives of millions around the world who suffer from smell loss, by returning their fifth sense.

According to Sky News, they will be recruiting participants in December for the trial. Those who wish to participate will be able to do so by asking their GP to refer them to The Smell and Taste Clinic at James Paget University Hospital.