Part Two: Perspectives on Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunction Pathophysiology, Management, and Relevance to COVID-19: Current Approaches

Altern Ther Health Med. 2023 Sep;29(6):30-35.


Context: The phenomena of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction disorders (OGD) are hardly unique to COVID-19. However, the widespread incidence of OGD as sequelae of COVID-19 has provoked rejuvenated interest in these long existing, but poorly studied maladies.

Objective: This second of a three-part review discusses past and current approaches for treatment of OGD, not restricted to those that COVID-19 has caused, with the intention to lay a foundation for consideration of new paradigms for evaluation and management of OGD.

Design: The researcher performed a narrative review by searching databases including PubMed, Sciencedirect, Google Scholar, Old Dominion University Libraries, and the websites of various medical journals. Searches included numerous combinations of keywords accompanied by the phrases, loss of sense of smell and taste, olfactory and gustatory dysfunction disorders, as well as the terms anosmia, parosmia, ageusia, and parageusia. Such keywords included viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, parasites, infection, COVID-19, treatments, medications, steroids, supplements, nutrients, alternative medicine, acupuncture, olfactory training, clinical trials, cranial nerves, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and etiology.

Setting: The Liebell Clinic, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

Conclusions: The epidemiology and hypotheses of pathophysiology of post-COVID OGD has been addressed via numerous studies and reviews. However, extremely limited evidence of effective treatment for chronic OGD, in general, exists, Global demand for any treatment capable of reducing or resolving it is unprecedented. Past and present treatment approaches and recently initiated clinical trials, since the onset of the pandemic, have yet to yield any significant results.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Olfaction Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Olfaction Disorders* / etiology
  • Olfaction Disorders* / therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Smell
  • Taste Disorders / epidemiology
  • Taste Disorders / etiology