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Parosmia: Causing Foods to Taste Like “Garbage” and Affecting Everyday Life

COVID-19

COVID-19 has made college extremely challenging for students. The strict safety protocols and resulting isolation can lead to a dramatically altered college experience. For Maille Baker, a rising sophomore from Hartland, Maine studying sociology in Quebec, her freshman experience was significantly impacted by a long-term COVID-19 complication. It affected one thing most people take for granted on a daily basis: eating.

Maille Baker suffered from a COVID-19 complication called parosmia, a condition affecting her taste and smell in strange ways. Parosmia caused many of her once-favorite foods to smell and taste like rancid garbage.

“I didn’t enjoy any foods. There was no protein in my diet at all,” Maille told Focus. “I thought I was getting to the end of all the hard stuff that came with COVID-19, especially all the isolation at school. And then this hit me right in the face,” she said. “It was very difficult.”

Maille Baker

Maille first developed COVID-19 during Thanksgiving break in 2020. Then 17, she considered her case relatively mild. Maille thought she fully recovered following some fatigue over the winter, until one day in March, she noticed that her new toothpaste tasted strange. She initially chalked it up to being a new brand she hadn’t tried before. It turned out to foreshadow what was to come.

That week she took a bite of a fast food burger, and that too tasted strange. The following day she went to her dining hall to order another burger hoping it would be better, but it was “really awful.” “That’s when I realized it had a similar taste to the toothpaste and I thought something weird was going on,” said Maille.

She woke up the next morning thinking she had a developed an aversion to meat. She went back to the dining hall and ordered some plain noodles with garlic sauce, and thought, “If this tastes bad, something is definitely wrong.” Sure enough, that too had an intense and disgusting flavor. Other foods she’d try after were not remotely palatable.

“Garlic, onions, meat and chocolate all had that garbage and sewage flavor,” she said.

Carbonated drinks tasted like chemicals, and baked goods, especially anything with vanilla, tasted “sickly sweet.”

Maille’s smell was also impacted. A stroll through the dining hall became unbearable. She ordered a cheese pizza one night thinking it was safe a choice. But it brought her to tears to the point she had to have a friend from down the hall remove it from her room.

“It took a while to figure out this was all related to COVID-19, since this was taking place many months after,” she said. “I knew COVID-19 was causing smell loss, but I had never seen anything about taste distortion. That’s why it was all so confusing.”

COVID-19 and taste

The most commonly reported symptom of COVID-19 affecting the senses is called anosmia, a loss of smell. Less common,  is parosmia, which causes people to experience mismatched smells.

Because smell is so tied to taste, many patients experiencing these conditions become distraught due to their impaired eating, explained George Scangas, MD, a sinus specialist and surgeon at Mass Eye and Ear. The tongue is responsible for basic tastes like salty, sweet and bitter, but most of the subtle flavors we taste, like in soup, sauces, or wine for example, are linked to sense of smell.

Scientists have learned that COVID-19 uses some of the receptors on smell nerves in the nose as an entry point into the human body, but it remains unclear why some people lose and regain smell and taste quickly and others don’t.

“There is a significant percentage of COVID-19 patients who not only have their smell altered or lose it entirely, but also never recover fully. Awareness of this possibility and its huge impact on quality of life is yet another important example of why you should do everything you can to avoid contracting the virus,” said Dr. Scangas.

Dr. Scangas said if someone experiences a sudden loss of smell, that person should get tested for COVID-19. Smell loss is yet another reason to get vaccinated and talk to family members and doctors about vaccination, he added.

“People focus on being intubated in the ICU and potentially dying, and rightly so. But even if you’re lucky enough to have a mild course of the virus, things like smell loss can change your life,” said Dr. Scangas.

Living with parosmia

At first, parosmia affected Maille’s daily eating and mental health. She had so few options for food living on campus; due to COVID-19 protocols, dining halls only served premade foods which she couldn’t tolerate. All she could eat was bread and butter (not toast though, which tasted foul) and buttered pasta.

She moved off campus where she could experiment with food more, which continued when she returned home to Maine and her family bought her bags of groceries to taste test. She soon found some low FODMAP brands of food, made for people with food sensitivities, that she could tolerate.

A Facebook group consisting of more than 35,000 people with COVID-19-related smell issues led her mom to a doctor in California. That led to a referral to Dr. Scangas in late June 2021.

Dr. Scangas first had to rule out other issues like tumors, polyps and head trauma by doing a thorough exam. Eventually his diagnosis confirmed the suspicions of parosmia.

Smell training is the current treatment for anosmia and parosmia.

Dr. Scangas prescribed Maille smell (or olfactory) training, which involved sniffing essential oils including clove, eucalyptus, rose and lemon for short periods of time.

“Unfortunately, there are not any medications proven to increase the odds of smell recovery. Smell training is like physical therapy for the smell nerves,” said Dr. Scangas. “Published studies have shown that smelling strong scents two times a day over the course of months can sometimes help the nerves come back online stronger and faster.”

Maille now mostly eats variations of bread, pasta, most cheeses, avocados and tofu. She can even eat pizza, as long as it’s homemade, which helps her feel a return to some normalcy. Her culinary path is far from straightforward. Some foods she’ll tolerate will taste awful days later, and she needs to vary her recipes. She holds out hope for more improvement; but for now, she’s much better equipped to feed herself. She knows which foods she should take out with her, which has reduced the anxiety of eating out with friends.

“I feel a lot better than I did the first few months,” said Maille. She hopes her story will resonate with others who aren’t taking COVID-19 as seriously.

“I know some people who are not very worried about COVID-19 because they’re young and healthy. I was 17 and otherwise healthy and didn’t even have a bad case. But now almost 10 months later, my everyday life, morning to night, is completely affected all the time,” she said. “Parosmia is something that should be talked about more so more people can be motivated to be careful or get vaccinated, even if they are young and healthy.”

Hear more of Maille’s story in Maine Public Radio.

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  1. Laura Campbell

    My son also suffers from Parosmia for the last 4 months due to covid in April. It’s so frustrating, he’s 16 and is skinny as can be, but most foods tastes like trash. I wish there was something I could do for him. He eats the same foods all the time. It doesn’t seem to be getting better

    • Ryan Jaslow

      Thanks for reading and sharing your family’ story Laura, we’re all pulling for your son’s recovery.

  2. Christian Ttoy

    When i got an email from Mass Eye and Ear, I was questioning why? Then i scrolled down and saw this article. Now i know the name of my gift from COVID Parosmia. Eggs, onion, garlic, chicken all smelled like sewage, Even my flatulence smelled different . I was narrowing it down to foods that more quickly break down into methane, not sure if this is the case but i will definitely mention it to my doctors. For me it comes and goes, i have to add strong flavored and smelling foods to eggs to be able to eat them. THANK YOU

  3. Linda M

    I’m going through the same thing as Mailer. My boyfriend does the cooking does all the cooking and about 6 months ago even the smell of him cooking meat or chicken made me extremely nauseous. (He just took fresh buns he baked out of the oven and it smells awful to me).

    Coffee tasted like sour milk, everything was horrible, but especially meat. I try hiding it under my mashed potatoes or in with my rice an veggies. It doesn’t work because it stands out so much. Worst of all, now I’m craving sweet things chocolate and ice cream every single day which isn’t like me at all.

    I haven’t had Covid-19, but after telling by doctor about this he thinks I have had it. Should I be tested to see if I’ve had it?

  4. Stephanie Leaver

    This is exactly what I’ve been dealing with! I had a mild case of Covid-19 back in April and since mid September I can barely eat anything. Eggs, meats, garlic, beans, onions, chocolate, coffee, rice, nuts, most dairy products including butter, some breads and noodles, and some fruits and veggies all taste and smell rotten or like garbage. The only things I can manage to eat are cranberries, mozzarella cheese, pears, apples, baguette bread, plain noodles (although not great), green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and if I’m lucky, pickles. (Such a weird group of foods that are okay). My husband (who had Covid-19 when I did) is starting to have the same symptoms but not as bad (just anything with garlic or onions). I hope we all can get through this soon! If anyone has any at home remedies or recommendations to help, it would be greatly appreciated!

    • Ryan Jaslow

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your story, Stephanie. We also hope you and your husband will get through this terrible symptom soon!

  5. Jed P

    I had a quick case of covid back in september and just 2 weeks ago stuff started to taste either sickly sweet or like burnt roadkill. My family got an airfryer a little over a year ago and ever since my smell got back everything that came out of it smelt like a dead animal thrown in oil. It wasnt too bad at the start but now it’s horrible. The only things I can eat are dairy products, some vegetables, and for some reason salsa. any meat, grain, and pasta tastes and smells rotten. if anyone has any recommendations as what to try please tell me.

    • Ryan Jaslow

      Jed, thanks for commenting and for sharing, we are sorry to hear you’re experiencing this effect.

  6. Christy G

    The same thing is happening to me. I had a breakthrough case at the end of August. I was not very sick. I lost my smell but it returned, although light a few days later. About a month ago, everything started tasting and smelling like garbage and maybe like sulfur. I can smell the same thing I taste and sometimes the smell of whatever it is comes when nothing is there to smell.

  7. A. Keith

    I am also experiencing this. Caught covid in August, the beginning of November things started to smell weird and now it’s messing with taste as well. I can’t eat anything, I haven’t found anything that works for me- food wise. I’m nauseous at the smell and everything smells the same and it’s driving me crazy. Do you guys think this will go away at some point?

  8. Diane

    I had gotten covid the day I delivered my son in august I lost my taste and smell but 2 weeks later it came back an here it is 4 months later an now some foods taste like sewage or when I burp stuff still don’t smell right and I have a really hard time trying to find foods that halfway through eating then don’t taste bad

  9. jayfred

    I did not have Covid, but 2 years after getting my cancer diagnosis most foods taste horrible. My brain tells me to “Spit it out!” even though I know the food is fresh. My sense of smell has not been affected. I have only 9. foods that I can eat without getting a “gag” reflex. A nurse said that the cancer might be releasing an enzyme that is interfering with my taste. Most foods taste like they are spoiled or rotten. Most online articles about altered taste talk about the effects of chemo or radiation. I did not have either one. Thank you for posting this article about parosmia. I had previously never heard about it.

  10. marissa betscher

    i have the same thing im only 13 and its hard to find foods i can eat and it makes me sick to my stomach anything my parents try to feed me

  11. Kyle C

    I got covid roughly 4 or 5 months ago. lost all taste and smell outside of basic senses like salt or sugar. my senses slowly came back but 2 weeks ago everything began tasting like “rotten animal oil” its hard to eat breads, meats, fish, even some fruits like banana. I found the easiest things to eat was Indian foods like chicken tikka masalaa i could actually dip foods like meats or breads into masalaa sauce and be fine. Also other string taste would work as well like a glazed donut is not tolerable but a jelly-filled one is. pizza dipped in curry or bbq pozza i can tolerate as well.

  12. Tatiana Marie Natal

    this so good to know im going through this and is sucks big time for a very long time after covid i was able to smell ok for a few day after that i started smelling this weird smell of vanilla it was horrible because is so intense eww ,, meat taste disgusting i have never felt so ewww about food but i will try smell traing let see if it work stay safe every one

  13. Dustin

    Ok i had covid February 2021 i had no taste or smell for almost a month.

    When i got it back things tasted different.

    Shredded lettuce tastes like if someone sprayed drakar or axe all over it .

    Coffee smells like sewage when brewed but tastes normal when I drink it.

    Onions taste and smell like they went bad.

    Oh and my #2 smells like sulfur it smelled funny and still smells funny almost a year later.

    Any ideas what i need to do?

  14. Lynette Knight

    I also suffered a bad bout of Covid 6 months ago and am suffering the same rotten garbage. Biscuits taste like rocks and sand and pasta tastes like sand. I can just about eat meat but only with mustard. Earl Grey tea tastes so lovely now, thank goodness something does! My dragons poop smells like Turkish delight and bleach smells like lovely fresh green apples.

    I burnt my food the other night and didn’t even notice until the smoke filled the room and thought my eyesight had gone funny! It’s not great not being able to smell.

    I am very sad and frustrated. I am hungry all the time no matter what I eat. The more healthy food you eat the worse it tastes and the more it attacks your sinuses. So bread and honey it is at the moment., until next week when it’s unpalatable.

    It’s really comforting to know I’m not alone, but I’m so sorry you all have to go through this too. X

  15. R Wood

    Thank you for this article! My friend sent it to me after I was telling her about what I was going through – post covid. I don’t feel so alone, and I know what this is called now! A little background…I had covid September 2021, and I did have some taste issues while I was sick. Sweet things tasted extremely sweet, and salty things tasted extremely salty, but that all resolved and tastes somewhat went back to normal. (If you call all food being basically bland “normal.”) It wasn’t until December (3 months later after covid) that I started having strange (and very pungent) phantom smells and tastes out of the blue. The phantom smells and tastes weren’t bad smells, but just random. Then about 2 weeks ago, citrus, fruity things, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, and cilantro all started smelling and tasting like rotten garbage! Even if an orange peel is in the trash, the trash has to be taken out right away because of how nauseated the smell makes me feel. I have phantom smells and tastes in my mouth that come and go now, but it has transitioned into the rotten garbage thing. I do eat things, but it is usually the same things that I know taste and smell ok. I will try the olfactory training because I have nothing to lose, and would love for things to improve! Parosmia…so weird!!! I’m sorry that anyone has had to go through this!

  16. Anna Hencher

    I have had the horrid taste for over a year now. Even when not eating. Thinking of food I loved makes me feel bad
    In my mind all I can think of is the horrid taste and smell If anybody has any advice please help me as I feel very isolated and as if I am going mad

  17. Stephen Champagne

    Been dealing with this for 2 months now. Meat of any kind smells and tastes rotten and I also get the same smell and taste from most foods except fruits. Can’t even eat a gogurt without tasting a hint of what can only be described as what you would expect a rotted carcass to taste like.

  18. Anam

    Omg. !
    I just couldn’t blv. I thought me and my husband are having this pathetic sense of taste n smell n just after going through this article n people’s experience it’s the same thing we are feeling from last month infact from Nov… we started having bad taste of buffalo milk, then slowly it went into red meat then chicken, eggs, white chickpeas, and now fish as well 🙁 .it’s so frustrating….
    .what can be done. fortt

  19. Conner Miskowiec

    I had COVID back in November 2021. After COVID, things tasted normal. About the 1st of January 2022, the same thing happened to me – I had a strange taste in my toothpaste. Then, my porkchop lunch tasted the same as my toothpaste later that day! It’s very concerning. I’m not sure what is going to happen from here. No cure?

  20. Maygan

    I had covid back in September of 2021. The first symptom I had was loss of smell and taste a most do. After covid for a while everything seemed back to normal. Now I’m noticing things taste so strange chips, crackers, and cereal of any kind taste like chemicals. I thought well maybe something was wrong with the food got my husband to taste it and he said it tasted fine so that’s when I knew it was me. I can’t drink anything but water because everything taste like garbage as far as drinks go. It took me a while to realize what this may be. I’m so glad I came across this article.

  21. Anam khalid

    So today my husband visited Dr and there’s no exact cure for it. it’s been almost 1.5 month we didn’t even know what that was….. we dint even guess what it could be but thanks to google and this article n people’s comments which led us to a point that we r not only ones having this issue n led us to Dr.

    The only remedy is to re-train ur smell neurons and all those strong smells e g perfumes, corriander, mint,coffee and it will be fine soon but it will take it’s time
    side by side we started multivitamin and 1+1 dose of folic acid

  22. Jennifer

    Same story with me!

    I had Covid at the end of October. It was a mild case (I was vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer but it had already been 9 months since my last one since I work in the hospital—hadn’t gotten my booster quite yet) and I lost my sense of taste and smell. I actually hadn’t gotten my smell back but was tasting things pretty well despite that. Early this past week I also noticed that my lotion and shampoo seemed to have this horrible vanilla/rancid/chemical scent that made me sick to my stomach. The next day my toothpaste started tasting like it too—and my my sense of smell (which like I said has pretty much been absent since October unless I literally stick something up my nose) is back… but only to smell this disgusting sweet rancid chemical smell. I literally smell and taste this. I can only manage to eat fresh fruit without tasting it right away. It’s especially powerful in processed foods, bakery items, and meat. It’s so devastating because I love to eat, too. 😂 At least I’m not the only one here. Hopefully we all get back to normal eventually, because this sucks.

  23. Kristin M

    I had COVID back in April 2021. I was unvaccinated at the time. I was mildly sick but not too bad. I did lose complete smell and taste for about 6 weeks. My taste and smell slowly started to come back but it never fully did. Fast forward to August 2021. I walked outside of my house and smelled the most rancid smell. It’s hard to describe but I would say a combination of dumpsters and dead animals. I thought that the dumpster by my house must have been full with something awful and that the wind was blowing it around. I couldn’t make sense of it. I got into my car and noticed my car also had a weird scent. Not the same as outside, but still, pretty bad. I drove to work and when I got out of my car, that same smell of dumpsters and rotting flesh hit me. It was just the outside air in general that smelled bad. It was almost as though I could borderline taste it too. I didn’t understand what was happening. I hadn’t eaten breakfast that day so I was unaware of what was about to hit me worse. When I got home, I heated up a veggie burger in my air fryer (as I normally did) and couldn’t fathom the smell that was coming out of the air fryer. I had to open the windows and put the fan on. Like, what is happening??! My shampoo smelled bad. My toothpaste was/is awful. Even my Miss Dior perfume…horrible. 🙁 Fast forward again to today (1/14/22), and I am absolutely miserable. There are certain foods I haven’t been able to eat the entire time. There are some that I can tolerate now that I couldn’t before. And there are foods that I could eat before that now are just awful. I still can’t stand to be around any type of cologne or perfume, it smells like straight up unpleasant chemicals. Certain candles are the worst, especially the wood wick candles (which are my favorite) which have been sitting and collecting dust because I can’t burn them. The list could go on forever but I’ll mention a few more. The main problems for me include the air fryer, toaster oven, most processed foods, butter, cucumbers, tomatoes, french fries, onions and canola oil. Anything made with canola oil seems to be the worst for me. It smells and tastes awful like something died. This whole ordeal has also been a burden on my relationship. My boyfriend has been super supportive and understanding but it’s still hard for him when I’m covering my nose and running out of rooms due to the smells. He feels limited on what he can and can’t eat as well since it will bother me and that makes me feel guilty. I’m reluctant to even want to cook because of how bad the kitchen will smell. We haven’t gone out to eat in months, it’s really sad. I’m glad I found this page. Reading other people’s stories helps me feel less alone as I navigate through this time. I’m sad we are going through this but hopeful our smell and taste will fully recover.

  24. Julianna

    I’m am truly suffering from this. I got Covid in July of 2021. I recovered quickly but the loss of my taste and smell continued for months. In mid Nov I was craving street tacos with the hope that the onions and cilantro might help spark my senses. I used a hot sauce cup they gave with the tacos and did taste maybe the first few bites but faintly. About nine hours later I was hit very hard and fast with food poison. I knew it was the tacos. Upon vomiting I could taste putrid onions and burnt grease as it came up. Later I learned from my daughter, who I dropped off a plate of tacos to before I went back to work with the tacos I picked up for me and co workers, that she threw away the hot sauce cup because it smelled like chemicals to her. She thought it was bad. I ate the hot sauce because I couldn’t smell or taste it to know it was bad. None of my coworkers ate it. Now ever since this occurred I cannot eat garlic or onions or anything that includes those things in the ingredients. These two items take me right back to when I threw up and that’s all I can taste or smell if present. My diet is so limited now. I cannot enjoy anything I once did. We went to Burger King recently and hubby got onions on his burger. The smell of the onions on his burger completely ruined my meal. I just want to know if this will go away? What more can I do to bring back my sense of taste and smell and what can I do to be able to enjoy onions and garlic again?

  25. Art

    My first symptom of Covid was my coffee creamer tasting weird. Didn’t pay that much attention to it but within another day or two every thing tasted bad. I had heard of loss of smell or taste….But this was not loss of. Everything taste like Dog Shit. I had never heard anyone say anything so disgusting about the taste thing, until I started reading these others with what is called parochial. It was so bad I could not eat anything for like 3 days. If I tried it was so gross I would have to brush ,rinse,scrape my tongue etc just to get rid of the after taste!!! I slowly started to be able to try jello and bland foods. I had already lost over 11 pounds from not eating. It’s been about 2 weeks now, and I am starting to enjoy my food again. Thank you God, I pray that this never comes back..Good luck to all, this is very real and I’m glad I found people to talk to about it. Love Art

  26. Natassa

    Unfortunately this is exactly what I am experiencing. I had Covid last year in July, lost taste and smell for around 2 weeks, then I recovered and my taste and smell came back.
    Funny enough mid/end of October suddenly everything smelled like rotten onions or sewage. I had the feeling, that suddenly I was able to smell things, that I didn’t notice before.
    The first weeks I didn’t want to leave the house anymore, because this bad smell in all the streets and on people made me sick. I wasn’t able to eat following things:

    – beef
    – carrots
    – brussel sprouts
    – onion
    – apples
    – bananas
    – bell pepper
    – eggs
    – olive oil
    – ham
    – salad

    At this point I was mainly eating bread with cheese or noodles with cheese or tomato sauce with no onion. I also ate candy, but apart from chocolate, which suddenly didn t have a taste apart from sweet, a lot of artificial colouring or ingredients were noticeable to me.

    Currently I can eat apples and banana again, but they don’t taste great. I can eat eggs again, if I put a lot of seasoning, but the smell still makes me sick. The rest unfortunately still tastes horrible, especially fresh produce. I can taste even the tiniest pinch of onion in foods and can’t eat the dish at that point anymore. I can also not eat in restaurants when someone of the neighbouring tables orders food with onions. The smell makes me simply sick.
    Lemons only taste really sour now, without the actual lemon taste.

    But tea suddenly tastes really nice and intensive and also pomegranate tastes so sweet and delicious. Oranges are also my safe food.

    I really hope, I can eat onion again one day. Be for that I would add onions to everything and would even eat them raw with some salt as a snack.

  27. Lashondra M

    I don’t have covid and never had. I had surgery mid Dec and had a severe reaction to general anesthesia. I loss my voice, smell and taste. I got my voice back after 3 weeks, but I either have a distorted horrible taste or chemical taste with foods. I know the food is fresh but most makes me sick to my stomach. I eat to eat at this time. Most sauces or dressings are bad. It seems that i can only taste salt and a hint of sweetness. Foods either taste sour, rotten or bland. As far as smell, I can only smell when something is directly at my nose or get a hint if it is super strong. Doctors seem to think i had an undiagnosed case of covids. I took another covid test to prove them wrong. No one is willing to look a little deeper. This surgery has caused severe complications due to the intubation

  28. Brenna

    The same happened to me months after covid and getting smell and taste back, it randomly changed it to garbage. I can’t eat red meats anymore. Sad about the bacon. All my favorite fruit snacks and fruit punch are all horrible. Basically anything I really liked before I can no longer eat. And I’m constantly cooking and throwing it out right after because it taste like sewage. Perfumes all smell awful. I wish I knew what to do to help it return to normal.

  29. Rhonda Brownstein

    I had a horrible case of parosmia in 2018. It was caused by a coronavirus, though not by COVID-19 (which didn’t exist yet). For 10 months, almost everything tasted and smelled like raw sewage. I lost 10 pounds. Like Maille, I was only able to eat cheese, avocados, and a few kinds of fruit like apples. Because this was pre-Covid, it was extremely rare and very few doctors had even heard of it. The good news is that, about nine months after it started, it very suddenly (mostly) resolved. One day, I woke up and most food smelled and tasted normal again. It took about three months to get to about 95% recovery. I still have distortions in taste and smell with a few foods, including lemons and peanuts. Anyway, I do believe that most parosmias resolve themselves over time, so hang in there!

  30. Lynette Smith

    I’m now just shy of 2 years since I had Covid. The first 6 weeks, I was simply afraid I was going to die, while my husband was sick less that 2 weeks. As I started to recover, my husband would become angry about my food choices, and the fact that my diet was impacted by me trying to eat something that didn’t taste truly disgusting in my mouth. For me, popcorn turned out to be something that still tasted “like it should”, and became a large part of my diet. I didn’t eat much popcorn before Covid, but now it was/is a major portion of my diet. I can remember how much I loved beef – steaks, roasts, and hamburgers – but now I can’t even make myself swallow them. I sometimes crave these foods that I loved, but I have not been able to eat more than a bite or two, tops, whenever I try them at the insistence of family. I won’t go out to eat, because people look at me when I throw away what appears to be perfectly fine food. My husband has just found the research that indicates that I am probably in a group that has a genetic component to Parosmia after Covid. As a science teacher I find that interesting, but as the person going on for 2 years without any real improvement, it is depressing. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! Hoping for improvement while living with what seems like a bleak outlook. Anyone suffering from this complication has to be provaccination, because we know that even a mild case of Covid may be enough to cause this after effect, which doesn’t seem to have any intention of leaving quickly or completely for those who are genetically predisposed to acquire this. Frustrating is a term that barely covers the way I feel. Best wishes to others who are struggling to regain their “normal” life.

  31. Debbie B

    I experienced two medical emergencies two weeks apart this past summer, and both events required immediate brain surgery. After the second surgery for a brain bleed–(subdural hematoma), virtually all food began to taste rotten and foul, along with my sense of smell. Even fresh air stinks to me. I have never had Covid. Although no evidence of injury to the brain was established, it is speculated the bad taste smell distortion is either due to damage from my first surgery involving an endoscopic transnasal technique or by whatever caused the hematoma. As a diabetic allergic to pectin and nightshades, it makes this condition even harder to deal with. My ENT doctor recommends smelling essential oils and strong scents as others have commented on. Odd as it sounds, I do better when I neutralize odors around me with aerosols, then I try to eat. I do best with sweet things but as a diabetic, the condition has caused a rise in my sugars. Salty processed foods such as deli meats are at times tolerable, although not best for one’s health. By far, most of the cases described here seem to be from Covid.

  32. Susan Silverstein

    I am also suffering from parosmia. I had Covid in September I was pretty sick for four weeks I lost my taste and smell on the second day and it hasn’t returned. Now 4 and a half months later things taste awful. At first I couldn’t eat bananas minty stuff or and kind spaghetti sauce ketchup onions or garlic. My husband made dinner which was pork chops mashed potatoes corn and green beans sat down to eat and took a fork full of corn and nearly died on how bad it taste along with the rest of the stuff on my plate. But at least my dog was happy. So now I can only eat noodles with butter or brown gravy. Sweet stuff is ok but not good since I’m a diabetic. I haven’t been able to smell anything up until about a week ago and now if I can smell it it’s horrible. It is getting very depressing. And I am hungry all the time.

  33. Wendy Schoelier

    It has been a year almost to the day. my smell is getting better I think, but taste is still not great. I think I am just getting used to it now but catch myself eating something that just tastes like sometimes nothing. hard to explain. I found myself over seasoning still, my boyfriend joked one day and said “you trying to kill me?” I put so much pepper on our meal.

  34. Laura Salcedo

    I had COVID in Oct 2020, over a year after my taste is not back to what it was, when food is being cook, the oil is what I smell the most and it’s diffefent than before, is awful. Sour cream, natural yougurt taste more sour, I dont like cheddar flavored chips anymore.

  35. Cortney

    I thought my taste and smell was do to the medication I was on. But starting to wonder. I had Covid in Aug. 2021 lost my smell but not my taste. Got it back within 3weeks. Then in Oct. started taking headache medicine and by Thanksgiving my smell and taste were going wonky. I have lost 32lbs since Nov. and can eat hardly anything. I have days where I cry cause I want chips! Pasta, chips, eggs, anything toasted, most cheese, all meat (but hamburger and steak) alcohol, fruit… taste and smell horrible to me, some veggies are tolerable but have kinda a weird smell. I can do Mayo not miracle whip and barbecue sauce. Some dark chocolate not milk chocolate! I can’t do any kind of candy. This is so ANNOYING! I am one of the least picky eaters, now I feel super fussy! my toothpaste and mouthwash taste horrible, gum is nasty! And as for smell almost everything that once smelled good to me smells horrible I still spray on my perfume but it smells terrible to me my deodorant smells terrible to me also!

  36. Maria

    My Parosmia started about three months after I had Covid. Like some others foods that smell bad smell like rotting animal carcass. Having not tasted rotting animal carcass I can’s swear that is what the food tastes like, but it sure tastes like it smells. The most difficult part is that I can’t eat garlic or onion and I’m allergic to all peppers so I can’t add flavor/spice in other ways. At this point I miss the loss of my taste and smell, I’d rather not have to deal with this daily.

    What’s important to note is that this isn’t just a problem with Covid. My husband had the flu about 10 years ago that was quite severe. He lost his sense of taste and smell (which he does with any cold or flu since then). When his taste returned (which took about 6 months) a number of foods and drinks tasted very bad. It took six years before this corrected.

  37. Melissa Price

    I am sitting here in tears. I was vaccinated in Dec. 2020/Jan. 2021. I thought I did everything right. In Sept. 2021, I got Covid after receiving 3 steroid shots for a medical condition. I was sick enough that I needed the infusion, but never developed a cough. I thought, well, at least it is over. I had ansomia, but figured it would get better. Instead, it all got worse. The only time I smell anything, is if it is something really bad. So new good smells, only disgusting things. I also developed parosmia. My favorite things are mint and coffee; both are terrible now. I cannot even describe the taste. I cannot tolerate coffee, chocolate, mint, peanut butter, garlic, or sodas. No more Italian night, no brownies, because I can’t even stand to have it near me. I am actually overeating, desperate to find something I can taste. It’s a constant need to be able to taste again. That’s my story. I got the vaccine, the infusion and the booster; still got Covid, still can’t taste or smell, still have memory issues. I wish everyone took this virus seriously.

  38. I got covid back in thanksgiving of this year. I was sick for a week, but I couldn’t smell for weeks. My sense of smell didn’t return to its full strength, and now, after a month, inexplicably, all meat smells terrible, to the point of gagging. anything with meat suddenly has a rather rancid/unpleasant aftertone to it. some of it is still palatable but still, I used to love eating meat, and now my tastebuds yearn for tasty foods again.

  39. Josh P.

    I also have been experiencing the same terrible taste/smell (rotten, sulfur) for the past week when eating most foods, especially meat. Whenever I go into the lunchroom at work and people have these trigger foods, I cannot stay in there long. I was worrying that it could be something much worse but all these posts have pretty much confirmed what it is.

    However, the interesting part is the timeline of everything. I had Covid starting around Nov 3, 2021. I did loose my smell and taste for about 2-3 weeks but it came back normal. I was not vaxxed at the time, but decided to be after that. I had my second shot on Jan 25 (about 2 months after smell and taste came back. I first started experiencing this terrible taste and smell on Jan 30 (only 5 days after the second shot).

    Thank you all for posting your stories and the foods you have been able to eat, especially the proteins. I tried some plant based meat that was a good source of protein and that tasted pretty good.

  40. Karen

    My daughter had covid back in November and now she is having terrible issues with taste and smell. Called the ENT doctor that said the only thing they can recommend is smell therapy. Anybody try anything else?

  41. Sheila Pittman

    I was vaccinated I still got Covid and still have this issue.

  42. Kathryn Williams

    I have the same issues all animal related protein . Cheese and legumes are mainly what I am eating. Pasta sauce is horrible . I had lost my taste when I had covid .My taste came back after a few months .Then about 1 week after getting the booster this rotten taste is here. I can smell rotten things even when there is no food around. If I eat something that has fat /oil on it my lips feel oily, I am also loving sugar items more than before.

  43. Jill G

    I’m suffering from from this now. My husband thinks I’m loosing it. But I’ve been reading more and more. I got covid in October, lost my taste and smell all together 4 days in from my positive test. For two weeks nothing, I ate based on nutritional needs and mixing textures for some pleasure. I also gained weight. Nothing satisfied me, so I’d eat more. I remember weeks later I came home to smell ham!! It was the best thing, to smelling something!!. But other things took a while to smell again, and coffee was the first thing to not taste right. Now I can barely stand the smell of coffee. Drank it for 20 years and loved it, now I avoid it like, well covid … but not only coffee, Chocolate,sweet baked goods, popcorn, peanut butter, most things that are processed, cereal, creamer, jerky, meats, all taste awful. I gained even more weight, two months after having covid… I would order or fix something and then it wouldn’t taste right, tasted bad, spoiled or rotten, then I’d be frustrated, making me over eat on something I could stand to eat. It’s only been a few weeks now, but I’ve gotten myself under control. I have found homemade, simple foods taste the best. Fresh fruits, oatmeal, bread, veggies, unprocessed meats plan without seasoning, taste the most real. I still smell awful smells and somethings I can’t smell at all still. But I’m eating better. Thanks for sharing your story.

  44. Joanna

    When my parents give me any meat ,chicken it taste so bad and same with gummy bears they taste like hand sanitizer

  45. Lucy Loo

    The first time I had covid,long haul , I could no longer eat chicken,turkey and pork..except bacon ,now I had it again,fully vaccinatec…all meat ..even the smell or thought makes me naseous.will try the smell training.

  46. Jen

    I caught Covid the last week of September and had lost all sense of taste or smell for about a month afterwards. Eventually, I was regaining my senses back in early November, only for most foods to taste and smell rotten 2-3 weeks later. I had tried to eat spaghetti my stepmother had cooked, rich with garlic and minced meat, only to discover that I couldn’t stand to bring one forkful to my mouth. I figured something was wrong with the meat my dad had bought, but the next day in school I tried eating something with meat and I was met with the same exact smell/taste. I began noticing a pattern the following week which was easy for me to do because my parents are always cooking something with meat, onions, or garlic. Anytime I smell those things, I feel sick to my stomach and I can’t even try to eat them. It’s been 4 months since I’ve been suffering from this problem and in those months, I have discovered a number of foods I find intolerable: Meat, eggs, onions, garlic, anything burnt, and oddly enough, popcorn. And not just onions alone, but I can’t even enjoy snacks that contain onion powder. I’ve grown accustomed to this change in my diet because I’ve been able to enjoy other things that aren’t affected by my Parosmia: seafood, cheese, grains, fruits, nuts, etc. It’s been challenging trying to eat at home because of the ingredients my parents always use in their cooking, but this article and all these other comments have helped me feel less alone.

  47. Jacqueline

    I am so glad I came across your story. I have been dealing with this for a long time and I am so tired of not being able to enjoy food or even smell this without getting nauseous. I had a doctor tell me it was something in my stomach and just to take Pepcid. He didn’t want to listen to me about any of my symptoms or concerns. I will try the smell training and hope all goes well. Sending Positive Vibes for all that has to deal with this.

  48. Denise Smith

    This is happening to me. I cant stand my favorite smells any more like laundray detergent, flowers, etc. and chicken taste like swamp water. meat tastes gross. even desserts just dont taste right. My sons room is the worst. it used to be just a light BO smell because he is a boy, but now I can not even go in without getting sick. we have washed his clothes, his sheets and his carpet but it just does not go away. Help what can I do? will this ever go away or get better? it is seriously starting to affect my life and my relationship with my son. I had covid-19 in 2020 from Thanksgiving til Xmas.

  49. missy

    I believe I had covid in Feb. 2020 but no testing was available at that point. Taste and smell shut off light a light switch for two days, then switched back on with no issues. Then again in July of 2021 was very sick, but tested neg. Lost taste and smell again, still has not returned. Alot of food items have a strange gravy like smell, but not one that I have previously smelled, indescribable because nothing to compare it to. Also, my dog and cat’s poop and mine have that same smell, which is horrible because some foods smell the same. Some items have no smell or taste at all. I am often nauseous and have diarrhea as well as being very tired. I received a beautiful flower bouquet for Valentine’s Day but cannot smell the flowers. I am very depressed as there seems to be no cure for it. I am taking probiotics and a lot of B vitamins hoping to regenerate the nerves.

  50. Chelsea Collins

    I’m going through the exact same thing and it sucks. Weird, smells and tastes and meat is nasty. I cant stand this. It definitely changed the quality of my life. I was told by someone that they used acupuncture and that it helped. Im just afraid of needles so I dont know if I will ever do that but if youre not be worth looking into. Good luck everybody!

  51. Arson Winters

    This answered my confusion. I knew it was due to COVID-19 that my smell and taste was different, but not any specifics. Right now I can only smell one smell that’s akin to rusty metal mixed with florally-grapes. When I smell things it’s usually only stronger or weaker depending on what I’m smelling but it’s still pretty much all the same overwhelming sent. Chicken smells the worst. It’s nasty. And my taste is off too. Only a few things are remotely enjoyable to taste, one being Monster energy drinks, which I believe are strong enough to taste differently. I’ve tried many soda’s and they’ve all began to taste like dirt, like actual soil, and it awful. I whish this experience would end. I really don’t know what I’d do if I never gained better taste and smell back.

  52. Madeline Snyder

    Recovery from parosmia
    Parosmia is not typically a permanent condition. Your neurons may be able to repair themselves over time. In as many as 60 percentTrusted Source of cases of parosmia caused by an infection, olfactory function was restored in the years afterward.

    Recovery times vary according to the underlying cause of your parosmia symptoms and the treatment that you use. If your parosmia is caused by a virus or infection, your sense of smell may return to normal without treatment. Olfactory training may potentially help with recovery, but it may take several months to see results.

  53. Randi

    My family and I had COVID at the end of October 2021. Very mild symptoms for the kids (3). My husband and I were walking zombies. We both lost our taste and smell. His came back about a week after our + test. Mine is still iffy.

    To this day I still can’t smell much of anything unless it’s right under my nose. Around the beginning of January I had a really strong smell of chemical. Which would give me headaches, nausea and dizziness. That went away around the beginning of February and now everything tastes and smells rotten/sour. I almost through out our entire contents of the fridge because of it. My husband stopped me thank goodness. Now anything I eat or drink besides water or milk has this nasty taste to it, like it’s going bad.

    I do the majority of the cooking in our household and everything smells gross. The last couple of days have been the worst so it makes eating hard but I push through it because I know it’s not the food going bad but my senses being goofy.

  54. Sharon Bond

    I was really relieved to find this article (and also to read some of the comments here). I had been fully vaccinated (but boosters weren’t available yet at this time) when I got what I was sure was nothing more than a sinus infection. (I typically get them during a change of seasons, and this was Nov. 2021) I always lose my sense of taste and smell (usually for about 4-7 days) when I get these sinus infections. This (to me) had no indication of Covid so I didn’t get tested, however, most that I have talked to now say it likely WAS Covid but since I had been vaccinated, these were the only symptoms I had. I also became suspicious, myself, when it took over 3 full weeks for my taste & smell to return. It started out weak than returned to normal. I thought all was well, until this past month…. I have a pretty constant smell of “bad breath/garbage” all the time. And my beloved chocolate suddenly tastes awful… basically the same as what I smell! Anything chocolate – candy, cereal, coffee, it’s so disheartening. I’ve noticed other foods as well, some worse than others, with a different, odd or this bad smell. And then there are things I eat that seem fine! (Albeit, very few!) I had peanut butter & honey on toast last night (first in several months) and could barely eat it. It must be Parosmia but I had no idea what it was called! I have also asked my husband if he smells this bad smell in the house and he says no. I still smell this in the car, outside, it doesn’t matter. Many here mentioned meat, in regards to that, mine just taste bland but not necessarily bad. I’ve been lost not knowing what to ask about or if I should even go to my doctor but it was calming to me to read what was posted here. If I could just get this nasty smell out of my head, I think food would taste better!!

  55. Angela

    I just have covid and yes! my taste buds are not working properly. If there is salty taste in the food, I will taste really salty like 10 times salty.
    Sweet is what still working, I find Green tea Frappuccino from Starbucks to be my best friend now, it’s the only thing that still taste the same to me.
    Any other food, I can barely eat, it taste weird and I even feel nausea
    So right now, I am trying to gain my sense of smell back by smelling all kind of herbs. I hope doctor and some expert help us figure out how to treat this, it has been more than 2 yrs with Covid, we need better treatment

  56. william bullard

    This is true. I had Covid two times. It left me with the very same symptoms. I tried everything to get my smell and taste back to normal. I continue to have these symptoms of Parosmia. We are now using essential oils with the smell testings. Thieves and Lemon and others are working; but it takes time for sure.
    One very sensitive area to talk about, and somewhat embarrassing, but bowels are giving the same smell as those foods like eggs, chicken, beef, onions, etc. Everything has changed since Covid. It is not fun. It is annoying. The essential oils are the only entities I have found that gives me any type of relief.

  57. Briana

    It’s been a year and two months since I got covid and my taste and smell is so messed up my daily life is all screwed up as well. I too am trying the essential oil sniffing. It’s a rough way to live that’s for sure

  58. Jessica

    Sounds so similar to my story. I had Covid two months ago and lost my taste and smell. As I recovered, I gained more of my taste back. Recently, I took a bit of yogurt and it tasted awful to me. A lot of things have a metal or a plastic taste. I can hardly eat anything. I’m forced to eat sweet things which still taste off. Even when I’m not eating anything, I still have that garbage rate resonate in my mouth. I cannot even stand the smell of meat cooking anymore. I hope I can get over this soon.

  59. Anna

    Covid in Sept 2021
    It is now Feb 2022
    6 months later
    Every brand of Applejuice just started tasting WEIRD
    Cantelope – tastes rotten
    Bananas – smell and taste rotten

    This might be unrelated but my neck also hurts.

  60. Bobbi jo Riewe

    First After having a bad case of covid about 2 1/2 months after i started to smell for a few days then i started smelling rotten meat (chicken is the worst) now 3 weeks into not eating meat, onions, and my favorite Cheetos!! it smells like garbage everything I love! Its gros! I eat noodle with alfredo or butter and parmesan, ice cream, sweets, cereal everything NOT GOOD FOR YOU taste great good stuff taste bad I just want to die

  61. Julie Murphy

    This started for me 4 weeks ago when I heated up some Panera baked potato soup (cream based). It smelled rancid and tasted burnt. Then I tried a new pasta recipe with cream cheese and sour cream and it was so horrid. The cheeses smell & taste burnt. I love sour cream on tacos or baked potatoes and it is horrible right now. Cream cheese on a bagel is vomit inducing. I now have to check each recipe to see if I can make it or not. Regular cheese hasn’t become an issue yet, thankfully! Yesterday my husbands cologne started smelling like he was a big walking electrical burn. He’s worn it previously with no issues. I figured this was a lingering effect of COVID which I had in September of 202 and I lost all smell and taste for 2 weeks or so then. Thank you for sharing this article. It has really helped answer some of my questions.

  62. Michelle C

    I am SO grateful to find this information! I had COVID in January 2021–what I thought was a fairly mild case. My taste and smell were significantly affected for about 3 months and have never return to previous levels . I can distinguish between sweet and sour, and I crave tart foods, like citrus. The most perplexing is pork. Bacon, ham, sausage, smoked pulled pork, pepperoni, canadian bacon all taste rancid to me. I can occasionally tolerate some ham, but for the most part I can’t tolerate it. I’m glad that it seems to be limited to pork products, but it is so frustrating. And trying to explain it is maddening…my family, friends, even my doctor seem to think it’s all in my head!!

  63. Tricia

    I too had a mild case of covid-19 in early November 2021. I lost my sense of smell and taste. I got my taste back in a couple of weeks and then my smell. About late January my toothpaste started to smell really bad and I used to love McDonald’s diet coke but now the taste of it makes me sick. I’m not as bad as some people but the horrible smells of things that should smell nice really bothers me. I can’t even use scented soaps without them smelling like sewage. The smell of lavender is one scent that still smells nice. Hope one day to get back to normal.

  64. Kristy Harkey

    I feel like I’m going to starve to death. I literally don’t have one single food I can even stand to be in the same room around. I can’t use anything with fragrance….soap, cleaners, lotions, shampoo….you name it and I can’t be in a room with it without either vomiting or dry heaving. It’s got to the point where now I cry sometimes because I’m so hungry but I vomit from literally any smell. I’ve eaten 2 chicken nuggets in the last 3 days. I can’t cook so my 14 year old daughter is having to do most of the cooking now and that makes me feel horrible. Idk what to do.

  65. Jessica

    I was fully vaccinated in July of 2021, yet contracted Covid-19 in October of that year. I was also 6 months pregnant. I had a mild case, loss of taste and smell, and a runny nose were my only symptoms. My smell and taste returned to normal one week later. However, after giving birth at 8 months pregnant (PROM), my smell and taste became distorted and have remained that way since then. I cannot stand to smell any kind of protein or high carb food. Any kind of meat, eggs, breads, pasta, potatoes (in any form), beans, nuts, garlic and onion seasoning also. They all have a rancid smell and taste. I think it’s also wise to mention that I gave birth on Dec 22nd, 2 full months after having Covid-19. I also contracted Covid-19 again in early February this year. Another mild case. I have to thank the vaccine for the cases being mild, however it does go to prove that simply being vaccinated will not prevent you from contracting the virus (and I knew this before ever receiving my first dose), it just helps to make the illness not as severe as it could be without vaccination.
    As far as the parosmia is concerned, I’ve found vegetables still taste good, so that’s my main source of diet. I do force myself to eat small portions of meat, as I know it’s not actually rancid. I also take vitamin supplements so that I can be sure to get the nutrients and vitamins that I need and am not able to tolerate through foods.

  66. Tiffany

    I am also going through this. I had Covid about 4 months ago and there is very few foods I can eat. Everything tastes and smells like garbage. it is so depressing.

  67. Cynthia Kiser

    No one has Given any advice on anything that helps with this horrible situation. My son just brought me outback grilled chicken with bbq on the side. I brushed my teeth and put cotton up my nose to block all smells. I want able to eat the salad but I was able to eat my backed potato and eat my grilled chicken n dipped it into the bbq sause. I made sure to have the cotton in my nose before the food was delivered to me.. oatmeal for breakfast is going well also. I think if everyone started listing foods that are able to eat would possibly help someone who is struggling to find food that is not disgusting. Hope this helps someone.

  68. Amanda Atchison

    I got Covid in June 2021 and it’s now March 2022 and I still have no sense of smell and my sense of taste is dull and distorted. I’ve discovered that cooked protein is the worst. It both smells and tastes like burnt popcorn and chemicals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the main staples of my diet now. Protein is a bit tricky – cheese, yogurt, canned fish, and beans are what I can tolerate.

  69. Aeryn Brewer

    I just started noticing in the past week that everytime i had ate any dairy, or eggs (MOSTLY EGGS), it tasted horrible. Everything smelled horrible and there’s only certain things that don’t. at first i didn’t know what it was and thought it would go away but i was more concerned and then i found this article. it makes a lot of sense, i got COVID for the 2nd time in December and it is now March and it just started happening last week. I’m really glad i found this article because i was freaking out, crying and nobody knew or could tell me what it was. and definitely going to talk to my doctor

  70. cai

    I think I am also suffering with Parosmia, I had covid in June 2021, lost my sense of smell and taste totally for up to 2 months and up to date I have strange taste with tea, sometimes coffee, even lemon water, there is an after taste like chemical or burned rubber.. it’s like poison it’s hard to explain. In terms of smell, perfumes just smell all the same and whats worst is, there are some coffee that smells like my son’s poop and pee and anything unpleasant smells the same. I don’t know how long I will suffer from this 🙁

  71. Erin Stritzinger

    I just went to the doctor for this condition. I noticed it after making beef rice and stuffed pork chops. Everyone loved it. I thought it was poop. The only thing I can tolerate is Dr Pepper. Cold tho! Everything is putrid. Dr prescribed prednisone. Hope it works. This is not fun.

  72. Anitra Gaughf

    I am a 45 y/o female, very healthy prior to Covid. My illness was late August through mid- September. I lost smell and taste, had phantosmia. I was alright for 6 weeks, then had a two week bout of extreme fatigue and mild confusion. I returned to work and was fine until the last week of February, again, extreme fatigue, some confusion, insomnia, numb toes, and new parosmia. Doctors can’t find anything wrong, refused to help me with FMLA or short term disability, so I lost my job, I hate eating because of the distortion in my mouth, I’ve lost a lot of weight, I can’t sleep more than a couple of hours. I’m absolutely miserable and it feels as if I’m on a psychedelic acid trip that will never end. I’m just wondering if anyone else is experiencing this also?!?

  73. Ashley

    I am going through this right now i cant eat anything except un sweetend Apple sauce i am so hurgy i aure cant wait to smell food again 😥😭😥

  74. Debbie Thompson

    So glad I read this article. I am a 70 wife, mother, grandmother and cook, and I totally ruined my Thanksgiving dinner this past year. I have been struggling with constant sinus infections and loss of taste and smell since Covid . After reading this, now I know why I almost vomit every time I try to cook with onions, garlic and spices. Really struggling here. I pray somebody addresses these Parosmia situations soon.
    Thank you whoever put this article out.
    Sincerely , Debbie

  75. Ryley Sather

    I’ve been living with it for a year and a half. I’m super skinny and can’t eat without gagging. Definitely will be depressed if you have this.

  76. Dave

    I think I have it, it’s mostly with mint products and fizzy drinks. Makes brushing my teeth something horrible. Even the smell of toothpaste is rancid… I can’t tell the difference in mint, diesel or urine, they all smell the same. Hope yours has gotten better

  77. Fowlera

    I’ve had parosmia now for about 2 weeks. I recovered from covid back in end of November. I had total smell and taste loss. It’s now April 2022 that I started having the same exact symptoms. I wonder if individuals with deviated septum and covid 19 are more prone to parosmia or smell/taste loss. I’m gonna see my doctor who will probably refer me to someone who specializes in this treatment. I will update in the future if I have any success or progress. So far day to day is hard and I get the mentally freaking out part so much because this messes with your senses and reality. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Good luck to everyone going through this. I wish you the best and hope your able to overcome this and return to yourself again.

  78. Dalia Torrez

    I knew I wasn’t going crazy. One day, i just noticed my drink tasted funny and blamed it on the cup thinking i didn’t rinse it well after washing it. Seems i have to steer from colas and certain lemonades. Some things are super salty now when they would never bother me in the past. My husband noticed this right away since I am one to always salt my food before eating it.

  79. Liza

    So glad I found this article. I was googling about taste & smell disorders, because my 17 yo daughter just told me last night that a few weeks ago her Toothpaste tasted bad and later she realized coffee has the same bad taste. Now for the past few weeks, more things are starting to smell & taste bad to her. She describes it as a dishwater taste & as if the food has gone rotten.

    This is so weird. Will try the olfactory training.

  80. Linda Counts

    I had Covid and Covid Pneumonia in January I was sick for three weeks. And now the taste of certain foods Eggs for one I could eat them until about a month ago the smell and taste is awful among other foods. I can still eat some Chicken with Broccoli and its Ok! And I have also had extreme hair loss I am taking all kinds of vitamins for hair and using shampoo and conditioner for hair loss Ugh I am so over this!

  81. Kristy D Olson

    I have been having this horrible taste and smell the last few months and after doing research this is definitely what I have. I had Covid right after Christmas and I think my first symptom of Parosmia was on March 17th when mint was and overbearing taste and smell. I try to eat everything I make because it sounds so good but once I eat it, I can only have a few bites because it tastes like rot. Onion, garlic, tomato and strong coffee are the worst smells. Today I tried a Starbucks and that was a waste of money. I hope it goes away soon ugh….

  82. Meshada Thomas

    I am suffering from this now. I had Covid back in September and now I’m suffering from this. I don’t know what to eat. Meat smells and taste so funny. I’m struggling is there a cure from this.

  83. Heather

    I am so relieved to see so many stories exactly like my own. My favorite perfumes smell horrible now. The first time I noticed it was when my cowaorler came near me and my eyes started watering. She smelled like burning rubber or chemicals. I mentioned it to another co worker and they said she smelled great. I inquired further and she was wearing the same perfume she always wears that I always loved! Onions are the worst right now, bell peppers as well. Rotting garbage. I lost my smell completely when I had covid in November of 2021 but these odd smells and tastes didn’t start until February of 2022! Shampoos , laundry soap, body wash, all has this sickly rancid sweet smell. It seems to be getting worse. It’s so depressing.

  84. Michelle Giddings

    I just got covid about 6 days now I have mailed symptoms but I think for me the worst is not being able to eat anything but Lipton noodle soup which taste bad. Ut it’s the only thing that doesn’t taste like raw sewage I want to be able to eat normal again I want to be able to eat meats pasta pizza anything other than Upton soup

  85. Damien Crowe

    Vaccines are not a factor in the amount of people getting parosmia post covid .

  86. Frank Rizzeaux

    Dr Scangas is a smell doctor?

  87. Rachel M.

    I had Covid back in Nov 2021, very mild, it was like a sinus infection other than loosing my smell and taste, it lasted maybe 2 weeks.. and prob. within the last two months or so Lettuce smells and tastes like Axe spray mixed with Garbage, Eggs taste funny, most meats taste funny, Pizza smells and tastes weird.. My 13 year old is also having the same issue as I am. the one funny thing is, I cant smell “stinky” thing like if my kids passes gas I dont smell that..

  88. Desiree Wren

    I had the first round of Covid in 22 with no issues but January of this year I got the Omicron variation, different story, my taste changed and I can’t eat salads right now, I used to eat them every day-not anymore- it takes everything I have to swallow them. Spring mix, fetta, English cucumbers, grape tomatoes, hemp and flax seed and Craisins. Sounds good, right? Nope can hardly stomach it because of the taste change. There are other things, too much to mention here that taste bitter and plain nasty. No change to normal yet, through another salad away today.

  89. miss b

    Had Covid symptoms August 2021, tested negative 2x. Was pretty sick, fever, aches, sore throat, cough. Lost taste and ability to smell a few weeks later. Now it is June 2022, meat and onions, garlic and some other foods and dog poop and human poop have a horrible smell similar to burnt gravy but not able to describe as it is a smell I never smelled before in 50+ years. Not funny if you are suffering with it, but how can anyone eat, when food and poop smells the same???? This problem is beating me down mentally even though I was never a big eater anyway but I can’t handle it. Neurologist said no help for it. I am having alot of gastro issues when I do eat meat which I never had before.

  90. Paloma M Esquivel

    I cant eat dark chocolate or romain lettuce or the smell of water in the pool is so ewww it all has the same smell and the taste eww peanut butter horrible , there are so many foods im afraid to taste cause im afraid of the taste and inm over it 🙁

  91. Marisa

    I have the same issue. I’ve found things taste better when completely homemade. I hope that helps someone.

  92. Linnea K Barnes

    I am now recovering from covid….. and most food tastes just awful. I never thougth this would happen. Cheese is gross, anything spicy, wine tastes like chemicals ( I thought it would help me relax lol). Toast and peanut butter is ok as well as mashed potatoes but I need more than that as I’m loosing weight. Thanks covid!

  93. Candice

    I’ve been suffering from this as well since November of 2021. Seems so long ago, but not long at all. My diet consists of bland foods with either no smell or very little smell. This is the worst best diet a heavier person can be on. I had a hard time to begin with as far as food hurting my digestive system that I already was a picky eater but couldn’t drop the weight. Now I can’t eat anything and have lost 40lbs. I’ve gone through some depression with this because your body still craves food naturally or when you’re starving and you can’t eat anything. It’s REALLY difficult for someone. An the people around you have no way of helping because they don’t fully understand what’s going on and how it’s affecting you. It not only alters my life, but my family as well. I rarely cook for them now because I either can’t handle the smell or I can’t taste the food to see if it’s ok. I struggled for a good couple months mentally, but have now taken it head on. I have read many articles of others who are having the same problem and there is no real way to fix it. It may or may not come back. The saying “You never realize what you have till it’s gone” is a legit fact. Now that me and many others have to find a new way of life and trying to eat healthy is a very difficult task. After a couple months. I also lost I’d say half to three quarters of my hair due to covid as well. Many people have dealt with this. My hair is naturally really thick, so the average person would never notice. But I notice every time I run my fingers through my hair. When I washed my hair, chunks were coming out. I didn’t want to wash it, ever. It was an emotional roller coaster for me. Not only could I not eat, I was losing my hair. It was a pretty awful experience. That only lasted a couple months and has since gained half of it back. It makes me sad to hear about the stories people have faced since having covid. with or without the vaccine. People generally are facing the same results. But it’s comforting knowing there are other people dealing with the same thing. And you’re not isolated or the only person. I don’t feel alone anymore. We will get through this and maybe one day it will come back for all of us. My kids have dealt with loss of taste and smell but have since gotten it back within weeks of the virus. My daughter continues to have periodic spurts of smelling burning for a week and then it’s gone. That continues to come and go. Where my son some things don’t taste or smell like they used to but can eat and is ok. It’s a struggle but thank you for this article as well. I will definitely look into the FODmap foods and see what I get from that. I may already be doing it and not realize it or I’ll find more food from it. When food is bad, it starts to be a texture problem as well. Thanks!

  94. Kelley Yardman

    I suffer from Parosmia, but mine is that some foods taste like perfume. I can’t pinpoint which food, mostly in salad dressings, or anything with vinegar, but it can also be some meats. It’s awful and it’s June and I had COVID in December. I really wish there was something I could do to make it better. I’ve wasted a lot of money buying something to eat, just to throw it away because it’s awful. 🙁

  95. Kristin Kowaliw

    I can definitely relate to your story and so sorry you are going through this! I too have similar “long covid” delayed issues. My issue is everyday foods that I used to be able to eat, I am not experiencing a “throat closing” reaction and tongue tingling when I eat them. I am on a very restrictive diet of few foods that do not cause this reaction. Doctors in NH have not been able to help me figure out what is causing this or how to help me. I am considering being referred to Mass General Ear/Nose/Throat for help. Best of luck to you in your recovery!!

  96. John

    Yeah I get it. I’ve had parosmia for a couple months now and it sucks. I’ve been seeing an alternate medicine chiropracter about it, and he’s helped me.

  97. Lina

    I have been suffering from this for two years now. The treatment didn’t help, nothing got better. I can only eat bread and tomatoes, everything else makes me vomit. Because of this, I gained 20 kg. After the vaccination, everything became worse, the smell first disappeared completely, then everything began to stink of extinct garbage. I don’t know what to do.

  98. Shaundra

    My mom and I are dealing with this too! We got Covid over New Years (I was pregnant) then my daughter was born at the end of January. From the time she was born, she had horrible gas. After a couple of months, most foods started smelling like my daughter’s gas, too me and my mom. Then things started to taste like it. It’s been so awful telling our doctor that everything we eat tastes like my daughter’s farts, but now we finally have something real to ask about! Thank you so much for confirming that we’re not crazy!

  99. Suzy Alvarez

    Hello I have this and it drives me crazy however I didn’t have it from COVID, what tests should I have my examine for?? These Are the things that alter my taste and smell. Coffee onions green peppers meat and soda there are other things but these are the main ones!

  100. Nancy

    I find it strange that after a new toothpaste I just developed the same nasty garbage taste for some foods and the list of foods I can’t eat is growing. Anyone else have this after toothpaste???

  101. Debbie

    I had Covid in September 2021. I was diagnosed 5 months to the day after my 2nd Moderna shot. I had no problem breathing but a very severe breakthrough case. The CDC did not have an area for me to discuss the severity of my case. I lost all taste and smell for 4 months. I now have it back about 75%. I can’t taste butter, chocolate, garlic hit sauce. Sugar and salt leaves a weird taste in my mouth. I cannot smell Clorox much.
    I smell cigarettes all the time. I’m nowhere around someone who smokes. These issues are current now, August 2022.
    Worse…… my coffee never has tasted the same.

  102. Katie

    This article made me feel good and bad. I had Covid nov ‘21. My taste and smell were fine it was just 7 days of the worst flu I could imagine. March ‘22 my taste and smell was flipped like a switch. It was good to read that I’m not the only one. I am holistic, I do not use any chemicals or synthetics and I have to say there is nothing natural about this disease (with long term effects I would call it a disease not a virus). This is the bad part. No vaccination is going to stop this.

  103. Rhonda Ferretti

    I had covid christmas 2021 i lost my taste and smell it finally started coming back but now I have a garbage/ fishy taste mostly with breads, crackers, pizza crust and hamburger certain items not everything. Earlier i made a pbj sandwich and it smelled awful I was worried it was going to taste bad too so I decided to plug my nose closed with my fingers as I took bites and it tasted normal. It looks weird but it helped a lot. I’m planning on looking weird and tasting my food.

  104. Stacey C

    This exact thing happened to me about February of this year. It has been a blessing and a curse. I cannot stand the taste or smell of onions and it also inflames IBS symptoms. It is a curse because I used to be the onion queen and added onions to everything. It is a blessing because I can tell everything that has onion or onion powder to the point that I do not eat out anymore and cook at home. I have had to make my own seasonings as well as sauces too. My doctor told me to do the smell test as well but I’ve been losing weight and feeling better as I am eating better for my health.

  105. Leleah Marie

    I had Covid in March 2022 and I lost my taste and smell for about four weeks, it finally came back but everything tasted different. It is now August and now many foods I cannot tolerate or taste really bad, garlic being the number one awful taste and onions. I am already pescatarian and so I don’t eat meat however the smell of meat when I go into the cafeteria at the hospital I work at smells awful, I cannot eat salmon anymore it taste spoiled, I cannot eat pizza or anything with garlic. The only foods that taste good to me are sweet foods or oriental foods without garlic of course . I eat a lot of red curry with tofu, mangoes taste good other fruit like strawberries and blueberries taste awful, chocolate taste awful tunafish is unbearable Ranch is horrendous. This is just crazy ! Peanuts taste bad also.

  106. Carrie

    I had covid in December of last year, believe the parasomia started about second half of july of this year. Foods I have found that I can eat, (best)lemon pudding cups, frozen burritos, salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and blue cheese salad dressing, frozen corn, fried egg sandwiches with mayonnaise, hamburgers, cheese sandwiches with pickles, vanilla ice cream, but not chocolate or strawberry, mandarin oranges, yogurt, taco salad. Lemonade(crystal lite) is about the only drink I find tolerable besides water and milk which used to taste sweet but seems to be only slightly off tasting anymore. Cooking the hamburgers or meat 4 taco salad makes me nauseous but I can eat them. Some other things i can eat but they still don’t taste like they should. Coleslaw i make with homemade dressing i can eat, kfc coleslaw is a hard no. Peanut butter not really, but i can still tolerate a peanut butter sandwich Hamburgers, fried egg or cheese sandwiches or frozen burritos are about my best go-to foods, especially because easy no cook or smell prep, as long as Wendy’s or somewhere cooks the burgers! Mozzarella cheese sticks are edible. Cheddar which used to be my favorite, is ok in sandwiches or cheese quesadilla or in salad but not good to eat plain. Plain swiss cheese tastes terrible. Cottage cheese is edible not great. Will probably try the smell training, not sure it will help but might. Hang in there everyone who is suffering with this. Try different things and find some things you tolerate that you can fuel your body with even though they might not taste as good as you know they should. And hopefully this will pass soon!

  107. John

    I had Covid in December and lost my sense of taste and smell. My senses came after a month and things seemed normal. About 2 months ago I noticed that some foods had a strange taste and odor, mostly eggs and beef. I can still eat them, but really dislike the taste and aftertaste. I am able to eat liver without it tasting bad. I used to eat liver occasionally and it tasted different than now. It doesn’t have the odd taste I notice in other meats. I’ll try retraining my sense of smell with essential oils – so thank you very much for that suggestion in this article!

  108. Lizzie

    I had this issue right after I had major surgery so Covid isn’t the only cause for this condition. My surgery was back in 2014. And there are still some foods that do not taste good to me.

  109. Katie

    I’ve been saying for weeks that chicken and eggs taste disgusting. I had covid a good few months ago .I noticed my smell went first because I work in a dog hotel and I couldn’t smell there poop .And believe me 50 dogs make a lot of poop and Now reading this I’m glad I’m not going mad. I’m sad that I might have to live with it because I love chicken .