This Is What It's Like to Live Without Smell

Losing any sense can be devastating, even if you never appreciated it before it was gone.

Because of Covid-19, thousands of people around the world have lost their sense of smell, some of them for months. But like so many other symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, anosmia, or the inability to smell, isn’t a new phenomenon. Anosmia can be caused by viral infections like the flu, by traumatic brain injuries, or by nasal polyps. Some people are simply born without the sense. Although it’s often overlooked, smell disorders like anosmia or hyposmia, a reduced ability to smell, are relatively common problems, affecting as many as one in

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