Human bonding affected by loss of smell from COVID

"Sense of smell is involved in maternal-infant bonding ... and it’s also involved in romantic relationships," says psychiatrist Daniel Bober.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The loss of smell some people experience with COVID-19 can affect more than just their ability to taste and enjoy food, it can also have a negative impact on vital human connections.

“Sense of smell is involved in maternal-infant bonding. Within 45 minutes of birth, a mother can actually distinguish the smell of her newborn from other newborns, and it’s also involved in romantic relationships. You might be surprised that the sense of smell is actually more important to attraction than what someone looks like,” said psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober.

While 80% of people who lose their sense of smell regain it shortly after the infection has passed, an estimated 10-20% suffer potentially permanent loss of smell.

Hair shedding

And we’ve told you how during this pandemic many people feel like they’re losing their hair.

It’s actually a condition called telogen effluvium, which is hair shedding and thinning, that can be triggered by illness, fever and stress.

Some are now finding much-needed support through social media.

“I read the stories, I encourage them, they encourage me. We know we’re not going to stay in this shedding process and we’re going to get better but it’s just a comfort,” said Patricia Vancheri of North Fort Lauderdale.

Vancheri was relieved to learn that what she’s experiencing is not directly related to the virus itself.

According to dermatologists, the shedding can last for 6 to 9 months before it stops, at which point most people see their hair start to look normal again.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.