Losing Sense of Smell Because of Flu

First of all, not COVID related. Tested PCR twice at different place, both showed negative.

So, has anyone ever experienced losing sense of smelling because of flu? This is the first time for me experiencing it and I'm a bit worried.

If yes, how long will it come back to you based on your experience? GP says can take up to a month to fully get it back…is this true?


  • Are you sure that you have flu and not a common cold?

  • +6

    sounds like a peeltheonion sort of thread

    • Are you hearing instead of reading?

  • +4

    Common symptom
    Will go with the flu

  • +29

    GP says can take up to a month to fully get it back…is this true?

    Yeah, Screw what the GP says, lets see what the internet and random internet strangers think is normal 😂

    • +1

      GP only gave one opinion, sample size is too small.

      • +1

        I'm not sure it'd be very helpful if a GP gave more than one opinion.

      • I know (well, presume) this is tongue in cheek, but it is actually a good point.

        Any practitioner only has their own training and experience to rely on. This is why, if you have any doubts or concerns that you feel your current practitioner is not addressing appropriately, that you should seek a second opinion.

        Having said that, some people take this a bit too far and go with the X number of random uneducated opinions (X likely being smaller than you think…), as they are far better than 1 expert opinion…

    • -1

      OzBargainDoctors FTW!

  • +3

    can you smell tea ? taro? milk ?

  • +1

    I had covid and this symptom.

    Doctor is right, took a month. Read anecdotical evidence (scientific paper) that caffeine helps recovery, I was on 2 cups of coffee.

    • Medicinal coffee. I like.

      • The booster shot I look forward to.

  • +1

    Tested PCR twice at different place, both showed negative.
    well, could be the new covid variant that is still undetected by any PCR


  • +7

    This is a perfectly normal symptom. You do realise losing smell is a classic symptom of influenza. It's just that the media started to use it as a strong point to get people tested and vaccinated.

    God forbid, even a nasty cold can cause the symptoms you have described. Keep warm and use heating, but also keep the humidity in check.

    Here we go, for an authoritative source:

    So, why are more people becoming aware of the symptom? Well, for one, it's being pushed in the media. Usually if you are sick with the flu, your foods will taste different too sometimes. This is because you probably couldn't smell it properly, but in the past most people do not realise it. The fact that you are paying conscious attention to the loss of smell is where the kicker comes into the covid narrative.

    Anyway, now we got that out of the way. Have you made a decision on whether the media is trying to influence you in some way?

    • +3

      What a joke, provide facts and get screwed by votes

      Your Local GP will even tell you loss of smell was always a symptom of colds and flu….

      It always has been. This is not a mandala effect fools.

      • +5

        Welcome to ozbargain, facts are not tolerated unless approved by Karl Stefanovic and Koshie.

        • and a lot of simple truths will be too much to cope with for many

    • Death is also a symptom of the common cold. Everyone always knew this. In 2019, there were around 500 deaths from influenza, not one mentioned by the media.

      Fast forward a few months and every individual case of a virus makes the 6pm headlines. Every death is treated like a national tragedy. Every remote possibility of spreading it is deemed an act of terrorism. Any reluctance to unconditionally accepting a brand new way of life forced onto us overnight is considered selfish. The mere thought of going out without a mask was treated like a school shooting complex. "Scary man trying to hurt you, booga booga booga!"

      I'm sorry, I don't buy the whole "but this was different, it was an unknown virus!" Rational societies do not behave this way. We got so carried away it became an international meme. We FREAKING purpose built quarantine camps just for this thing. To say we got carried away is an understatement.

      As time moves on, more people are realising it was all hysteria. Those who still insist on wearing masks and lining up for a jab are the cult minority, and with hope they will be stigmatised back into normal life by the time their children grow.

  • Are you a smoker?

  • covid

  • +5

    Do nasal rinse https://www.drugs.com/cg/nasal-rinse.html

    and this will assist you with the cleaning of thick mucus that is building up inside and will give you relief to breathe and will assist you to get your smell back.

  • +3

    It's not strange to lose your sense of taste and smell when you get a cold. For me it usually happens a few days after onset of the other symptoms (e.g. aches and pains, runny nose). For me it lasts about a week and then I slowly begin to smell and taste things again. It's very annoying when it happens. In case it helps, here's how I try and help it along:

    1. I drink lots of water to make sure my body can filter out the bad stuff
    2. I blow my nose (aloe vera tissues to prevent sores around my nose). I always wash my hands after.
    3. I take cold and flu meds, particularly to help sleep.
    4. I try and go easy on myself.

    Hope this helps.

  • just to be weird, I normally have no sense of smell EXCEPT when I get a cold or sinusitis.

    • Same. Heightened sensitivity to smells with cold/flu

  • +3

    Yep, happens to me every time I get a cold/the flu, along with loss of taste. Has happened since I was a kid (I'm 44) so it's not just a "COVID thing". Usually comes back within a week. It's annoying, especially when you're the one who cooks, and can't tell if the food is any good! Hope you're feeling better soon.

    • ah thank you! and you were also right that I'm the one who cook lol so it is very annoying to lose something that you are so used to depend on.

  • I can smell a rat

  • +1

    Happened to me in the past, came back about 2 weeks later. It really sucks, hope you get well soon!

  • +1

    If you can smell durian, then you should be fine.

  • Has happened to ppl I know….still not back after 10 months.

  • Yep, I had a reduction in sense of smell / taste with Covid, but a complete loss with a cold that progressed to sinusitis.

  • Lost sense of smell and taste over 10 yrs ago due to flu and it has never come back. Reasonably common according to specialist I saw.

    • +1

      Look like you have a serious sinusitis issue and need to be attended by an ENT specialist.

      I had this issue and felt I am eating food just to fill my stomach as no flavours are experienced only sweet, sour, chilli and bitter tastes feels on tongue. When I met the ENT surgeon he advise me that he is not sure if I can regain my smell sensory nerve back because if we don't use it for a long time then that nerve stops sending a message to the brain over the time and that cell in the brain get defunct.

      To cut the story short I went ahead as I still smell my wife's perfume if I take a deep breath and luckily I regain my smell and you will not believe how much I started enjoying food again ie cooking and eating.

      So don't miss out on god-given gift of sense and if it stops working visit your GP and ENT surgeon and go ahead with the surgery. if needed.

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