Health & Fit TikTok Users Are Flicking Each Other In the Head to Regain Taste and Smell After COVID-19 — But Does It Work?
COVID-19 Smell And Taste Loss: How Long It Lasts, And How To Deal With It
For millions of COVID-19 survivors, the struggle back to health often is slow and painful. And for many, that recovery comes with a lingering and disheartening symptom ― a loss of smell and taste. Just when the body needs nourishment to fight back against the disease, every bite of food is utterly tasteless. “I’m a foodie, so not being able to smell or taste anything put me into a depression,” Jane Nilan, a coronavirus survivor, told HuffPost. The Minneapolis resident contracted the illness in mid-March, when much less was known about the symptoms and trajectory of the disease.
From fever and aches to labored breathing and lingering coughs,are far from a walk in the park — and the is no exception. Over the past several months, plenty of people have taken to the internet to share their struggles about regaining their sense of smell and taste after having the virus, which has opened the door for hacks galore, including the by storm in December.
Now, there's another taste- and smell-reviving solution that's making the rounds on the social media platform. And it's…different. (Meanwhile, aon the 'Tok.)
Fauci Issues COVID Vaccine Allergy Warning
"What the Pfizer people are saying is that if you have a history of a severe allergic reaction, you should not take this vaccine," said Fauci.In clinical trials, the vaccine was tested on 44,000 people and found to be safe and 95 percent effective. It has been authorized for emergency use and is rolling out to healthcare workers across the country. Pfizer had previously warned that people who've experienced severe allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis—a swelling of the throat that impairs breathing and can be fatal if not treated—may want to avoid it.
The remedy can be traced back to aposted on Monday by TikTok user @ . In the clip, which has earned 1.5 million likes and counting, @hildsymarie quickly shares a clip of a TV segment with a text caption that reads, "I saw a video about how to get taste and smell back and guys PLEASE stick around till the end."
From there, she jumps in front of the camera, announces that she's "getting [her] taste and smell back after two months of COVID," and starts doing some kind of chiropractic movement, in which she puts a finger on her forehead, while someone flicks her in the back of the head.
She then hops back in front of the camera with the text caption, "It seemed too good to be true..." and starts sniffing what appears to be an essential oil. Within seconds, a shocked look comes over her face as she tells someone, "Oh my gosh. I can smell! I'm not kidding!"
These 2 Strange Symptoms Could Mean You've Already Had COVID
These two intimate symptoms may affect your sexual and reproductive health long after your other COVID symptoms have subsided.
"But guys I am so serious…I am not reacting for views," she writes in a new caption that's then followed by another saying, "everyone who doesn't have smell needs to do this." (Related:)
As the post comes to an end, @hildsymarie gushes that about 15 minutes post-head flick (LOL) she can now supposedly taste raspberries. "I don't even know what to say," she writes in the final text caption. "I am shaking."
Plenty of people in the comments swore by the trick, too. "My mom hasn't had her taste or smell since Thanksgiving from COVID and she did this and it worked," one person wrote. Another shared, "Bro it actually worked." But that was not the case for everyone. "I haven't been able to smell for nine months after COVID, and it didn't work," someone else commented.
In, @hildsymarie encourages viewers to check out the "original" that explains the treatment. In the clip, which was shot by local news outlet AZ Family, chiropractor Kevin Ross, D.C., says that the manipulation works by stimulating the (a nerve that's essential to your sense of smell) and taste buds. "It's literally just a flick on the back of the head," says Ross in the original TV clip. "The second part is they stick their tongue out and touch their finger to the tongue. Same thing again, flick them on the back of the head."
Dr. Fauci Just Said When We Get Back to "Normal"
In an exclusive interview with Meet The Press, U.S. Surgeon-General nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy says it is more realistic to assume that it will be closer "to mid summer or early fall when the vaccine makes its way to the general population."
He continues in the video, saying he understands that the manipulation looks wonky, but adds that the goal is "just trying to get that nervous system to re-fire."
Wait, what? Is this really science? And does this home remedy actually help you regain a sense of smell and taste after recovering from COVID?
Here's the thing: There is zero scientific literature that supports being flicked in the back of the head to restore your sense of taste and smell — and that makes it clearly tricky for doctors to recommend it. "Any legitimate therapeutical intervention should have valid clinical research supporting the efficacy of the claim," says Eric Holbrook, M.D., director of rhinology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear who researches anosmia (aka loss of smell).
Tran Locke, M.D., an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine calls the trick "interesting" but says that she has "reservations on its effectiveness at restoring post-viral smell loss." (Related:)
Dr. Fauci Has This Message of Hope for 2021
"I will guarantee you this will end," he said. But we all have to do this first.As COVID-19 vaccines have begun to roll out to healthcare workers, Fauci and other public health officials have urged Americans to stay vigilant about protective measures like mask wearing, social distancing and handwashing to stem spread of the virus.
Smell is a "complex process," says Dr. Locke, and it involves communication between your nose and your brain. "When smell molecules enter our nose, they stimulate olfactory nerve cells which are located high up in the nasal cavity," explains Dr. Locke. "These nerves then send signals to the brain to help us interpret what we're smelling."
If this weirdstill evades your understanding, just know that the two senses are related, she adds. "When we eat, odor from food wafts into the nose from the back of the throat and enhances what we taste, contributing to flavor," shares Dr. Locke. "It's actually flavor that disappears when we lose our sense of smell."
Because of the complexity of smell and taste, Sunthosh Sivam, M.D., an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine says it's "highly unlikely" that getting flicked in your head would help restore your senses. "The idea that a brief vibration — flicking — to your olfactory bulbs and tongue would undo nerve damage is not supported by any evidence," he says. "Furthermore, this type of therapy is not effective with other types of nerve injury that we treat as head and neck surgeons."
What might be helpful, however, is trying something called scent training, adds Dr. Holbrook. There are a few ways to go about it but, it generally involves sniffing a strong, familiar scent such as peppermint or cinnamon while remembering how the scent should smell. Loss of taste and smell unfortunately isn't unique to COVID-19, and, that have suggested that people have had at least some of their smell come back after trying scent training. Why it might work is still a mystery. What doctors do know, though, is that you have to do this consistently over a period of weeks and maybe even months for any results at all. "It's like physical therapy for the nose, and like any physical therapy, it requires repetition, patience, and dedication," explains Dr. Locke.
That said, if you've lost your sense of taste and smell and you're ready to try basically anything (i.e. getting flicked in the back of the head) to start feeling normal again, Dr. Locke says there's no real harm in trying it. "However, I do recommend that patients who have smell loss for more than two weeks see their physician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist to rule out other potential causes of smell loss."
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. As updates about coronavirus COVID-19 continue to evolve, it's possible that some information and recommendations in this story have changed since initial publication. We encourage you to check in regularly with resources such as the, the , and your local public health department for the most up-to-date data and recommendations.
100 Low-Calorie Dinners That Make It Easy to Eat Healthy .
Break up with heavy, high-calorie meals. These healthy, low-calorie dinners have less than 400 calories per serving, making it easy to enjoy a healthier meal with the family. The post 100 Healthy, Low-Calorie Dinners to Make in the New Year appeared first on Taste of Home.