‘It’s indescribable’: teen faces 8 month battle with distorted taste and smell

It's been a hard 8 months for 13-year-old Reagan Springer. The teenager describes taste and smell of food as indescribable and disgusting.
Reagan Springer, 13, suffers from a condition called Parosmia, brought on after the loss of taste and smell from COVID starts to come back. (Source: KLKN)
Reagan Springer, 13, suffers from a condition called Parosmia, brought on after the loss of taste and smell from COVID starts to come back.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – It’s been a hard 8 months for 13-year-old Reagan Springer. The teenager describes taste and smell of food as indescribable and disgusting.

“It makes me feel nauseous and it makes me feel like I can like just puke and it’s not good,” Springer said.

She along with others in the past two years are suffering from a condition called Parosmia, brought on after the loss of taste and smell from COVID starts to come back.

“I maybe had seen a few people with it before COVID, and now almost everybody who had COVID and lost their smell, and it hasn’t come back,” Dr. Aaron Robinson, an otolaryngologist with CHI Health, said. “Or, it’s starting to come back in, in like six months from the time they were sick. They’re having this symptom.”

For Reagan, it’s changed her day to day life, her family even keeping chip clips on hand so she can plug her nose and not get sick when they are cooking in the kitchen. It’s not just at home, school is a struggle too.

“During lunchtime, I can’t even be in the lunchroom. I go sit in student services with one friend. It’s like, if I’m in a classroom, I smell a smell like, I’ll walk out crying,” Reagan said.

She said it’s been isolating at times and frustrating when she feels like no one understands.

Dr. Robinson says it’s hard to say exactly why this exhausting after effect happens but it’s almost harder for some to find a fix. So far, Robinson has seen the most success in smell retraining. He said it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone but with no for sure cure, it’s a solid place to start.

As for Reagan’s recovery, she’s not sure how much longer it will take for her to get back to normal, but she’s already got her first meal picked out for when it happens. Pasta. Her hope by sharing her story, is to remind others going through the same thing, they are not alone.

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