Loss of smell is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19, alongside a loss of taste, persistent cough, and high temperature
A 12-week trial will look into whether or not nasal drops can help those who had lost their sense of smell after having the coronavirus.
The “Apollo trial” will treat people who have experienced a loss of smell or altered sense of smell because of coronavirus using vitamin A nasal drops.
The University of East Anglia (UEA) has said that research from Germany has shown that the potential benefit of vitamin A, and its team “will explore how this treatment works to help repair tissues in the nose damaged by viruses”.
This comes after thousands of people, including key NHS staff and teachers have said that they are unable to get to work due as a result of the national fuel shortage crisis, with some facing the prospect of potentially returning to working from home where possible.
They hope that the trial “could one day help improve the lives of millions around the world who suffer from smell loss, by returning their fifth sense”.
It comes foolowing an international group of experts being advised against the use of steroids in order to treat loss of smell, instead of suggesting “smell training”.
One of the experts, Professor Carl Philpott from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said there was “very little evidence” steroids will help with smell loss.
Instead, they have “potential side effects including fluid retention, high blood pressure, and problems with mood swings and behaviour”, he said.
Scientists recommended sniffing at least four different odours, twice daily, for several months.
Prof Philpott said that this method “aims to help recovery based on neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganise itself to compensate for a change or injury”.
This comes after NHS staff have voted overwhelmingly in opposition to the government’s 3% pay rise as Britain’s biggest health union had warned thousands of workers are “fed up of being taken for granted”.
Those who are interested in participating in the university’s vitamin A study are being asked to seek a referral from their GP to the Smell and Taste Clinic located at the James Paget Hospital in Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth.
The study, which the National Institute for Health Research is funding, will begin recruiting participants in December.