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Everything tastes bad to Jasper man after COVID-19

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Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:57 PM CST
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JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - Imagine losing your senses of smell and taste. How would you feel if they then came back, but everything now smelled or tasted bad?

Ty Hunter’s relationship with food is a little complicated. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas day 2020 and lost his senses of taste and smell. In late March, they came back, but a few weeks later something changed.

He went out for Taco Bell and assumed the meat had gone bad in his meal, but then he noticed the same taste the next morning in his morning coffee, a taste that’s a little hard to describe.

”The best I could do is rotten flesh mixed with chemicals. As gross as that sounds, it’s about as close as I can get to it. It’s not a smell that you’ve smelled before,” said Ty Hunter.

This is a phenomenon called parosmia, and Ty says that since then, about 90% of all foods have that taste to him.

But it’s not just food. It’s soaps, perfumes, colognes, shampoos, almost anything with a smell.

He and his wife found a Facebook group of people going through the same thing after getting the virus. They can all sympathize with how difficult this has made his life.

”I know that I’m not speaking alone with people with parosmia, if I could go back and lose my sense of smell and taste I would do it in a heartbeat,” said Ty.

His wife has had to step in and help him judge things he can’t tell apart. She’s like his seeing eye dog, but with smells.

”It’s interesting because there will be some times he’s like, ‘do I smell okay?’ and I’m like, ‘no, no you don’t smell okay. You should probably hop back in the shower,’” said Hayley Hunter.

He knows from the Facebook group that some people recover in a few weeks, but others have had it longer than he has, so there’s no way to know when, or if, it will go away.

”Hopefully it’s something that, hopefully one day I’ll wake up and, you know, everything will be normal, but we just don’t know,” said Ty.

Ty says he’s learned through the Facebook group, people with parosmia don’t always think the same things taste bad, and there’s only one drink all of them agree tastes normal: Dr. Pepper.

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