Some people experience prolonged symptoms and long brain fog after recovering from COVID-19. Read this article to know more.
We might feel that a negative result of the COVID-19 test depicts the absence of infection. The majority of the long-haulers test negative for COVID-19 even though they have specific symptoms.
Generally, people fall under two categories. Most of the patients with COVID-19 have milder reactions that usually cure within two weeks. Some patients have severe reactions that might take more than six weeks to recover. It is very puzzling to note that some people have a prolonged duration of symptoms that persists for more than two or three months after the infection. There is no consistent cause for this occurrence of symptoms. This unpredictable group of people are referred to as long-haulers. These long-haulers have a mixture of both mild and severe symptoms. It is not specific for any age group, but it is particularly noted in people who have a previous history of chronic conditions. It is also impossible for the doctors at this stage to predict the average duration of these long-haul symptoms. People who are long-haulers are less contagious to spread the infection actively.
The long-haul symptoms of COVID-19 reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:
Shortness of breath.
The other long-term symptoms are:
Brain fog refers to neurological symptoms that affect the nervous system and the brain. Problematic brain fog is a commonly reported long-haul symptom of COVID-19. Brain fog is not a proper medical condition. It is a term that is representing the following symptoms:
Lack of mental clarity.
People who suffer from brain fog lack proper sleep and experience higher levels of stress. Both psychological and physiological alterations cause this brain fog. The infectious particles produced by Coronavirus penetrates the brain and interrupts the communication between the neurons in the brain. As a result, there is an inflammation in the brain that might end up in impairment of cognitive functions. There are also other ways where COVID-19 indirectly leads to the symptoms of brain fog. They are:
Feelings of loneliness.
Poor sleep quality.
Increased stress or anxiety.
Decreased physical activity.
Side effects of certain medications.
The exact duration of brain fog has not been identified yet. The medical reports suggest that the symptoms can last up to a few months in patients even after the recovery from the respiratory symptoms. In 2020, a particular study established that 28 percent of the patients had a problem in concentration for more than 100 days after they were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. Another study shows that 55 percent of the patients had continuous neurological problems even after three months of their recovery from illness. The neurological symptoms included fatigue, visual disturbances, headache, and mood changes.
Brain fog can be overcome by implementing healthy lifestyle habits during the COVID-19 season.
You are advised to perform regular exercises. Make sure these exercises are beneficial for the lungs and heart. It is also a good idea to do an exercise that could enhance your brain function.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption. Alcohol and tobacco products can increase the inflammatory condition of the brain. So you are recommended to refrain from these.
Have a sound sleep. Peaceful sleeping can help you recover from your brain fog with the help of the body’s reparative mechanism.
Eat a balanced diet. Having a healthy and balanced diet can help in refreshing your body by providing proper nourishment.
Curing the long-haul symptoms of COVID-19 is a real challenge for doctors because clear details are not obtained for these long-haul symptoms. These long-haul symptoms can present themselves in various ways so that the doctors are struggling to get a uniform treatment approach. Initially, doctors will identify whether the patient has any pathological conditions. On such examinations, if the patient is identified to have inflammation in the lungs, then the patient will be treated with the help of an inhaler. If the patient experiences any discomfort in the chest, then the patient will be suggested anti-inflammatory drugs.
After ruling out the causes of the patient’s symptoms, support will be provided by the medical team. Both physical and psychological help will be provided to the patient as the person who suffers may or may not have the same effects of COVID-19.
Long-haulers are not in a life-threatening state because they have already overcome the active COVID-19 infection. However, the existence of long-term symptoms can be annoying to the patients. The patient requires strong emotional support and a positive mentality for overcoming the long-term effects. One of the saddest news is that many people are expected to face the long-haul effects of COVID-19. In such cases, the world is expected to face a health crisis even after the struggles of the pandemic. Precautionary measures can be taken by testing the patient for respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, behavioral, and pulmonary health. If any abnormalities are detected even after the recovery, the patient should look forward to medical care as a protection measure. In addition to this, patients should be instructed to stay hydrated well and get adequate sleep. Stress management strategies should be taught to the patients.
The long-haulers can still get the COVID-19 vaccinations irrespective of whether they are facing symptoms or not. Before receiving the vaccine, they have to perform a COVID-19 test again. If any of the people show positive for the COVID-19 test, then it is necessary to wait for another ten days before receiving the vaccine.
You need medical attention when you experience the following problems:
Lung function abnormalities.
Inflammation of the heart muscle.
Rash and hair loss.
Acute kidney injury.
Smell and taste problems.
Changes in mood.
Call a doctor online for more help.
Last reviewed at:
16 Apr 2021 - 4 min read
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