The number of patients with long COVID may be decreasing, but those still experiencing the condition need reliable treatments and resources for recovery more than ever.
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Struggling to fall asleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night from a strange nightmare? Rising exhausted in the morning? These are all signs that you may suffer from COVID-related insomnia — colloquially known as COVIDsomnia or coronasomnia.
Most patients with COVID-19 recover within a few days or weeks after a brief acute infection. However, about 10% experience long-term symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, and even psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Experiencing these persistent symptoms is known as long COVID, long-haul COVID or post-acute sequelae of SARS-Cov-2 infection (PASC).
At the moment, treatment options for long COVID patients are limited. Many patients cope with their symptoms using existing medications or treatments targeting specific symptoms like headaches or sleep problems, but these efforts are just stopgaps. They don’t actually resolve the underlying cause of symptoms associated with long COVID. Researchers know there is a growing need to identify new and effective treatments for these patients.
Long COVID symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, poor endurance, and respiratory problems can have a significant impact on your daily routine. Some long COVID patients’ symptoms are so severe that they need a reduced work schedule or are no longer working due to their illness. Persistent symptoms can follow both mild COVID and cases that required treatment in the ICU.
COVID-19 can affect the autonomic and central nervous systems. It can affect organ systems directly through infection or indirectly via dysfunction in the nervous system. That means a host of crazy-sounding symptoms — such as blood pressure changes, memory and attention issues, and gastrointestinal upset — are possible during and after COVID. But many of the lingering, post-COVID symptoms are related to nervous system dysfunction.
When most people think of COVID-19 symptoms, they often recall the most common acute symptoms: brain fog, sore throat, congestion, headaches, and the like. What many don’t know is that long COVID can affect your vision for months after contracting the illness.
Long COVID is real. Data shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the Household Pulse Survey (July/August 2022) show that more than 40% of adults in the United States have had COVID-19, and nearly one in three of them (approximately 30%) experience symptoms for more than three months after their original acute infection. Not all patients with long COVID are severely affected, but the report estimates that two to four million Americans are currently unable to work because of persistent COVID symptoms.
Memory and attention problems are common in long COVID patients: A recent study showed that 70% of COVID long haulers experience memory and concentration difficulties for months after their initial disease. If you’re one of them, you might struggle to focus on work, forget where you left your keys, struggle to remember an acquaintance’s name, or space out unintentionally during a conversation.
COVID-19 can cause cognitive symptoms in some patients, such as short-term memory loss, difficulties concentrating, problems recalling words, and brain fog (a condition known as long COVID). While most initial studies focused on patients hospitalized with severe COVID symptoms, it became apparent that most long COVID patients developed their condition after only a mild case of COVID.
More than 20 million Americans have lingering symptoms that can be described as long COVID (or “post-COVID conditions”), but doctors and scientists are still researching why it develops. As a result, these patients often struggle to get a diagnosis and find a suitable treatment for their condition.
If you’ve been experiencing headaches for weeks, or even months, after your initial COVID infection, you are not alone. Headaches are one of the most common neurological symptoms being experienced by COVID-19 long-haulers, and some patients even experience daily, persistent headaches. But they’re often just one of many symptoms long COVID patients report. Other common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, gastrointestinal issues, and more.
When the pandemic started, we were told that children wouldn’t be seriously affected by the virus. And while most children only experience a mild version of the disease, evidence shows that some children are at risk of developing persistent symptoms after their initial COVID-19 infection.
More than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the list of symptoms caused by the virus keeps getting longer. In addition to the most common symptoms of a persistent dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, many patients experience an array of seemingly random body changes both during and after the acute phase of the disease. We’ll discuss a number of them, including but not limited to:
Fatigue is a common symptom of viral infection, and having fatigue with a COVID-19 infection is no exception. But the severity and longevity of that fatigue is what sets COVID-19 apart from the common cold or even the flu. You might…
Many patients have heard of the most common long-term effects of COVID-19: symptoms such as breathing issues, brain fog, and constant fatigue. But there is mounting evidence that COVID-19 may also affect sexual health negatively in both men and women. Men who hadn’t previously had problems of this nature have started developing erectile dysfunction (ED) after their COVID-19 infection.
Most people who get infected with the coronavirus recover within a few weeks. However, some continue to experience symptoms weeks or even months after they are infected. They have what are known as long-haul symptoms of COVID-19. As such, they are sometimes called COVID-19 long-haulers. Sometimes, even patients who had a mild or asymptomatic coronavirus infection can become long-haulers.
You’d think a family of eight with the foresight to pull their children out of school earlier than the rest of the nation would be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, seven out of the eight family members contracted the coronavirus at the very beginning of the pandemic, back when testing was frustratingly difficult to obtain, and our knowledge about the disease was limited.
While recovering from COVID-19, you may find yourself getting breathless easily from activities that didn’t used to tire you, like carrying laundry or walking up the stairs.