Recovery for Those with Long-Haul Covid-19 Symptoms
While the majority of people who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms get better within a few weeks, many are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms that linger. These long-lasting COVID symptoms can sometimes last for months at a time.
So, what exactly do we know about these long-haul COVID-19 symptoms, how should you deal with these symptoms, and when should you seek medical help? Read on to find out.
What to Know About Long-Haul COVID
It’s still unclear exactly what the long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19 are. It seems that people who have had COVID-19 are more at risk of symptoms like mobility issues, pain, anxiety, and depression.
Most people who get COVID-19 will recover within a few weeks, but a small percentage of people may continue to have these symptoms for many months. Thankfully, it seems that even with long-haul COVID symptoms, recovery is still possible. Early research suggests that those with long-haul COVID will recover within a year.
Long COVID Symptoms
While people seem to experience long-lasting COVID symptoms differently, some symptoms seem to be common in most cases—almost everyone with long-lasting COVID reports that they feel very fatigued and struggle to complete everyday tasks.
Patients report experiencing various combinations of the symptoms below:
- Shortness of breath
- “Brain fog” or difficulty concentrating
- Stomach or chest pain
- Sleep issues
- Change in taste or smell
- Mood changes
The duration of recovery is different for everyone, and the chances of having long-haul COVID-19 does not seem to be linked with how sick you were when you first got COVID.
Dealing With Symptoms
The most common post-COVID symptom, by far, is fatigue. More and more patients have been reporting – even the previously active – getting tired after doing ordinary daily tasks or activities, such as walking the dog.
“Brain fog” or difficulty thinking is another common symptom among COVID long-haulers. A lot of patients find that this frequent symptom is interfering with their lives, especially for those in the workplace.
Today, there are multidisciplinary team of specialists, COVID recovery clinics, and therapists who work with patients to help them with their long haul COVID symptoms. For instance, people who experience chronic fatigue are encouraged to build their endurance with the help of low-impact activities like yoga.
Medical professionals have found that making small, regular adjustments, like taking time to jot down notes, can enhance everyday functioning to those suffering from brain fog. Led by a pulmonologist, specific breathing exercises can help improve lingering lung issues.
When to Talk to a Doctor
You should see a doctor if you continue to have symptoms of COVID for more than 4 weeks after you initially contracted it. While long-haul COVID still isn’t fully understood, it’s important that you see a doctor rule out other things that could be causing your symptoms.
You can expect the doctor to do things like checking your blood pressure and heart rate, do blood tests, and give you a chest x-ray.
You Can Recover From COVID-19 Symptoms
If you feel like you have long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, it’s important for you to remember that recovery is possible. If you’re feeling constantly tired, it’s easy to fall into hopelessness, but the evidence suggests you will eventually make a recovery.
With that said, it’s crucial that you get the right medical advice. You shouldn’t just assume you’ll recover in time as you also need to rule out other possible conditions.
If you feel like your condition suddenly takes a turn for the worst, you should go to an emergency room such as Physicians Premier, your local ER in Bryan, TX as soon as possible.
Huang, Lixue, et al. “1-Year Outcomes in Hospital Survivors with COVID-19: A Longitudinal Cohort Study,” The Lancet 398, no. 10302 (28 August 2021): 747–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)01755-4
“Post-COVID Conditions,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects.html
“COVID-19 (coronavirus): Long-term effects,” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351
Shelley, Allison. “Long-Haul COVID Brings Long Road to Recovery,” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210630/long-haul-covid-brings-long-road-to-recovery