COVID-19 "Long Haulers" Q & A
What are COVID-19 “long haulers”?
COVID-19 “long haulers” are people who experience bothersome symptoms three months or more after recovering from COVID-19.
Because the coronavirus is so new, experts aren’t sure how long it takes to fully recover. Some people return to their normal routine relatively quickly, but others need to recuperate for weeks or even months.
Anyone can become a COVID-19 “long hauler,” but several factors may increase your risk. You’re more likely to become a “long hauler” if you’re 50 or older, have two or three chronic conditions, or fell very ill at the time of your diagnosis.
What symptoms do COVID-19 “long haulers” experience?
COVID-19 “long haulers” can develop an array of symptoms. The team at South Valley Neurology focuses on those that affect your brain and cognitive function, including:
- Changes to your senses of smell or taste
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Attention difficulties
- Lack of concentration
How does COVID-19 affect the body?
COVID-19 affects the body in various ways. Once you’re infected, the virus attacks your immune system and nerves. Researchers aren’t entirely sure how or why this occurs, but they’re learning more every day.
Preliminary data suggests COVID-19 may cause myalgic encephalomyelitis or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. If you’re a COVID-19 “long hauler” you’re also at an increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome.
What should I do if I am a COVID-19 “long hauler”?
If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and your symptoms last for weeks or months, contact South Valley Neurology. During your initial consultation, the team conducts a physical and neurological exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle.
If these measures aren’t enough to pinpoint the underlying cause of your discomfort, the team might order additional tests like bloodwork, urinalysis, or diagnostic imaging. The team uses the results of your tests to develop a custom care plan that restores your health and vitality.
The on-staff neurologists regularly work with patients to safely treat common “long hauler” symptoms like brain fog, memory issues, pain, and headaches.
To learn more about treatment for COVID-19 “long haulers,” request a consultation at South Valley Neurology. Request an appointment online or call our Morgan Hill office today.