Long COVID happens if specific symptoms persist beyond two months after an initial COVID-19 infection. In this case, your doctor cannot find another possible diagnosis for your symptoms. This article examines long COVID symptoms, how long you can have them, and the best ways to manage them.
What Are the Symptoms of Long COVID?
Long COVID symptoms can include the following:
● Stomach upset
● Shortness of breath
According to a 2021 study, occasional headaches and fatigue are the most common long COVID symptoms. Individuals with long COVID have also recorded symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means they may experience anxiety or flashbacks related to their illness.
How Long Do Long COVID Symptoms Last?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), post-COVID conditions can last weeks, months, or even longer. The same 2021 study, which involved 558 users of the COVID symptom study app, revealed that 2.3% reported having COVID symptoms lasting longer than 12 weeks.
However, some users did not report experiencing long COVID symptoms until 151 days after their initial corona diagnosis.
What Factors Can Alter the Duration of Long COVID Symptoms?
There are different factors that can make you experience this condition more often, including:
● Living with obesity or being overweight
● Having a chronic health condition
● Experiencing more than five different symptoms when you have COVID-19
How Can You Manage the Symptoms of Long COVID?
Treatments and management for long COVID centers around supportive care. This means a healthcare professional will examine your symptoms and recommend treatments to help you relieve them. Examples of these treatments include:
● Medications such as inhalers to improve your lung function
● Physical therapy or a monitored exercise program
● Therapy to address depression, anxiety, or PTSD symptoms
When Should You Contact a Doctor?
If your symptoms are not a medical emergency but interfere with your daily life, talk with a healthcare professional. They can test for other symptom-causing conditions. If they diagnose you with long COVID, they can refer you to other specialists.
More studies about how long COVID symptoms can last need to be conducted. Current reports indicate that people with long COVID record symptoms lasted six months or longer. Given the fact these symptoms fluctuate, knowing how long they last is currently difficult to determine.
If you suspect you might be experiencing long COVID symptoms, consult your doctor about possible treatments.