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Long COVID refers to prolonged symptoms of the COVID-19 virus persisting more than a few weeks after transmission. As of this writing, long COVID treatment strategies remain in their infancy. However, healthcare professionals can help alleviate some of the most common symptoms of this condition.
In this article, we explain the causes of long COVID and which symptoms you might experience during infection.
Common Causes of Long COVID
According to the CDC, over 100 million Americans have contracted the COVID-19 virus since the first report in 2019. While most people overcame their symptoms within two to three weeks of their initial infection date, a sizable portion of infected individuals experienced symptoms lasting months or even years.
Long COVID can hinder your daily life and contribute to many health complications. Researchers are still attempting to understand the COVID-19 virus and its many variants. However, some theories highlight reasons for these prolonged symptoms, including:
- Blood clots preventing the immune system from fighting off the virus
- Persistent viruses replicating themselves in the body
- Inadequate immune responses to the virus
Older adults and those who have already contracted COVID-19 at least once are at higher risk of developing long COVID symptoms.
Getting a Long COVID Diagnosis
Rapid testing is the most effective way to screen yourself for the COVID-19 virus. You won’t know if you have long COVID until several weeks after your infection. If your symptoms persist, it’s best to seek long COVID treatment from a licensed physician.
They can assess your condition and rule out any underlying or preexisting conditions that may cause symptoms to persist. Additionally, they can develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help you manage some of your symptoms.
Typical Long COVID Symptoms
Here are five of the most common long COVID symptoms you may experience:
Muscle fatigue and drowsiness are two symptoms commonly observed in COVID-19 patients. These conditions develop when the body’s immune system works overtime to fight off the virus.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can lead to reduced awareness, low energy, and depression.
Chest pain can be alarming, especially if it persists for months. Those who experience chest pain from long COVID may have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing during basic activities. In severe cases, these symptoms can lead to hospitalization or death.
Call 911 if you experience severe chest pain or cannot breathe.
A study completed for the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine reported that out of 150 COVID patients observed, nearly 70% experienced mild to severe muscle soreness.
Many patients start to feel “healthy” after their muscle pain goes away. Unfortunately, those who have long COVID may experience these symptoms for months. Chiropractors and physical therapists may be able to alleviate some muscle pain symptoms through light exercise and massage therapy.
Changes in Taste and Smell
The COVID-19 virus can diminish your sense of taste and smell. While this problem is less harmful to your long-term health than other symptoms, it can significantly reduce your quality of life.
Many people who lose their sense of taste and smell due to long COVID may notice that these senses come back several months later. However, these senses may not be as potent as before infection.
Stomach pain caused by long COVID can lead to persistent diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite. A combination of these symptoms could land you in the hospital. A physician can help you restore your body’s nutrient balance through supplements and dieting.
They may also prescribe medication to reduce nausea and pain.
Long COVID Treatment in NYC
Doctors can treat your long COVID symptoms with conventional medication or non-invasive physical therapy. Depending on the severity of your condition, they may recommend a combination of treatment options for the best results.
For example, a neurologist can inspect your brain and spine to identify any problems that long COVID symptoms may be causing to your cognitive function or brain health. A pain management specialist can target your muscle soreness and stomach pains through weeks of hands-on long COVID treatment.
Your physician will keep track of your progress and adjust your recovery plan as needed. They will also provide professional advice on managing your symptoms at home.
Manage Symptoms at a Long Haul COVID Clinic in NYC
Managing the symptoms of long COVID can be tiring. However, you don’t have to do it alone. At Medical Clinics of New York City, we can provide effective long COVID treatment corresponding to your age, gender, and medical history.
Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.
We can also help you understand long COVID as a neurological condition if you are experiencing cognitive symptoms of the disease.
Contact Medical Clinics of New York City in New York, NY. Schedule an appointment with our long COVID doctors at 877-465-7360.
FAQs About Long COVID
Here are some questions you may have about long COVID:
How Common Is Long COVID?
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, long COVID affects about 15% of adults in the United States. Between 2022 and 2023, this percentage fell from 19%, indicating a decrease in prevalence. You can experience the symptoms of long COVID at any age.
Does Long COVID Ever Go Away?
The symptoms of long COVID can spontaneously disappear. Many people report having symptoms for months or even years before no longer experiencing them. Others also report a reemergence of symptoms weeks after they disappear.
How Can I Deal With Long COVID Brain Fog?
You can reduce brain fog with regular exercise and yoga. Meditation also clears the mind and improves focus. A licensed physician from Medical Clinics of New York City can help you plan your long COVID treatment.