Long COVID: Symptoms and Help for COVID Long Haulers - HelpGuide.org (2022)

Have the aftereffects of COVID-19 left you with fatigue, depression, anxiety, or sleep and concentration problems? Here’s how to recognize post-COVID symptoms and get the help you need.

Long COVID: Symptoms and Help for COVID Long Haulers - HelpGuide.org (1)

What is long COVID?

Long COVID is a condition where the effects of COVID-19 linger for weeks or months after the initial illness, even when the virus is no longer detected in the body. While most people who contract coronavirus recover within a few weeks, others experience long-term symptoms that include fatigue, respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, and psychological issues like depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and “brain fog”.

Otherwise known as post-COVID-19 syndrome, long-tail COVID, or long-haul COVID, the effects can impact your ability to work, study, manage your finances, take part in social activities, or make decisions. Even light physical activities, such as housework, driving, or making a phone call can leave you feeling exhausted and aching. You may be unusually forgetful, find it difficult to concentrate on simple tasks, or feel like you’re unable to think straight. Some people with long COVID feel like their head is clouded or in a fog, making it difficult to do math calculations, for example, or find the right word to say. As a “long hauler”, you may also suffer changes in your mood, most commonly exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Of course, because it’s such a new virus, much remains unclear about the lasting effects of COVID-19, including why some people are affected by long COVID, what exactly causes the symptoms, or how long they’re likely to last.

How common is long COVID?

Different studies have varied wildly in their results, estimating that anywhere from 10% to 60% or more of COVID-19 patients may be affected by lingering symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, and mood changes. Even those who weren’t hospitalized and only experienced mild coronavirus symptoms may still experience long COVID. Perhaps the most startling research has suggested that up to one third of COVID-19 survivors are likely to suffer neurological or mental health problems within six months, ranging from mood disorders to dementia or stroke.

If you’ve had and recovered from COVID-19, though, try not to let the numbers alarm you. Many long COVID symptoms are hard to quantify and some may be due to the trauma of the pandemic with all its stress, grief, isolation, and upheaval, rather than the virus itself. After all, how many of us haven’t experienced anxiety, a depressed mood, or had trouble sleeping or concentrating at some point during this difficult time?

The length of the pandemic, its escalating death toll, and all the associated lockdowns, quarantines, and financial hardships have taken a huge toll on our collective mental health, with skyrocketing rates of anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems—all of which can trigger physical symptoms as well.

Similarly, it’s common for long-term health effects such as fatigue, anxiety, and PTSD to follow treatment for any life-threatening illness, especially if it involves hospitalization (in the case of COVID-19, hospitalization coupled with isolation from family and loved ones).

[Read: Coping with a Life-Threatening Illness or Serious Health Event]

Whether your symptoms are directly linked to the virus, a post-viral syndrome, or the effects of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that your suffering is any less real or that you’re powerless to improve how you feel. While there’s still much we don’t know about long COVID, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms, regain your health, and support your mood.

Symptoms of long-haul COVID

There’s no formal definition of long COVID yet. Some medical authorities and researchers define it as extending a few weeks after recovery, others several months. And while there are also no established diagnostic criteria, the most common symptoms reported include:

Physical symptoms

  • Fatigue, muscle aches, and weakness
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint pain
  • Rash or hair loss
  • Intermittent fever
  • Cough

Mental or neurological symptoms

  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Difficulty thinking straight (brain or COVID “fog”)
  • Sleep disruption—ranging from sleeping too much to insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Changes in mood, extreme emotions
  • Altered smell and taste

The nature and extent of symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. Symptoms can also often fluctuate, so you may feel more fatigued one day than the next, for example, find that difficult emotions ebb and flow, or feel less mentally sharp on certain days. You may also face a lack of understanding from others at home or work who feel that you should have recovered by now or even accuse you of malingering. If you’re unable to work, the added stress and worry of losing your income can make your symptoms even worse.

[Read: Coping with Financial Stress]

Less commonly, some people recovering from COVID-19 have serious long-term complications affecting the function of their lungs, kidneys, heart, or brain. Others report a sensitivity to light and sounds, excessive bruising, or numbed limbs. Experiencing such disturbing symptoms can take a further toll on your mental health and well-being.

Causes of long COVID

Post-viral conditions are not unusual; other viral infections can also have long-lasting effects. Meningitis and glandular fever, for example, can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. The 1918 flu pandemic was linked to cases of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), while the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) left some patients suffering flu-like symptoms similar to those of long-haul COVID.

While we don’t know why some people suffer from long COVID and others don’t, contributing factors could include:

(Video) Long COVID - Symptoms and Therapies | COVID-19 Special

  • Inflammation of the brain or immune system caused by the virus.
  • A reduced or absent response from your immune system’s antibodies.
  • Experiencing a relapse or a reinfection of the coronavirus.
  • Trauma following the stress of hospitalization or intensive care.
  • Deconditioning or a decline in your physical health following the period of bedrest and inactivity while infected with COVID-19.
  • Damage to the immune system, lungs, or other organs caused by the virus or low oxygen levels.

What to do if you have long COVID

Since the symptoms and impact of long COVID can vary so much from patient to patient, it’s important to tailor your coping strategies to your specific symptoms. Physical problems such as shortness of breath, fever, and pain may leave you feeling drained of energy, mentally exhausted, and lead to a depressed mood, all of which require different coping skills.

While it can feel overwhelming, there are steps you can take to care for your overall health and ease your distress at this difficult time.

Seek medical help immediately if you experience chest pain, trouble breathing, a profound change in weight, or are unable to stay awake, eat, or drink. Your doctor may also be able to help relieve physical symptoms and rule out any serious complications or underlying causes.

Get vaccinated. While research is ongoing, some long-haulers have reported that having a COVID-19 vaccine has helped relieve their symptoms.

Continue to practice caution to avoid reinfection. Wear a mask if you’re out in public, avoid non-essential travel, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Eat a healthy diet. The food you eat can impact both your mood and your energy levels. Aim to eat a balanced, nutritious diet rich in fruit and vegetables. If your physical symptoms leave you feeling nauseous, try eating little and often and focusing on starchy foods. If you’re too fatigued to shop and prepare your own meals, ask a loved one to help, order groceries online, or subscribe to a meal kit delivery service.

Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Both can disrupt your sleep and adversely affect your immune system. Caffeine may give you a short-term boost but it can lead to a painful crash in energy later.

Quit smoking. Nicotine in tobacco increases your heart rate and blood pressure, irritates your respiratory system, and reduces lung function, all of which will exacerbate symptoms of long COVID. While quitting can be tough, your circulation and breathing will improve very quickly.

Find support. This is a time when you need the help and support of others the most. But feeling persistently fatigued and in pain can make it difficult to reach out and even cause you to withdraw. Some people may find it hard to understand why your symptoms are persisting, making you feel even more isolated and alone. Try contacting an understanding loved one or connecting to an online support group (see the “Get more help” section below).

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(Video) What Causes Long Covid and Who Is Most at Risk? | WSJ

In addition to taking care of your overall health and wellness, you can use the following tips to cope with some of the most common symptoms of long COVID.

Managing fatigue

Persistent fatigue is one of the most frequently reported symptoms of long COVID. Different people will experience different types of fatigue and varying levels of exhaustion. You may feel physically worn out just from taking a shower, for example, or struggle with brain fog after reading or socializing.

This unusual drop in your energy levels can leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. While you may feel eager to get back to your daily routine and handle your usual work and family responsibilities, don't try to force your way through the exhaustion or other lingering COVID symptoms. The best way to manage fatigue will vary from person to person, but patience and self-care are crucial.

Rest and relaxation. True relaxation doesn’t mean sitting on the couch watching TV. Rather, it means activating your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that lowers your heart rate, reduces your blood pressure, and relieves stress and anxiety. You can achieve the relaxation response by regularly practicing a relaxation technique such as meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation. Schedule regular breaks between activities and practice a different technique until you find the ones that work best for you.

[Listen: Progressive Muscle Relaxation]

Exercise. If your physical symptoms allow, being active can boost rather than drain your energy. However, even in cases of mild to moderate COVID-19 without hospitalization, experts recommend waiting at least two weeks before resuming exercise. When it comes to long COVID, you may need to be even more patient with yourself, especially if you’re affected by post-exertional malaise (PEM), also known as post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE). This is a condition in which your symptoms worsen and health declines if you push yourself. PEM can be frustrating and discouraging, especially if you’re the kind of person who enjoys staying physically active.

There are ways to cope with PEM. You'll need to adopt a strategy called pacing. Pacing involves identifying your unique limits and then carefully balancing periods of rest and exercise to avoid symptom relapses. Be patient and gradually increase your activity levels while watching for negative effects. For example, you might take a short walk one day, and then wait a day or two to see how your body responds. Limits will vary from person to person, so you may want to work with a physical therapist or other health professional to determine what's safest for you.

Avoid too much sensory stimulation. Crowded, noisy places, brightly-lit stores, and playing video games, for example, can quickly drain your energy and exacerbate symptoms such as headache, anxiety, and brain fog. Spend time doing more soothing activities instead, such as chatting with a friend or listening to an audiobook.

Fatigue as a symptom of depression

Fatigue is also a common symptom of depression. When you’re depressed, you may feel slow, sluggish, and physically spent after even the smallest tasks. And the things that can best help to relieve your depression—like getting moving and connecting to others—are often the hardest to do when you feel drained of energy and hope.

However, if you think your fatigue may be a symptom of depression, there are small but positive steps you can take each day to escape the cloud of depression and improve how you feel.

[Read: Coping with Depression]

Use the “3 Ps” approach to daily tasks

When you’re suffering from long COVID, even the gentlest activity can seem exhausting. By making small changes to how you pace, plan, and prioritize your daily tasks, though, you can conserve energy and get more done during the day.

(Video) COVID-19 Recovery and Help for Long-Haulers

Pace, Plan, and Prioritize
Pace yourself by breaking large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and building in rests during and between activities. For example, spread household chores throughout the day, taking a break between each one. Sit down while you’re in the shower, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes. Read or work at the computer for short bursts, taking plenty of rest in between.
Plan ways to space out tasks or schedule them for the times of day when you feel more energetic. Go to the grocery store when it’s less crowded, for example. Cook enough food to freeze leftovers to eat when you don’t feel up to cooking, or plan on wearing only clothes that don’t need to be ironed.
Prioritize the tasks and activities that are really necessary and look for energy saving alternatives. Online shop to save you going to the store, for example, arrange for a friend to help you pay bills or do any heavy lifting, or put off yardwork until you’re feeling stronger.

Addressing sleep problems

Sleep helps support your immune system, energy levels, and mood, but the quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. While sleep problems can be triggered by long COVID, they can also exacerbate other symptoms. Poor quality sleep at night impacts how well you feel during the day, which in turn impacts how well you’re able to sleep at night. Before you know it, you’re trapped in a vicious downward cycle of poor sleep and increasing daytime fatigue.

One 2022 study found that at least 40 percent of people with long COVID experience moderate to severe sleep problems. Some people struggle to get to sleep at night or wake up feeling unrefreshed. Others tend to oversleep, sleeping for more than nine or ten hours at a time. This can lead to daytime tiredness, a lack of energy, and problems concentrating. In many cases, you can get on a better sleep schedule by adopting healthier sleep habits.

Improve your quality of sleep at night

Clean up your bedtime habits and sleep environment. Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, avoid alcohol in the evening, and turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime. Try to make your room as comfortable, dark, and quiet as possible.

Adopt a relaxing bedtime ritual. To help you unwind before bed, take a warm bath, play soothing music, or practice a relaxation technique such as meditation, deep breathing, or some yoga stretches.

[Listen: Bedtime Meditation for Sleep]

Use sleep medications with caution. Long COVID symptoms such as pain can interfere with your sleep at night, but many sleep aids or sleeping pills have side effects. Some may aggravate other symptoms, such as daytime fatigue or trouble focusing.

Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity if you wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. Try reading a book or listening to music, for example. Just remember to keep the lights dim and avoid using screens.

Dealing with anxious thoughts at night

If worries about your health or welfare are preventing you from sleeping at night, try making a brief note of your specific fears on paper. Then postpone worrying about them until the morning when you’ll be more rested and better able to work towards a solution.

There are also strategies you can use to deal with uncertainty and learn to face the future with more confidence.

Reduce oversleeping

In chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that shares some similarities with long COVID, oversleeping rarely improves symptoms. Rather, sleeping late or napping during the day may interfere with the quality of your sleep at night and preserve the cycle of poor sleep and increasing daytime fatigue.

To help correct oversleeping:

  • Gradually reduce then eliminate sleeping during the day. Start by scheduling more rest breaks between tasks and activities so you avoid becoming so tired that you feel the need to sleep.
  • When your energy flags, instead of taking a daytime nap, try to be physically active or practice a relaxation technique such as meditation. Both will help you feel more energized without the grogginess that can often follow waking up from a nap.
  • When you’ve eliminated daytime sleeping, start to cut down on the amount you’re sleeping at night. You can do this gradually by going to bed slightly later each night and waking up a little earlier every morning. You can also replace the lost sleep with additional relaxation.

Coping with changes in mood

The most common changes in mood and mental health that accompany long COVID are anxiety, depression, and trauma. While the issues seem to be most severe in those who experienced acute COVID-19 symptoms and were hospitalized, they are still common among those who were only treated as outpatients.

What we know for certain is that physical and mental health are closely linked. By taking care of your mental health, you may be able to reduce the debilitating effects of your physical symptoms as well.

Anxiety. When you’re struggling with long-haul COVID, it’s understandable to feel anxious or uncertain about how soon you’ll recover, whether you’ll suffer any long-term complications, or when you’ll be able to fully resume your old life. While constant tension, unease, and worry can wear you down, there are steps you can take to ease your anxiety. Creating a worry period, challenging anxious thoughts, and learning to accept uncertainty can significantly reduce worry and calm your anxious mind.

Depression. Feelings of hopelessness and despair can seem overwhelming when you’re struggling with a serious health issue. Depression can feel like you’re living your life under a dark cloud and change how you think and function in your daily activities. It can also manifest itself in physical symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain or loss, concentration problems, and unexplained aches and pains. But there are ways to cope with depression, improve your mood and physical well-being, and regain your sense of hope.

(Video) OpenLine: The affects of long-haul COVID (P4)

Trauma. It’s not unusual to experience traumatic stress following a life-threatening illness such as COVID-19, especially if you were hospitalized and received intensive care. Traumatic stress can shatter your sense of security, leaving you feeling physically and mentally drained, overwhelmed by grief, and unable to properly sleep or focus. Often, these symptoms will gradually start to fade as life returns to normal. But if you’re unable to move on, you may need help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to regain your emotional balance.

Stress. While high stress levels can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your stress. While you’re coping with long COVID symptoms, try to cut down on your responsibilities and learn simple but effective stress management techniques to help you feel more calm and focused.

Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith, M.A.

    • References

      Hughes, D. C., Orchard, J. W., Partridge, E. M., La Gerche, A., & Broderick, C. (2022). Return to exercise post-COVID-19 infection: A pragmatic approach in mid-2022. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 25(7), 544–547. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2022.06.001

      Treating the Most Disruptive Symptoms First and Preventing Worsening of Symptoms | Clinical Care of Patients | Healthcare Providers | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/healthcare-providers/clinical-care-patients-mecfs/treating-most-disruptive-symptoms.html

      Twomey, R., DeMars, J., Franklin, K., Culos-Reed, S. N., Weatherald, J., & Wrightson, J. G. (2022). Chronic Fatigue and Postexertional Malaise in People Living With Long COVID: An Observational Study. Physical Therapy, 102(4), pzac005. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzac005

      Orbea, C. P., Lapin, B., Katzan, I., Englund, K., Foldvary-Schaefer, N., & Mehra, R. (2022). 0735 Sleep Disturbances in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Sleep, 45(Supplement_1), A321–A321. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsac079.731

      Tenforde, Mark W. “Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19 in a Multistate Health Care Systems Network — United States, March–June 2020.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69 (2020). https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6930e1

      Carfì, Angelo, Roberto Bernabei, Francesco Landi, and Gemelli Against COVID-19 Post-Acute Care Study Group. “Persistent Symptoms in Patients After Acute COVID-19.” JAMA 324, no. 6 (August 11, 2020): 603–5. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.12603

      “6-Month Neurological and Psychiatric Outcomes in 236 379 Survivors of COVID-19: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records – The Lancet Psychiatry.” Accessed October 6, 2022. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(21)00084-5/fulltext

    Get more help

    Long Covid Support Group – International Facebook support group. (Long Covid Support)

    (Video) BSL Long COVID: Anxiety

    Patient Resources – Support groups and resources for managing symptoms. (Long Covid Support)

    Mysterious Ailment, Mysterious Relief: Vaccines Help Some COVID Long-Haulers – Anecdotal evidence indicating vaccines may help with long COVID. (NPR)

    Last updated: October 7, 2022

    FAQs

    How long does Covid long hauler symptoms last? ›

    People with post-COVID conditions (or long COVID) may experience many symptoms. People with post-COVID conditions can have a wide range of symptoms that can last more than four weeks or even months after infection. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again.

    How do I know if I am a long hauler from Covid? ›

    If you experience symptoms more than 28 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, you may be considered a “long-hauler” or have what physicians refer to as “long COVID.”

    What does long COVID feel like? ›

    Symptoms of long COVID

    extreme tiredness (fatigue) shortness of breath. loss of smell. muscle aches.

    What vitamins should I take for long COVID? ›

    You may wish to take a one-a-day A-Z multivitamin and mineral supplement, of no more than 100% recommended intake. Some people with Long Covid believe that high doses of vitamins, such as niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin C, vitamin D, quercetin and zinc improve their symptoms.

    What foods help with long COVID? ›

    Eating a diet rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables, wholegrain foods and fermented foods (such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh) can also improve the gut microbiome. Can being overweight or obese be a risk factor for Long Covid?

    How do you recover from long COVID fatigue? ›

    Doing something until you are exhausted means that you need longer to recover.
    ...
    Pace
    1. Break up activities into smaller tasks and spread them out during the day.
    2. Build periods of rest into your activities.
    3. Plan 30 to 40 minutes of rest breaks between activities.

    How do I get my energy back after COVID? ›

    Fatigue is common after viral infections like COVID-19. Most people recover after 2 to 3 weeks. Fatigue is feeling like you lack energy.
    ...
    It's important to:
    1. eat well.
    2. have a healthy sleep routine.
    3. drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

    How do you treat Covid fatigue? ›

    UC Davis Health clinical psychologists have tips for coping with COVID fatigue:
    1. Exercise to help cope with COVID-19. ...
    2. Talk about your frustrations. ...
    3. Engage in constructive thinking. ...
    4. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. ...
    5. Take it day by day or even moment by moment. ...
    6. Be compassionate with yourself. ...
    7. Find things to look forward to.

    Does COVID vaccine help long haulers? ›

    COVID-19 vaccine may improve lasting symptoms

    Early data from Yale Medicine in 2021 suggested COVID-19 vaccines may help long haulers. However, 10-15% said they felt worse after getting the vaccine.

    Are COVID long haulers contagious? ›

    Am I Contagious if I Have Long COVID? No. Conditions associated long COVID cannot be passed on to others.

    Is there a blood test for long COVID? ›

    Markers in our blood – 'fingerprints' of infection – could help identify individuals who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, several months after infection even if the individual had only mild symptoms or showed no symptoms at all, say Cambridge researchers.

    How long does Covid fatigue last? ›

    Understanding Post-COVID Fatigue. Post-COVID fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of the condition and often lasts for weeks and even months after the initial infection. The condition goes well beyond simply “being tired” and can drastically impact sufferers' quality of life.

    Does back pain from COVID go away? ›

    Body aches and pains are common symptoms of COVID-19 and can persist long after other symptoms subside.

    Why does your body hurt after COVID recovery? ›

    Muscle aches and pains are described as 'myalgia'. It can involve your ligaments, tendons, soft tissues and it can also cause joint pain. Myalgia can be a common symptom if you have a viral infection such as COVID and it can affect a specific area or spread more widely.

    Is vitamin D an anti inflammatory? ›

    An active metabolite of vitamin D—(not the over-the-counter version) — is involved in shutting down inflammation, which could potentially be beneficial in patients with severe COVID-19.

    How long does long COVID last? ›

    Healthcare professionals may refer to long COVID as: ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 (4 to 12 weeks) post-COVID-19 syndrome (over 12 weeks)

    What supplements should not be taken together? ›

    Large doses of minerals can compete with each other to be absorbed. Don't use calcium, zinc, or magnesium supplements at the same time. Also, these three minerals are easier on your tummy when you take them with food, so if your doctor recommends them, have them at different meals or snacks.

    Why do antihistamines help with long COVID? ›

    Researchers believe that HRAs work in long COVID, not by reducing the anaphylactic type of response, but by helping to keep the immune response down. They hypothesize that this is because of histamine blocking activity on the T cells. Mast cells may also have a role.

    What do you drink with COVID? ›

    Up your fluid intake.

    If you have diarrhea or if you're sweating from a fever or chills, make sure you have salt or a little sugar in your fluids—think broths, fresh juices or electrolyte solutions like Gatorade—because salt and sugar can help you retain water.

    Is chest pain a symptom of long COVID? ›

    Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms you can get after having COVID. Lots of people get chest pain after COVID. Chest pain can be worrying but it is not normally a risk to your life. You could get chest pains after COVID due to other causes that might not be related to your COVID infection.

    Does exercise help COVID recovery? ›

    Being active and avoiding long periods of bed-rest is important. It can help you to recover more quickly - both physically and mentally.

    What helps fatigue and tiredness? ›

    Self-help tips to fight tiredness
    • Eat often to beat tiredness. ...
    • Get moving. ...
    • Lose weight to gain energy. ...
    • Sleep well. ...
    • Reduce stress to boost energy. ...
    • Talking therapy beats fatigue. ...
    • Cut out caffeine. ...
    • Drink less alcohol.

    What can I take for low energy and tiredness? ›

    • Have a drink of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. ...
    • Go nuts. Eat a handful of almonds or peanuts, which are high in magnesium and folate (folic acid). ...
    • Grab a cinnamon stick. Some people say that just a whiff of this scented spice can reduce fatigue and make them feel more alert.
    5 Mar 2022

    What helps a COVID cough? ›

    Use a hot shower, humidifier, vaporizer or other means of making steam. It will soothe a sore throat and open your airways, making it easier to breathe. Eat a frozen treat. The coldness may help numb the pain and soothe your throat if it is sore from coughing.

    Can you get COVID twice? ›

    Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

    How do I stop a COVID cough? ›

    Treatment options

    “You can try to control your cough with over-the-counter cough medicine.” Staying hydrated will also help your body clear your airways and encourage healing. If you have a lingering cough from COVID-19 and notice that it's lasted longer than a month or is worsening, talk to your doctor.

    How long can shortness of breath linger after COVID? ›

    Managing shortness of breath

    Most people will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.

    Why am I always tired and have no energy? ›

    You may be too exhausted even to manage your daily affairs. In most cases, there's a reason for the fatigue. It might be allergic rhinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease (COPD), a bacterial or viral infection, or some other health condition.

    When will I feel better after COVID? ›

    Recovering from COVID-19 is different for everyone.

    Most people diagnosed with COVID-19 notice a big improvement in their symptoms within 14 days (2 weeks), but recovery can last from days to months. 30 to 50% of people may have symptoms for longer than 12 weeks (3 months).

    Should I get the booster if I have long Covid? ›

    If you have symptoms of long COVID, you can get the vaccine or booster after your initial symptoms from your virus are gone.

    How long does it take to get over COVID? ›

    Data from the National Institutes of Health indicate that COVID recovery times for mild to moderate cases range from a couple of days to around two weeks. Severe cases can take up to six weeks or more. For long-covid patients, symptoms will typically last three months or more.

    Should I get the COVID vaccine if I have long Covid? ›

    You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19.

    What are some of the symptoms of the Omicron sub variant Ba 5? ›

    All of the variants, including omicron BA.5, cause similar COVID-19 symptoms:
    • runny nose.
    • cough.
    • sore throat.
    • fever.
    • headaches.
    • muscle pain.
    • fatigue.

    Does Omicron cause long COVID? ›

    Scientists have just begun to compare variants head to head, with varying results. While one recent study in The Lancet suggests that omicron is less likely to cause long covid, another found the same rate of neurological problems after omicron and delta infections.

    What does it mean to be a long hauler with COVID? ›

    Some of the serious aspects of COVID-19 are long-term symptoms that persist for a significant period after SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute symptoms have apparently resolved. People experiencing these conditions have been called “long-haulers” and are a consequential proportion of those infected with SARS-CoV-2.

    Is cough a symptom of long COVID? ›

    In the case of COVID-19, this cough could last for as long as six months after the viral infection, especially if the patient contracted Omicron because it is more airway dependent than the original strain.

    What does COVID chest pain feel like? ›

    Tightness, a squeezing sensation, pain or pressure in the chest that doesn't go away after a few minutes, or stops and then returns. Pain or discomfort in your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. Shortness of breath.

    What is the fastest way to recover from COVID at home? ›

    To care for yourself, follow these steps:
    1. Keep a daily routine, such as taking a shower and getting dressed.
    2. Take breaks from COVID-19 news and social media.
    3. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of fluids.
    4. Stay physically active.
    5. Get plenty of sleep.
    6. Avoid use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

    How can I tell if I have COVID pneumonia? ›

    What are the symptoms of COVID pneumonia?
    • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) or trouble breathing.
    • Confusion.
    • Extreme fatigue/tiredness.
    • Cough.
    • Fever.
    • Chest pain or tightness.
    • Bluish lips, skin or nails (cyanosis).
    10 Aug 2022

    Where is COVID headache located? ›

    Headache is one of the earliest and most common symptoms during the acute phase of COVID-19; characteristically it appears as oppressive pain in the upper/frontal part of the head and affects between 14 and 60% of patients during the acute COVID-19 phase [13, 14].

    What does your throat feel like with COVID? ›

    Well, it can feel exactly the same as a cold, according to Brian Curtis, MD, vice president of Clinical Specialty Services for OSF HealthCare. That makes it hard to tell the difference between a cold and a mild case of COVID. It's even harder to tell the difference knowing that sore throat is a COVID symptom.

    Can you recover from long COVID? ›

    Recovery from long COVID varies. Some symptoms can improve quickly and others last longer. The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19. People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.

    What are some of the long term symptoms of Covid-19? ›

    These people continue to experience debilitating fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, difficulty sleeping, racing heart rate, exercise intolerance, gastrointestinal and other symptoms, as well as cognitive problems that make it difficult to perform at work or school.

    Is it normal to still have phlegm after COVID? ›

    You may find that you are still coughing up phlegm or mucus after an infection with COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is normal after respiratory infections. It is how the lungs and airways keep themselves clear.

    How long does long COVID last for? ›

    Healthcare professionals may refer to long COVID as: ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 (4 to 12 weeks) post-COVID-19 syndrome (over 12 weeks)

    How do you treat Covid fatigue? ›

    UC Davis Health clinical psychologists have tips for coping with COVID fatigue:
    1. Exercise to help cope with COVID-19. ...
    2. Talk about your frustrations. ...
    3. Engage in constructive thinking. ...
    4. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. ...
    5. Take it day by day or even moment by moment. ...
    6. Be compassionate with yourself. ...
    7. Find things to look forward to.

    How long does it take to get over COVID? ›

    Data from the National Institutes of Health indicate that COVID recovery times for mild to moderate cases range from a couple of days to around two weeks. Severe cases can take up to six weeks or more. For long-covid patients, symptoms will typically last three months or more.

    How do I get my energy back after COVID? ›

    Fatigue is common after viral infections like COVID-19. Most people recover after 2 to 3 weeks. Fatigue is feeling like you lack energy.
    ...
    It's important to:
    1. eat well.
    2. have a healthy sleep routine.
    3. drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

    How long does Covid fatigue last? ›

    Understanding Post-COVID Fatigue. Post-COVID fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of the condition and often lasts for weeks and even months after the initial infection. The condition goes well beyond simply “being tired” and can drastically impact sufferers' quality of life.

    Are COVID long haulers still contagious? ›

    Am I Contagious if I Have Long COVID? No. Conditions associated long COVID cannot be passed on to others.

    Is there a blood test for long COVID? ›

    Markers in our blood – 'fingerprints' of infection – could help identify individuals who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, several months after infection even if the individual had only mild symptoms or showed no symptoms at all, say Cambridge researchers.

    How can I get my energy back? ›

    Self-help tips to fight tiredness
    1. Eat often to beat tiredness. ...
    2. Get moving. ...
    3. Lose weight to gain energy. ...
    4. Sleep well. ...
    5. Reduce stress to boost energy. ...
    6. Talking therapy beats fatigue. ...
    7. Cut out caffeine. ...
    8. Drink less alcohol.

    Does exercise help with COVID? ›

    Many patients who contract COVID-19 experience significant breathing problems. A very simple exercise, called the “Arm Swing Exercise” has proven to improve health and lung function if performed on a regular basis for several weeks.

    Does exercise help COVID recovery? ›

    Being active and avoiding long periods of bed-rest is important. It can help you to recover more quickly - both physically and mentally.

    What do you drink COVID with? ›

    Up your fluid intake.

    If you have diarrhea or if you're sweating from a fever or chills, make sure you have salt or a little sugar in your fluids—think broths, fresh juices or electrolyte solutions like Gatorade—because salt and sugar can help you retain water.

    Does COVID make you sleep all day? ›

    Extreme tiredness (fatigue) is common when you recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). Living with this symptom is difficult. It affects things that you would like to do, which can be frustrating. It takes time to build up your strength and energy levels again.

    How long does COVID last on blankets? ›

    A study published in found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal. However, when it was exposed to high heat, the virus became inactive within five minutes.

    What helps a COVID cough? ›

    Use a hot shower, humidifier, vaporizer or other means of making steam. It will soothe a sore throat and open your airways, making it easier to breathe. Eat a frozen treat. The coldness may help numb the pain and soothe your throat if it is sore from coughing.

    Can you get COVID twice? ›

    Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

    How do I stop a COVID cough? ›

    Treatment options

    “You can try to control your cough with over-the-counter cough medicine.” Staying hydrated will also help your body clear your airways and encourage healing. If you have a lingering cough from COVID-19 and notice that it's lasted longer than a month or is worsening, talk to your doctor.

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