The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a myriad of health challenges, one of which is the emergence of long-term COVID, also known as Long COVID, post-COVID conditions, long-haul COVID, or chronic COVID. This condition is characterized by lingering symptoms weeks, months or even years after the initial recovery from the virus. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how you can live with long-term COVID, using the most current information available.
Understanding Long-Term COVID
Long-term COVID is a condition where COVID-19 symptoms persist for an extended period, often three months or more after the initial infection. Symptoms can vary significantly among individuals and may include tiredness, fever, cognitive difficulties (often referred to as ‘brain fog’), trouble breathing, heart problems, chest pains, stomach pains, diarrhea, and changes in smell or taste.
It’s important to note that anyone can develop Long COVID, regardless of the severity of their initial infection or vaccination status. However, individuals who had severe COVID, spent time in the hospital, didn’t get vaccinated, or have other health conditions are more likely to develop long-term COVID.
How Can You Live with Long-Term COVID
Living with long-term COVID can be challenging due to the unpredictability and variability of symptoms. However, there are ways to manage the condition and improve your quality of life.
- Seek Medical Help: If you suspect you have long-term COVID, it’s crucial to seek medical help. Specialized Long COVID clinics like RTHM can provide expert advice and treatment. These clinics can help determine if your symptoms are caused by Long COVID and devise a personalized management and treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and conditions.
- Medication: Depending on your symptoms, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to help manage them.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy might be recommended as part of your care plan if you’re experiencing physical symptoms like trouble breathing or chest pains.
- Mental Health Support: Living with long-term COVID can take a toll on your mental health. Therefore, psychiatric or cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial.
- Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate rest can help manage symptoms and improve overall health. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise or diet regimen. This is especially true if you experience post-exertional malaise (PEM). Those with PEM can experience symptom worsening with regular exercise or exertion and must implement pacing into their daily routine. Learn more about PEM (CLICK HERE) and Pacing (CLICK HERE).
Creating a New Norm with Long COVID
Living with long-term COVID can be a daunting experience. Still, with the right medical support and lifestyle adjustments, it’s possible to manage the condition and maintain a good quality of life. Remember, it’s crucial to seek medical help if your symptoms persist or worsen over time.
Remember, we’re all in this together, and with the right information and support, we can navigate the challenges of long-term COVID. Stay safe, stay informed, and take care of your health.
If you believe you are experiencing long-term COVID, or Long COVID, RTHM clinicians can help diagnose and offer treatment options that may make it easier to live with long-term COVID symptoms. Click HERE to learn more about how RTHM Telehealth works.
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