How To Manage Life While Dealing With Long-Term Covid Symptoms


WRITTEN BY: Craig Sturgill

UPDATED: JULY 21, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

While many recover from COVID-19 and its bodily effects, others struggle with lingering symptoms. A growing number of patients report symptoms of COVID-19 weeks, even months, after initial infection. These long-term covid symptoms often interrupt daily activities.

A June 2022 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that nearly 1 in 5 adults report long covid symptoms. If you want to know more about post-covid symptoms and how to manage life with them, read on.

Long-Term Covid Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms Of Post-Covid Syndrome?

The CDC defines post-COVID syndrome as “new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.” The window for post-covid syndrome symptoms is four weeks, but it isn’t unusual for patients to battle symptoms for months. 

Long-term COVID 19 research continues. Patients often report long-term covid symptoms such as extreme fatigue and fever, concerns similar to the initial infection. These symptoms may worsen and linger. However, post-covid patients also complain of the following long-covid symptoms: 

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Loss or change of taste and smell 
  • Fatigue after exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Skin rashes
  • Brain fog, or trouble concentrating
  • Increased depression and/or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Menstrual cycle disruption or change
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

As we learn more about COVID-19, a new picture of long-term covid symptoms emerges. Some patients may have symptoms unexplained by diagnostic tests, such as X-Rays or MRIs.  

Researchers don’t have a test for long-covid, and these symptoms can be common in other health conditions. Some patients may experience these symptoms all at once, or gradually. Others COVID-19 sufferers may deal with symptoms for months.

What age groups are at higher risk for long-term COVID symptoms?

Current data shows that anyone is at risk for long-term COVID symptoms. The CDC survey found adults between the ages of 50 and 59 were three times more likely to have post-COVID than adults aged 80 and older. 

Long covid in kids is relatively rare but can occur. Many studies have excluded children so findings are scant. A Danish study surveyed parents of 44,000 children between the ages of zero through 14. Results found that these children’s risk of long COVID was only a bit higher than children who never tested positive.  

How To Find Treatment For Long-Term Covid Symptoms

Patients who experience common post-covid symptoms should speak with their healthcare provider.  As we learn more about long-term covid, more treatment options are available. As of February 2022, a total of 66 hospitals and healthcare centers offer post-COVID-19 programs.

Your local hospital may have a post-COVID recovery program available. Research the availability of long covid treatment centers in your area online or by calling a nearby hospital.

Prepare for an Appointment

If you’re a long-haul COVID patient, prepare for your appointment with a brief medical history. Provide a list of every healthcare provider, present and past, plus all medications you take. If diagnosed with any other disease, note that as well.

Your provider needs an accurate description of your symptoms. Keep a list of every symptom you experience. If possible, note when they started and if they worsened. Include examples of how the symptoms affect your daily life, especially if they interfere with school or work. 

How To Manage Lingering Long-Term Covid Symptoms

The best way to manage symptoms of long-term covid is to seek a personal treatment plan. You should also make lifestyle changes, especially if severe fatigue impairs your ability to do daily tasks. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Realize your limits and make adjustments as needed. 

Experts recommend low-impact exercise and yoga, as some patients find it beneficial. Talk to your doctor about your situation to find a plan that works for you. Long covid also affects mental health, so don’t be afraid to reach out for mental healthcare. 

How To Deal With Financial Issues Caused By Lingering Covid Symptoms

Many Americans with long-term covid are unable to work but struggle for financial help. The U.S. government has several resources that may help with financial issues from lingering covid. 

Disability

Long-term covid is now a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) under Section 504 and 1157. It applies to individuals whose major life activities are disrupted by long-term covid symptoms. You may ask your employer for accommodations if needed. Contact the ADA or visit the ADA website for more information.

Additional Financial Help

Your state and local government may offer rent assistance to avoid eviction and pay past rent. Single-family homeowners can request forbearance for mortgages backed by the federal government or Federal Housing Administration (FHA). You may be eligible for food stamps as well. 

FAQs

Can anyone experience lingering covid symptoms?

Anyone infected with covid-19 may have post-covid symptoms. Post-COVID symptoms are more prevalent in individuals whose illness was severe. Researchers believe people who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 and contract the virus may be at a higher risk for lingering covid syndrome. 

What should I do after recovering from Covid-19?

If you believe you recovered, stay home until you’re not contagious. You’re typically not contagious 10 days after your first positive test.  To minimize reinfection risk, get vaccinated or boosted. You should also wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

What is the recovery time for the coronavirus disease?

With mild cases of COVID, researchers suggest it takes 2 weeks to recover, while more severe cases can take up to 6 weeks. There’s still a lot we don’t know about COVID, and these guidelines vary according to a patient’s health, age, and previous medical conditions.

Is it normal for COVID-19 symptoms to last more than 10 days?

There’s no definite answer for what’s “normal” with COVID-19 as the disease is still relatively new. People who have a more severe case of COVID-19 or have underlying conditions may have symptoms longer than 10 days.

How long do lingering COVID-19 symptoms last?

Long-term covid symptoms can last for weeks or months. The symptoms may also disappear and then return. 

COVID-19 may affect your daily life for weeks or months after you’re infected. Many have issues with breathing, mental clarity, and other lingering issues. Patients with long-term covid symptoms do have treatment options so they don’t suffer in silence. Research your options and reach out for help whenever possible. As you seek medical care, make sure you have a comprehensive health insurance plan that meets your needs.