Common post-COVID signs patients can experience after fighting COVID-19
Testing negative after recovering from COVID-19 is only half the battle won. As recovery rates continue to rise in India, doctors are now warning that people who have fought and recovered from the coronavirus are at the risk of certain infections and chronic ailments, which could sometimes, last for a few weeks, or even months.
Here’s why long COVID symptoms need attention
Long COVID, or post-COVID syndrome, as it is being dubbed is the newest battle COVID survivors may be fighting off. While long COVID risk has long been studied and warned against by global experts, the extent of the damage caused by post-COVID-syndrome could affect 1 in 10 Indians after the second wave of coronavirus ends.
Some symptoms can be on the milder side, resolve on their own, and some could be moderate or severe in nature and require prolonged recovery and care. As per Indian researchers, here are some of the most common long COVID symptoms seen in patients and may require some attention:
Persistent coughing is a classic marker of a coronavirus infection and for some patients, coughing bouts could continue for weeks after the viral load has depleted from the body. Lingering cough could be a residual sign of upper respiratory inflammation and may be dealt with by using cough suppressants, soothing herbal concoctions and teas.
Malaise, joint aches and muscle pain
A feeling of uneasiness, frequent ,fatigue, exhaustion can be symptoms to battle after the body has fought off the virus, which can take its toll. Doctors also say that a viral infection of such a magnitude can also cause lingering symptoms like joint aches, muscle pain, headaches until a couple of months after testing negative.
Apart from these, those patients who have battled a severe bout of infection may also suffer from low-grade fever, inflammation, which may last for a few weeks.
However, if a low-grade fever is accompanied by chills or body pain, reinfection fears may loom and need to be looked into.
Sleeping problems or disorders
There are also some COVID recovered patients who are battling a deluge of poor sleep problems, stress and sleep impairment issues.
Not only can COVID-19 be increasing your insomnia risk, but recovered patients may also face trouble recording good sleep and even experience insomnia. Stress, anxiety, prevailing situations and looming survivors' guilt could also be making many lose out on sleep, experts say.
Do remember that sleep is very crucial to strengthening your immunity and recovering well. Therefore, any sleep issues or difficulties need to be looked into once.
Practising meditation, yoga, pacing back slowly into normalcy, or counselling may also help.
Memory impairment, brain fog
Neuro-psychiatric and cognitive issues are a huge risk factor that could affect post-COVID-recovery. Not only could a COVID infection impact the brain profoundly, but experts also say that they expect to see a rise in mental health problems amongst the recovered patients. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially amongst hospitalized COVID-19 patients could also be concerning.
Recovered COVID patients, who may have suffered from a mild or severe form of COVID-19 can also have a troubling time concentrating or carrying out daily tasks, experience cognition faults, brain fog and memory impairment weeks after testing negative. This is also one of the reasons why patients need to take their time to pace back into regular tasks and routine.
Apart from these mild to moderate symptoms, there are also some symptoms that are more concerning in nature, and require medical attention:
Sudden breathlessness at rest
Experiencing a sudden rise of breathlessness, even at rest can be a sign of pulmonary embolism which could be resultant of blood clots formed due to the virus spread in the body. Palpitations, dizziness, changes in the heart rate could also be possible.
With the rise in cases of lung involvement, many patients suffering from moderate to severe COVID-19 may also continue to face some respiratory complications, including light-headedness, fluctuating oxygen levels, and require prolonged oxygen support. Respiratory exercises, yoga asanas may also offer respite.
Chest pain, which could be a symptom of troubling heart health or myocardial infarction is also a symptom that needs to be looked into. Click here to know why post-COVID-heart-health is important.
As per case studies, coronavirus could also impact your kidneys and make patients suffer from kidney-related issues, even if they haven't had any pre-existing issues in the past. Those suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure should also pay critical attention. Following a good diet is important to negate risks.
Leg pain or swelling
There are also increasing reports of patients experiencing blood clot formations in the body. Leg pain, one-sided swelling, pacing heart rates, weakness of limbs need to be attended to at once. Read here to know more about the signs of a blood clot, and how COVID-19 may impact your blood flow.