COVID-19 is a malicious disease that has paced all over the world. After its first appearance, the world had to go under a second wave which saw more deaths and increased occurrences of post-COVID problems. By far, people are readily following government guidelines to prevent the third wave of COVID-19. The government has made it mandatory for all eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Following its threat, people are not just frightened of the illness but also its after-effects. Coronavirus is a posing problem as it leads to various lung and heart diseases even after recovery.
Even a minor case of COVID-19 can cause agonizing headaches, intense exhaustion, and body aches that make it difficult to get comfortable. Most people being affected with COVID-19 gets better within a few weeks, but eventually, fall a victim to post COVID illness. Even after recovery people generally experience a month-long weakness, fatigue, and other health-related issues. Even persons who did not show symptoms of COVID-19 in the days or weeks following their infection can develop post-COVID complications.
These symptoms after initial recovery are also called long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. Aged people or people with some long-term existing illness have high chances of experiencing lingering COVID-19 symptoms.
How do the post-COVID symptoms affect after recovery?
Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), which begins while a person is hospitalized and can even remain after being fully recovered and discharged. Severe sickness weakens thinking ability and post-traumatic stress disorder are all possible side effects of hospitalization (PTSD). PTSD is the result of long-term reactions to a traumatic incident.
Some symptoms that a person experience after their discharge are very similar to the symptoms of mild COVID illness. It becomes difficult to comprehend the after-effects of the virus and PTSD. However, it is necessary to consult a doctor before assuming anything. Good health is the sign of complete recovery, and in COVID, until and unless you are completely healthy you have not fully recovered.
Post-COVID Symptoms – What are those?
Usually, some people experience symptoms that can last for weeks or months after recovery from COVID-19. These symptoms can occur in any person even if they have mild or severe COVID illness. The post-COVID symptoms include:
- Difficulty in breathing or short breaths
- Conditions that worsen after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
- Difficulty in maintaining concentration
- Chest or stomach pain
- Fast heart-beats (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Sleeping issues
- Frequent dizziness
- Mood swings
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
People with maximum risk of developing post-COVID syndrome include:
- Old age people
- People recovered from severe illness
- Individuals with bad health conditions, particularly cardiopulmonary issues, hypertension, diabetes, or obesity
What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?
The most common long-lasting effects of COVID are – Fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, Chest pain. Some other long term effects include:
A bad case of COVID-19 can cause long-term and permanent issues related to the lungs like breathing problems. Even a meagre infection can cause shortness of breath for a long period.
It is proven that 60% of those recovering from COVID have signs of ongoing heart problems, leading to inflammation of heart muscles. Some common symptoms include – shortness of breath, palpitations, and rapid heartbeat.
If the COVID has caused kidney damage, it might need dialysis
Long-term symptoms of COVID may include brain fog, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. More research is being done in the field.
Distorted Smell or Taste
The coronavirus directly affects the cells present in the nose and tongue as these senses are interrelated. A case of COVID-19 can result in a loss of taste or smell. It’s not life-threatening but a long loss of taste or smell can lead to a lack of appetite, anxiety, and depression.
Mental Health issues
The lingering effects of COVID-19 can even lead to anxiety and depression. Mental Health issues are very common in people recovering from COVID-19, especially those who were hospitalized. Physical and mental changes like long isolation, job loss, financial issues could be quiet problematic after a recovery. Consult a psychiatrist or a therapist for physical and mental health improvement.
It is also important to remember that most people who suffer from COVID-19 recover quickly but can still have lingering effects of COVID. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19, make it really necessary to prevent it from spreading. Its spread could only be reduced by following the necessary precautions. Precautions include wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, getting a vaccine when available, and keeping hands clean.
What should you do if you’re experiencing post-COVID syndrome?
- Schedule an appointment with your primary health physician
- If you were hospitalized for a more severe illness then there are chances that you were treated by a cardiologist.
- Better consult a cardiologist for heart diseases and chest pain.
- Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water
- Keep a check on your heartbeats and breathing rates
- Do breathing exercises to maintain breathing capacity after being affected by COVID
Lastly, remember these preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and to stop it from spreading:
- Social distancing
- Wear a mask
- Avoid crowds or large gatherings
- Practice excellent hand hygiene and avoid touching your face constantly
How to reduce the long-term effects of COVID-19?
The long-lasting effects of COVID-19 become even more important for us to reduce its spread. This can be done by following a major step i.e. getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (if you are eligible) click here to read more – https://www.chaudharyhospital.in/corona-vaccine-important-information-hindi/
- Consult your doctor or physician to understand self-management of these after-effects
- Take the prescribed medicines till the symptoms are not eradicated completely.
- Note down the symptoms, their ranges, and their impact on your well-being, and record the progress as well.
- For symptoms of mental issues, consult a therapist or join self-help groups. It can help you deal with anxiety, depression, or sleep problems
- Ensure that you have emergency contacts – doctors, physicians, cardiologists (for respiratory problems), and a therapist in all cases.
- Stay motivated and take a healthy diet to improve immunity to fight against such diseases.
If you’re not eligible for vaccination, then take necessary precautions to protect yourself and others from the threat of COVID.
Considering that the outcomes of COVID are severe, it becomes necessary to take necessary precautions in such hard times. The most important step is to get the COVID-19 vaccine and follow government guidelines. If any of your family members have suffered from COVID, and experienced post-COVID problems, then consult your doctor and take timely measures for complete recovery.