Long-term physical effects of COVID-19: A year after the pandemic was officially declared in the United States, we have been so inundated with COVID-19 news and stories that by now, you are likely sick of reading or thinking about it. Unfortunately, the virus continues to spread and affect our day-to-days, and while it may seem that normalcy is on the horizon, there is still much to consider about the virus and how it will influence the future. Because we know so little about how long the vaccines will last and mutations of the original virus, “normal” may still be some time away. Another consideration, especially for people who have had the virus, is how long the physical effects of COVID-19 will last. “Will I ever get my sense of smell back? Will I ever be able to go for a run without feeling like I’m dying?”
At Healthpointe, we are dedicated to serving our patients, and since COVID has affected people well beyond the scope of simply having COVID, we have created the COVID Recovery Program, a treatment program that directly addresses the physical and mental effects of post-COVID healing. Through this program, we aim to help our patients heal from the ailments left behind long after the coronavirus has left the body.
What are some of the long-term physical effects of COVID-19?The most common physical effects of long-haul COVID include increased fatigue and muscle weakness. Many people report lasting loss of smell or taste, long after they have recovered from COVID. Additionally, it is relatively common for recovering patients to have issues with chronic pain and shortness of breath.
Another serious, lasting symptom of COVID-19 is a litany of kidney issues. Interestingly, “Nearly 13% of participants [hospitalized COVID-19 patients] had normal kidney function while in the hospital for COVID-19,” (Healthline).
Does everyone who has had COVID-19 end up with long-term effects?No— most people who get COVID recover in a couple weeks. That said, of all people hospitalized for COVID-19, a staggering 76% have symptoms 6 months later, according to Healthline. Some people who had relatively mild cases of COVID-19 have had long lasting effects as well, even though their sickness wasn’t particularly severe. “It’s largely a mystery why some people develop long-haul symptoms and others don’t,” according to Dr. Serena Spudich, Yale Medicine neurologist.
How can I prevent long-term effects from COVID-19?The only way to completely prevent dealing with the long-term effects of COVID-19 is to not get COVID to begin with. Aside from that, we simply don’t know enough about the virus to give out solid advice on preventing long-term effects. Many doctors suspect that whether you end up with lasting symptoms or not has to do with genetics, age, and how severe the initial illness was. Long-haul COVID-19 has been relatively unpredictable, but as we learn more about the virus, we also learn more about how long it lasts.
How can Healthpointe help me?Healthpointe offers a range of evaluations for various lingering symptoms of long-haul COVID. These can include evaluations for shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue, pain, abnormal sensations, and loss of smell or taste. Our innovative COVID Recovery Program features the expertise of multiple medical professionals from a wide-range of fields, including, but not limited to, board-certified neurologists, pain management physicians, ENT physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physicians trained in both general and internal medicine. At Healthpointe, your treatment will be customized to meet your specific needs, one day at a time.
If you are ready to receive treatment for your COVID-19 symptoms, you can call (800) 956-2663 or schedule an appointment here. Find out more about Healthpointe here.