Long-Haul COVID Treatment: Your Comprehensive Guide to the Symptoms & Science
Living with long COVID can be a complicated and challenging journey. Each patient’s experience with the condition can be highly diverse, with symptoms that may be elusive, cyclical, and disruptive to many aspects of daily life. As the mechanisms behind the condition continue to be explored, these findings become instrumental in charting a course toward tailored, successful long-haul COVID treatment strategies.
Whether you’re currently facing the symptoms of long COVID or are searching for a more comprehensive understanding of the condition, information about the experience, the latest scientific insights, and current treatment options can be invaluable.
This guide is crafted to contain up-to-date, relevant information for those looking for long-term COVID treatment options on the path toward reclaiming their life.
What Is Long COVID?
Long COVID refers to a condition where individuals continue to experience, or even develop, symptoms and complications after an initial COVID-19 infection. While many people recover from COVID in a matter of days or weeks, others may develop lingering symptoms that can persist for months on end.
How Common Is Long COVID?
The prevalence of long COVID varies, but recent data indicates that “nearly one in five (19%)” of people who have previously reported a COVID-19 infection are still experiencing symptoms months after their initial exposure. This means “at least 65 million individuals worldwide” are estimated to be affected by long COVID.
Who Is Likely to Get Long COVID?
Long COVID can develop even in those with a mild or completely asymptomatic case of the virus. For some, the symptoms of long COVID may be more challenging than their initial acute infection.
Why this occurs is not fully understood. The exact cause of long COVID is still a mystery, but the condition has led to ongoing research and medical investigation to better understand its mechanisms and improve long-haul COVID treatment solutions.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Long COVID?
Because each person’s experience with COVID-19 and long-haul COVID is unique, it’s important to reach out to healthcare professionals to discuss your symptoms. However, new research and innovative long COVID treatments can powerfully improve the outlook for long COVID patients.
How Has Long COVID Evolved?
The understanding and recognition of long COVID has evolved significantly since the early days of the pandemic. Initially, the focus was primarily on acute respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19. The concept of persistent symptoms was not fully understood or acknowledged.
Over time, as more individuals recovered from the initial infection, it became clear that a subset of people continued to experience a range of lingering symptoms. This caused a shift from viewing the impact of the virus as short-lived to recognizing the complexity and persistence of symptoms as an ongoing condition that affects many individuals for months, and even years, after their first exposure.
Several factors contribute to this evolved understanding of long COVID, including:
- Public Awareness: More individuals, inside and outside the medical community, now recognize the prevalence of long COVID and its impact on those recovering from COVID-19.
- Diagnostic Criteria: The medical community worked to establish diagnostic criteria to aid in identifying individuals with persistent COVID symptoms.
- Recognition of Unique Experiences: It’s now known that long COVID encompasses a diverse array of symptoms that affect different systems of the body, widening the criteria to include individual experiences with the condition.
- Research and Studies: Ongoing research has deepened our understanding of long COVID by identifying common patterns of symptoms, risk factors, and potential mechanisms behind the development of the condition.
As the medical community continues collaborating and public awareness increases, our understanding and approach to long-term COVID treatment options should only evolve.
Long COVID Symptoms
Many of the common symptoms associated with long COVID present unique challenges to those living with the condition. In addition to the well-known respiratory symptoms of the virus, COVID long-haulers can also develop other troublesome symptoms, including:
- Fatigue: Chronic and profound fatigue or exhaustion can develop, and some cases may not be alleviated by rest.
- Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath continues, even after recovery from the initial respiratory symptoms.
- Chest Pain: Discomfort or pain in the chest, often unrelated to heart issues, may persist.
- Cognitive Issues: These issues can include brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and other cognitive challenges.
- Joint and Muscle Pain: Aches and pains in the joints and muscles can last or develop beyond the acute phase.
- Headaches: Persistent or recurrent headaches, sometimes resembling migraines, may be common in those with long COVID.
- Loss of Smell or Taste: Some individuals continue to experience anosmia (loss of smell) or dysgeusia (altered taste) for an extended period.
- Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleep patterns, either due to other symptoms or as a symptom in itself, is common.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Persistent digestive symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, may develop or worsen with long COVID.
- Heart Palpitations: This includes irregular or rapid heartbeats that may continue after recovery from the initial infection.
Long COVID Symptoms and the Brain
Why Do Long COVID Symptoms Persist?
The persistence of long COVID symptoms is a complex phenomenon. Several potential explanations are considered:
- Ongoing inflammation
- Immune dysregulation
- Post-viral syndrome
- Persistent viral presence
There’s still a lot to learn about how long [mitochondrial dysfunction] will last, but it will probably be tied to the level of microvascular change or blood vessel damage. The more blood vessel damage you have, the more [long COVID symptoms] you’re likely going to have. Also, the amount of real estate that those microvascular changes are occupying will probably dictate how long [symptoms] will last.
Fortunately for COVID long-haulers, treatment options developed to address the root cause of these symptoms show promise.
Watch an Exclusive Webinar: Can You Recover From Long COVID Symptoms
After a COVID-19 infection, many individuals find themselves battling persistent exhaustion and depleted energy levels. For many living with the aftereffects of the virus, post-COVID fatigue seems like it may never end.
One of the most common symptoms, post-COVID fatigue, is more than just a little tiredness. It can show up as a major decrease in physical and mental performance, affecting everything from emotional well-being to your ability to perform even basic daily tasks.
Finding relief from this intense level of fatigue can feel overwhelming, with many conventional remedies falling short. This can lead to a powerful sense of frustration and, for many, a determination to discover how to get rid of long COVID fatigue for good and find effective, long-lasting solutions.
What Causes Post-COVID Fatigue?
Though fatigue is a common symptom during and after a COVID-19 infection, the reasons behind its persistence vary. Ongoing research suggests it may be caused by:
- The body’s reaction to the virus
- Persistent inflammation
- The virus’ effect on mental health
Studies on post-COVID fatigue find that it’s largely caused by “any systemic inflammation…which activate[s] the innate immune system in the brain.” Lifestyle changes, medications, and symptom management may offer day-to-day relief. However, addressing the condition at its core requires a more comprehensive approach.
What Are the Treatment Options for Long COVID Fatigue?
If you’re yearning to reclaim your life from the grips of post-COVID fatigue, Aviv Clinics offers a beacon of hope through a holistic long-haul COVID treatment solution. The comprehensive Aviv Medical Program, which can incorporate a combination of lifestyle changes, cognitive training, nutritional focus, and a unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol, can help you rediscover the vitality you thought was lost.
Long COVID Headaches and Migraines
Like everyday headaches, headaches experienced by individuals with long COVID can be intense and unyielding. Unlike typical head pain, people with long COVID experience them in addition to the many other symptoms associated with the condition. Those living with long COVID can experience seemingly mild headaches or debilitating migraines as often as daily. This can make the experience seem even more unbearable.
From cognitive impairments and difficulty concentrating to the notorious brain fog that clouds your mental clarity, long COVID headaches can worsen a set of already frustrating symptoms, extending even further into various aspects of everyday life.
Understanding the nuances of these headaches is crucial for those seeking answers and relief from the pain and disruption of this persistent symptom.
What Triggers Long COVID Headaches and Migraines?
Examination of the causes of long COVID headaches is essential for relief and provides insights into the broader landscape of the condition’s diverse symptoms. The persistent and often intense head pain linked to long COVID may be linked to several mechanisms, including:
- The virus’ impact on the nervous system
- Lingering inflammatory response
- Changes in blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain
- Neurological complications
- A persistent heightened immune response
Ultimately, how the virus impacts various body systems may play a role in lingering headaches associated with long COVID.
How Long Do Headaches Last Post-COVID?
The duration of post-COVID headaches and migraines can vary widely among individuals, with some experiencing recurring headaches for weeks or months. While some people experience headaches for a relatively short period, others can grapple with intense headaches for an extended duration, underscoring the importance of effective long-term COVID treatment options.
Understanding the causes and duration of long COVID-related headaches is only the beginning. Thanks to breakthroughs in long COVID treatments, many individuals can take steps toward reclaiming their lives from the clutches of persistent head pain.
Read More: Long Covid Headache/Migraine and Treatment
Long COVID Vertigo
For many, vertigo is another ongoing symptom that adds layers to the challenges of long COVID recovery. In addition to chronic pain, brain fog, and fatigue, as many as “60% of patients [report] the presence of vertigo or dizziness” in varying levels of severity.
Understanding the Link Between Long COVID and Vertigo
Vertigo—the sensation that the world is spinning or the ground feels unsteady—can be a lingering symptom in the aftermath of a COVID-19 infection. Several mechanisms may trigger this sensation in COVID long-haulers, including inflammation and changes in the brain.
Recognizing vertigo symptoms—including spinning sensations, a loss of balance, visual disturbances, and nausea—is pivotal for early intervention. Exploring the presence of neurological inflammation may be a key component to consider during the evaluation and diagnosis process, which can help connect patients to timely and targeted care solutions in the face of long COVID-related vertigo.
Long-Term COVID Treatment for Vertigo Symptoms
Traditional approaches to managing vertigo involve several different treatment and coping strategies, such as:
- Medical interventions
- Lifestyle modifications
However, cutting-edge solutions for long COVID vertigo get closer to the core of the issue by addressing changes in the brain and vestibular system—both areas shown to be impacted by the virus. Drawing from ongoing research in neuroscience, targeted, holistic interventions could be the key to finding lasting relief from post-COVID vertigo.
Post-COVID Brain Fog
Brain fog, a symptom that involves sluggish thinking, confusion, and forgetfulness, is common in those who develop an acute COVID-19 infection. However, when it lingers for months after initial exposure—as it does in many who experience long COVID—the persistence can be exhausting.
As many as 80% of people recovering from COVID report brain fog as a symptom that just doesn’t seem to go away. While the cognitive impact of the COVID-19 virus affects individuals differently, it’s common to experience:
- Poor concentration
- Mental fatigue
- Slow thinking
- Unexplained forgetfulness
- Disorganized thoughts
The connection between brain fog and a previous COVID-19 infection illustrates the virus’ impact on the brain. Most notably, brain fog is a symptom that can develop in individuals with long COVID regardless of whether they initially experienced a mild or even asymptomatic case.
How to Get Rid of Long COVID Brain Fog
Among the available options for COVID long-haulers, treatment solutions may include:
- Engaging in exercise
- Maintaining a well-balanced diet
- Getting adequate sleep
These solutions can help address the root cause of brain fog and bolster memory and various thought processes. Suppose you suspect your brain fog is related to COVID-19 and its lingering effects. In that case, a more holistic long COVID treatment solution may help manage the symptoms by promoting healing at the cellular level.
Cognitive Impairment & COVID-19
As we continue to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19, research reveals a concerning connection between the virus and persistent neurological issues. Beyond respiratory symptoms, a substantial number of individuals endure cognitive impairments long after their first infection.
Does COVID Affect Long-Term Cognitive Function?
Studies have shown that COVID-19 has implications for long-term cognitive functioning, as those recovering from the virus can continue to experience cognitive challenges for weeks and months after exposure. In some patients, these challenges may last for years.
In fact, some of the most “common, persistent and disabling symptoms of long COVID are neurological.” These symptoms can persist for a long time and can develop in individuals regardless of age or the severity of their initial infection.
Is Long COVID Cognitive Decline Permanent?
The duration of cognitive impairment after COVID-19 can vary, but evidence suggests that long-term challenges may not be permanent; they can improve over time through holistic, long-term COVID treatments that aim to address the root causes of the symptoms.
Specialized interventions grounded in medical science can promote healthy tissue regeneration in the brain and body by triggering the body’s innate healing mechanisms. Clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in facilitating recovery and promoting overall wellness in those grappling with enduring cognitive symptoms of long COVID.
Comprehensive long-haul COVID treatment programs that include HBOT and lifestyle changes such as clean diets, regular exercise, and stress management may be the key to addressing long COVID’s neurological impact.
Myocardial Function in Post-COVID-19 Patients
Long COVID can affect various internal systems in people living with the condition, including cardiac health. Many COVID long-haulers suffer from cardiac dysfunction, putting them at increased risk for several disorders.
The exact mechanisms through which COVID-19 affects the heart are complex and involve a variety of factors. The virus may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the heart muscle. The inflammation, coupled with the potential for blood clotting issues associated with the virus, may contribute to cardiac complications.
Pioneering Research on Myocardial Function for COVID Long-Haulers
A groundbreaking study conducted by the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center and Tel Aviv University sheds light on the effectiveness of a unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol in addressing cardiac dysfunction in post-COVID patients.
This study, published in Scientific Reports, shows promise in enhancing cardiac function for individuals experiencing long COVID symptoms. The results demonstrated that the unique HBOT protocol, when administered regularly over the course of several weeks, effectively restored ventricular systolic function in post-COVID patients. This discovery offers hope and insight into potential avenues for recovery.
According to Dr. Shai Efrati, a researcher on the study and chair of Aviv Scientific’s Medical Advisory Board:
“This HBOT protocol has already shown to be effective in improving neurocognitive function in post-COVID patients, and now, we show it can also improve cardiac function in post-COVID patients. People with post-COVID are suffering with lingering symptoms and we’re still learning more about the lasting effects of COVID-19. With this study, we are able to provide hope for post-COVID patients that they didn’t have before.”
The Aviv Medical Program: Treatment for Long COVID Symptoms
Aviv Clinics stands at the forefront of addressing the complexities of long COVID symptoms, offering a groundbreaking approach to long-term COVID treatment through the Aviv Medical Program.
Long-haulers dealing with seemingly unending symptoms can now find relief through this science-backed treatment, which can involve a combination of specialized hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), cognitive and physical training, and nutritional coaching—all tailored to individual patient needs and health goals.
Comprehensive Long-Haul COVID Treatment
The Aviv Medical Program follows a structured process: An in-depth medical assessment, a tailored treatment program, and a post-treatment assessment to measure progress and recommend further improvements. The holistic approach aims to address the underlying causes of long COVID symptoms, offering a beacon of hope to those navigating the challenges of persistent illness.
To provide a comprehensive, personalized treatment program for each patient, Aviv Clinics boasts a multidisciplinary team including:
- Nutrition experts
Several studies highlight the efficacy of the therapies used in the program for improving cognitive, cardiac, psychiatric, fatigue, sleep, and pain symptoms associated with long COVID.
A Unique HBOT Protocol
Among other interventions, the Aviv Medical Program can include a unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol as one of the treatments for enduring long COVID symptoms. In traditional hyperbaric oxygen therapy, individuals breathe 100% pure oxygen at a higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure. This prompts the body to increase oxygen saturation in the blood and tissues, which supports tissue repair and regeneration.
Aviv Clinics offers a unique HBOT protocol that leverages the Nobel-prize-winning discovery of the hypoxic response to further trigger the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Essentially, the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox sparks the body’s healing potential by fluctuating oxygen levels, challenging the body to work harder to adapt and recover as a response to a perceived lack of oxygen.
Recovering from Long COVID
Josh’s Life-Changing Long COVID Recovery | Aviv Clinics
When attorney and law firm COO Josh developed COVID pneumonia in 2021, his struggles were only beginning. He suffered from excruciating nerve pain and other symptoms that left him unable to work for more than a few hours a day, distanced him from his family, and contemplating suicide. Fortunately, Josh is back on his “A-game” at work and with his family after completing the Aviv Medical Program.
Danielle’s Long COVID Recovery Story | Aviv Clinics
Long COVID caused an active mom who had superb blood pressure, worked out three times a week, and ran half-marathons to transform into a parent who struggled to make lunch for her children due to confusion, numbness in her extremities, vision troubles, and dangerously high blood pressure. Danielle G. felt hopeless—until she found Aviv Clinics.
Find Long COVID Relief at Aviv Clinics
If the lingering symptoms of long COVID impact your daily life, there is hope. At Aviv Clinics, our dedicated team of professionals collaborate to create a personalized long-haul COVID treatment program designed to help you on your road to recovery.
Backed by scientific research, this comprehensive approach can help address the cognitive, physical, and mental symptoms of long COVID and help you reclaim your life. Take the first step toward getting your life back on track after a COVID-19 infection.
If you’re suffering from long COVID, contact Aviv for help.