More than two million people in the UK now live with long COVID. Diagnosed when symptoms last weeks or months after the illness has passed, long COVID is estimated to impact 3% – 12% of those who have caught the virus, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Research into the condition is now underway, with experts hoping to find out more about why it occurs and how it can best be treated. The findings of this research could also help those suffering from other unexplained post viral illnesses.
Common symptoms of long COVID
While the full range of symptoms of long COVID are still being revealed, there are some common symptoms most patients experience. They include:
- Brain fog
- Chest pain
- Chronic fatigue
Research into long COVID has shown that those aged 65 and over are at a greater risk of developing the condition. Approximately 1 in 4 patients over the age of 65 have at least one long COVID symptom.
Interestingly, the symptoms experienced are similar to those triggered by other chronic illnesses. Often caused by infections, millions of people currently suffer with unexplained chronic illnesses.
Could long COVID help solve the mystery of chronic illness?
As the rising number of long COVID cases continues, researchers are devoting their time into figuring out what is driving the condition. Why do some people get long COVID while others don’t?
The research being conducted could also help to solve the mystery of other chronic illnesses such as ME, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis. These conditions often begin in the same way as long COVID, causing many of the same unexplained symptoms.
In England alone, there are approximately 15 million people living with a chronic illness. Around 8 million people in the UK suffer from chronic pain. With no cure available, living with a chronic illness can negatively impact quality of life.
As more is discovered about long COVID and why it affects some people and no others, it could lead to a better understanding of other unexplained illnesses.
Treatments available to manage long COVID symptoms
There is no single treatment available to treat long COVID. Instead, patients are treated based on their individual symptoms. Medications, alongside diet and exercise, are most used to combat the common symptoms of the condition.
Symptoms such as brain fog, low mood, and memory problems, can be managed at home with a variety of techniques. Your doctor will be able to put together a treatment plan to help manage the condition.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, seeking help from a pain specialist can help. Dr Ivanova Stoilova will be able to assess the types of pain you are experiencing, and guide you to the most appropriate treatment, which is likely to be comprehensive.
She will be able to follow you and re-assess the medications, doses, the need for physical therapy, or pain relief interventions. Book a consultation today to begin your journey to a pain-free life.