What To Do If You Think You May Have Long COVID

Symptoms of COVID-19 range depending on the severity of the virus. MedlinePlus reports that, on average, people with mild to moderate COVID will experience symptoms for 10 to 14 days before they start to feel better. That said, some people experience symptoms for months, and this is commonly referred to as long COVID.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that long COVID symptoms can vary widely depending on underlying health conditions, as well as the severity of the virus. Most people who experience long COVID have had a severe case of the illness, but some people who have had mild symptoms can also experience long COVID. The most common symptoms of long COVID include overwhelming fatigue, fever, shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, heart palpitations, headaches, changes in taste or smell, sleep problems, diarrhea, and a rash. In some cases, symptoms are difficult to explain and manage, per the CDC.

Work with your primary care physician

If you think you may be suffering from long COVID, WebMD recommends seeking treatment from your primary care physician rather than a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, or any other kind of specialist. One reason is that your primary care doctor knows you and is familiar with your health record. They can work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific symptoms. In addition, your primary care provider may be closer to you, and you might be able to schedule an appointment without much of a wait.

If your primary doctor has limited knowledge of COVID, limited treatment options, or if your symptoms become more chronic and have lasted for more than a few months, you may want to see a specialist for treatment or a second opinion. WebMD also points out that many specialists will only see patients who have had symptoms for at least three months, which is another reason to begin with your primary care physician.