Treating Fatigue and Breathlessness in COVID Long-Haulers

Fatigue and breathlessness are among the most common COVID long-hauler symptoms. A physician explains how they're treated.

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CLEVELAND – As more and more people contract COVID-19, new long-hauler symptoms are continuing to be reported.

However, two of the most common seem to be fatigue and breathlessness.

“Some systematic reviews and studies have shown this to be more common in older patients. But in our practice, we are seeing it more common in younger patients,” said Michael Ghobrial, Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Cleveland Clinic’s Medina Hospital. “It’s more common in females compared to males. It’s also more common in patients who have other comorbidities and patients who have been having significant disease.”

Dr. Ghobrial said when it comes to treating these kinds of long-hauler symptoms, they have to focus on each issue individually.

In addition, every person’s treatment plan is going to be different. In some cases, they may require certain exercises or therapy.

So, can these symptoms be cured?

Dr. Ghobrial said it depends on how severe they are. Studies have shown a person can have persistence of symptoms beyond 12 months.

That’s not to say they won’t see any kind of improvement, but it usually isn’t immediate.

“The improvement in their symptoms is not on a day-to-day basis, it’s more on a week-to-week, month-to-month, that they are noting that they are better. This week compared to last week, as compared to other disease processes,” he explained.

Dr. Ghobrial said if you are experiencing these kinds of long-hauler symptoms, it’s important to consult with a specialist. They can help you devise a treatment plan.

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