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Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:30
Saturday and Sunday - CLOSED

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Recover ITC
8877 Harry Hines #100
Dallas, TX 75235

Behind Your Brain Fog: How Long-Haul COVID Can Impair Cognitive Function

If you’re seeking answers about long-haul COVID, there’s a good chance you may have been experiencing confusion, trouble concentrating, or even memory problems. This sensation of mental haziness is one of the most common symptoms of long-haul COVID, and yet much remains unknown—and misunderstood—about its true cause and impact.

We’re talking about brain fog.

What Is Brain Fog?

Brain fog has become a catchall term for the many and varied neurological, psychological, and emotional aspects of long-haul COVID. It aptly describes the symptoms many people struggle with following a COVID infection: slow thinking, memory trouble, headaches, fatigue, and difficulties paying attention and juggling multiple tasks at once.

In one study of patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 and were experiencing long-haul COVID symptoms, nearly 50% reported either poor memory or other brain fog-related feelings. It didn’t matter if the patients had a severe case of the virus or not—brain fog can affect anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Often patients with long-haul COVID will simply describe that they feel “off” or “different,” which could mean they are experiencing some kind of brain fog. This symptom can be especially frustrating and for good reason. Since we can’t see it, feel it, or even truly define it, it can be difficult to tell if or how we’re getting better.

The fact that brain fog is an invisible symptom means that family, friends, or colleagues may not take them seriously. Even the person experiencing brain fog may feel inclined to minimize their symptoms, thinking it’s “all in their head.”

To compound these issues, brain fog can also make it more difficult for patients to seek treatment for their symptoms. Researching health care providers, tracking symptoms, scheduling appointments, and picking up prescriptions is all made much more difficult when you have trouble even getting out of bed in the morning.

Why Does Long-Haul COVID Cause Brain Fog? 

As of now, there is no single, clear-cut answer to why long-haul COVID causes brain fog symptoms. But new studies are shining much-needed light on some possible answers, and just as important, if we’re able to treat the symptoms, we can help manage the diagnosis.

Brain fog is not limited to people with long-haul COVID. It’s a common symptom that many of us will experience in our lifetimes. Anxiety and lack of sleep are two of the main causes of brain fog, though overworking and excessive screen time can also cause or exacerbate brain fog.  

Remember: Brain fog can be temporary, and in many cases, patients report feeling better after trying some of the strategies we describe below.

What Are the Best Ways to Manage Brain Fog?

While you should always seek the help of a health care provider if you’re experiencing brain fog or think you may have long-haul COVID, there are some things you can try at home to start feeling better faster.

For many patients, the following techniques and habits have proven successful in easing brain fog.

  • Limit your screen time. Taking a break from scrolling can help you focus, improve your brain function, and help you manage anxious feelings. For these reasons, it’s important not to rely on phone or TV time as a break from work. Instead, try reading a book or taking a walk. We also encourage you to end your screen time at least an hour before bed. Speaking of which…
  • Get plenty of rest. Strive for at least seven hours of sleep a night; eight is even better.
  • Exercise regularly. This may seem challenging when you’re experiencing long-haul COVID, but Recover ITC helps patients develop safe, effective, and comprehensive exercise plans to aid in their recovery. It’s possible to pace yourself and get plenty of valuable exercise at the same time. For example, getting into the habit of taking regular walks can help you relax and build strength as you recover. Start with short, light walks and build from there.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and oranges can support your overall health while helping you manage brain fog. The same goes for greens and leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
  • Find activities you enjoy and do them each day. Doing so will boost your mood and help you alleviate the anxiety you may be experiencing as part of your long-haul COVID diagnosis.

Everyone’s experience with long-haul COVID is different, which is why meeting with a health care provider who takes the time to get a full understanding of your health history and symptoms is so important to making a recovery from long-haul COVID.

How We Treat Long-Haul COVID

As of today, there is no definitive cure for long-haul COVID, and there’s no one treatment for the disease. However, it is possible to treat the symptoms and their ultimate cause: inflammation.

At Recover ITC, our health care providers take a 360-degree view of your health with a comprehensive diagnostic workup and full-body evaluation. We then work with you to develop a custom treatment plan based on your unique symptoms and needs.

If what you’ve read about brain fog resonates with your experience and you think you may be suffering from long-haul COVID, schedule an appointment with Recover ITC today. We’re ready to help you finally find relief from your inflammation symptoms and get you back to living like you’re used to.

Each patient’s treatment plan differs, but the goal remains the same: to leave with a better understanding of your health.

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