What is COVID Fog and How Do You Know If You Have It?
Because COVID-19 has been around for just over a year, we’re still in the throes of gathering data and trying to understand how the virus behaves. Who is at the greatest risk? What can a person do to reduce the likelihood of contracting it? What are the long-term side effects of the virus?
Even though COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, it often affects other organ systems, including the brain. One side effect that has received a lot of media attention is “COVID fog.” Sadly, most people believe that COVID fog just has to run its course and that it’s oftentimes a permanent condition. However, recognizing COVID fog and understanding how it affects the brain is the first step in treating it.
Virus-induced COVID fog
According to a recent study, some of the most common lingering side effects of COVID-19 include general malaise, fatigue and brain fog. For many if not most people, these symptoms disappear within a few weeks but for others, they persist and dramatically affect their quality of life. Many people who experience these lingering symptoms are unable to exercise and are forced to cut down their work hours or even quit their jobs.
Omar Danoun, M.D., a neurologist at Henry Ford Health System, notes that these lingering symptoms affect people with severe COVID-19 cases and mild COVID-19 cases equally. Why? Because COVID-19 is neuro-invasive, affecting the brain and surrounding nerves. This accounts for the loss of smell many people report and why, in some cases, the brain becomes inflamed.
Danoun says that about ⅓ of COVID-19 patients experience neurological effects from the virus which can include memory loss and brain fog. Of these cases, ⅓ of patients fully recover from these neurological issues without intervention. This means that the remaining ⅔ of people with neurological issues could benefit from and potentially fully recover with therapy and time.
People under the age of 30 are the most resilient to the neurological impact of COVID-19 while those over 60, particularly those who’ve suffered a stroke or other brain injury, are the least resilient and more prone to long-term effects.
Another kind of COVID fog
With an emphasis on social distancing, many people have experienced a decrease in social interactions. They spend more time at home, away from family and close friends, and less time in the community interacting with the public. This is especially true of older citizens who are at higher risk for severe COVID complications. Consequently, cognitive skills and functions have taken a hit. This social isolation is manifesting itself as COVID fog, no less serious than its virus-induced counterpart. Common symptoms of social isolation-induced brain fog include:
- Cognitive decline
Confusion and disorientation
Decreased voice projection
Declining social skills
LearningRx can help you recover from COVID fog
If you or a loved one are dealing with the neurological side effects of social isolation or the COVID-19 virus, you may benefit from our brain training services. With engaging and intensive mental exercises, we help you boost weak cognitive skills that affect your ability to think, learn, read, remember and pay attention. When these skills are strong, you can rise above the brain fog and get back to your life.
Reach out to us here to learn more!