In short, yes, Long COVID is real.
But, can you get tested for it, what are the symptoms, and how can you get treatment? Let’s break it down.
Why is Long COVID real?
Long COVID is also known as post-COVID syndrome (PASC) or Long Haul COVID.
When someone is considered to have Long COVID, it typically means they had COVID-19 and are continuing to experience one or more symptoms for weeks (or months) after.
The severity of the original COVID-19 infection does not play a role in determining whether or not a person has Long COVID symptoms. As of now, the medical community is working everyday to better understand the disease and its impact on specific individuals.
Is there a Long COVID test?
Currently, there is no test for Long COVID.
If you suspect that you have Long COVID and your symptoms are difficult to manage on your own, you should consider speaking with a medical professional. At this point, they may run a variety of tests to confirm a previous COVID-19 infection and to eliminate other potential diseases and complications.
In the future, the Long COVID testing process could change. Currently, research is being conducted to determine if there are biomarkers that can potentially test for Long COVID patients. This process would involve a blood test – which could streamline the process.
What are the symptoms of Long COVID?
Symptoms of Long COVID can vary from one person to the next.
In some cases, these symptoms can be debilitating and negatively impact quality of life. This issue becomes more critical considering the average duration of these symptoms – which could last for six months or longer.
While there are over 50 Long COVID symptoms that have been observed, the most common Long COVID symptoms typically include:
Is there a Long COVID treatment?
Since the symptoms of Long COVID can span a broad range of medical issues, the treatment options vary.
For some people, rest and relaxation is all that’s required. However, for others who experience symptoms that prevent them from going about their daily activities, a customized Long COVID treatment plan should be considered.
For a certain subset of symptoms, there are promising treatment options.
EECP therapy–a treatment that does not involve medicine, surgery, or shots–has been shown to decrease symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, and chest pain.
How does EECP therapy work for Long COVID?
EECP therapy, otherwise known as Flow Therapy, is a simple outpatient, non-invasive treatment that has been shown to be an effective way to manage certain Long COVID symptoms.
During treatment, the patient lays down on a table and EECP compression cuffs are wrapped around his or her calves, thighs, and lower hips. With the assistance of an EKG machine, the inflation and deflation of the cuffs is regulated with the rhythm of the heart.
The inflation and deflation of the cuffs imitates the benefits of passive exercise without straining the heart. This leads to improved circulation, increased cardiac capacity, reductions in joint pain, reduced shortness of breath, and increased stamina. It leverages advanced counterpulsation technology to increase the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart – which results in the widening and creation of new, small blood vessels in the heart.
“Emerging data shows that long COVID is a disease that impacts the health of vessels, also known as endothelial function. EECP is a disease-modifying, non-invasive therapy that has previously shown to improve endothelial function in controlled clinical trials. We currently believe that this is the most plausible explanation for the benefits derived from EECP and the link to Long COVID.” – Sachin A. Shah, PharmD, Chief Scientific Officer of Flow Therapy, featured in the American College of Cardiology
EECP results managing Long COVID symptoms
- Chest pain symptoms improved in 97% of patients
- Fatigue improved in 88% of patients
- Walking distance improved in 83% of patients by 163 feet
- Breathing difficulty improved in 63% of patients
Think EECP therapy can help with your Long COVID symptoms? Take our Long Covid Assessment online