If you think you may be experiencing Long COVID symptoms, then you may also be wondering, “Is there a Long COVID test?”
To answer this question, let’s first break down what Long COVID is and then discuss whether or not there are ways to test for Long COVID.
What is Long COVID?
People who have Long COVID experience lingering and oftentimes new symptoms after they recover from COVID-19.
There are over 50 symptoms associated with Long COVID. However, the most common Long COVID symptoms typically include:
Other possible symptoms include Long COVID heart complications such as heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and myocarditis.
Long COVID symptoms can linger for weeks to months post-COVID-19, and they could lead to a serious decline in quality of life. Because of this, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional and find effective Long COVID treatment options when necessary.
Is there a Long COVID test?
At this time, there is no test for Long COVID. Unlike the initial COVID-19 infection, you cannot test Long COVID at a drive-thru testing location or stop by the store to pick up a test. Instead, you’ll need to work with a healthcare provider who can help you to figure out how to best manage your symptoms.
What Long COVID tests will your doctor require?
Since your doctor won’t be able to confirm Long COVID with a single test, they’ll need to identify Long COVID in other ways.
Identifying Long COVID may or may not include:
- A test to confirm a previous COVID-19 infection (referred to an antibody test)
- Initial blood tests that can rule out diseases with similar symptoms
- Ongoing testing that rules out other potential health conditions
Will there be a Long COVID test soon?
Even though there is not currently a test for Long COVID, there could be one soon. Researchers are looking for new and innovative ways to identify COVID Long Haulers based on certain criteria.
Future Long COVID tests may include:
- Autoantibodies in the blood of Long COVID patients
- Biomarkers that could be present after an uncontrolled immune system response
- Signs of vascular damage caused by COVID-19 proteins
What happens after a Long COVID diagnosis?
If your doctor thinks you have Long COVID, then the next steps will depend on the severity of your symptoms. In some cases, rest, relaxation, and healthy habits are recommended to overcome long term COVID-19 symptoms.
This being said, there are Long COVID symptoms that do require more intensive and customized treatment plans. For example, if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue and shortness of breath, you could consider a treatment option known as EECP therapy.
EECP therapy can help manage symptoms of Long COVID by improving blood flow to your heart and throughout the body. It is a non-invasive treatment traditionally used to treat patients with heart disease, erectile dysfunction, restless leg syndrome, and, more recently, Long COVID.
Dealing with a Long COVID diagnosis?
We’d love to help. Check out some of our Long COVID resources and reach out to us if you have any questions on Long COVID or EECP therapy.