Here’s What a COVID-19 Headache Feels Like

Here's What a COVID-19 Headache Feels Like

This is What a COVID-19 Headache Feels Like

Cough, fever, and shortness of breath had been among the many most typical indicators (along with a optimistic check) that you simply had been contaminated with COVID-19. However the newest variants have introduced one other rising symptom to the desk: complications.

“Earlier within the pandemic, we steadily noticed complications in sufferers who had misplaced their sense of odor and style, however with Omicron we now see complications even with out lack of senses, they usually usually happen throughout and after the interval of an infection,” says Thomas Intestine, DO, director of the Publish-COVID Restoration Middle at Staten Island College Hospital, a part of Northwell Well being in New York.

And analysis is starting to emerge to again up these anecdotal medical findings. Complications, fatigue and cold-like signs similar to a runny nostril had been probably the most generally reported signs of Omicron, in line with a current examine within the journal. The BMJ, whereas one other in The Headache and Ache Diary discovered that complications had been probably the most frequent and protracted signs of ‘lengthy Covid’.

Medical specialists are additionally discovering that complications current as a symptom of Covid-19 each in predisposed folks (i.e. who beforehand suffered from complications earlier than an infection) and in those that have by no means had complications earlier than. “Many sufferers say they’ve a headache for the primary time throughout Covid, which is unlucky,” says Rafia Shafqat, MD, a neurologist at OhioHealth.

This is what to learn about a Covid-19 headache, and how one can discover reduction.

What does a headache associated to COVID-19 seem like?

In the event you’ve had complications earlier than or undergo from them steadily, this may occasionally sound acquainted. However since there are a number of forms of complications – migraine, pressure and clusters being probably the most outstanding – it’s possible you’ll by no means have skilled this actual kind of headache earlier than. “Most individuals report it as a tension-type headache, with a band-like phenomenon, but it surely will also be a migraine-type headache with nausea or sensitivity to mild and sound,” says board-certified Rachel Colman, MD. neurologist and headache drugs specialist at Hartford Healthcare Ayer Neuroscience Institute in Connecticut.

Dr. Shafqat says a headache associated to COVID-19 may also seem like or be accompanied by:

  • Throbbing or throbbing ache

  • Sharp, throbbing ache within the temples or again of the top

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or lightheadedness

  • Sensory dysfunction similar to numbness or tingling, problem pondering, or ringing within the ears

What causes a COVID0-19 headache?

There may very well be just a few issues at play. For one, the body-wide irritation you expertise when contaminated with the virus might set off a headache, identical to the blood vessels in your mind might swell. ignite, says Dr. Colman. Then there’s the potential neurological piece, since we all know that COVID-19 can assault our neurological system, and complications typically are a neurological situation. “The speculation is that after the virus has handed via the nostril to the olfactory bulb (which impacts our senses), it will possibly assault nerves that contribute to ache within the head and influence blood vessels. of the mind,” says Dr. Colman. “So a direct invasion, there is a idea as to why folks have COVID-related complications.”

Different issues that occur throughout an an infection, similar to not staying adequately hydrated, not consuming sufficient, or not sleeping properly, may also contribute to or make a headache worse.

How lengthy does a headache associated to COVID-19 final?

It relies upon. Some folks could have a headache till their check is detrimental, whereas others could solely have a headache for just a few days of the energetic an infection interval. The length of complications throughout “lengthy COVID” is much more obscure, with the symptom presenting for days, weeks or months. “It is a combined bag. Some sufferers who’ve had migraines and pressure complications prior to now say they turn into extra frequent proper after COVID, and a few individuals who have by no means had them frequently develop pressure headache signs that persist,” says Dr. Intestine. “Often we see the headache signs go away after just a few months.”

What’s one of the best ways to get reduction from a headache associated to COVID-19?

Spoiler alert: There isn’t a magic resolution. “It is just about the identical factor you’ll do for a headache in one other state of affairs; sadly, there’s nothing particular you are able to do to really feel higher,” says Dr. Colman. “Way of life elements are tremendous necessary, and in order for you a touch, I might say hen soup is at all times a good suggestion – it is hydrating, comprises vitamins and electrolytes, and is reassuring.”

Give attention to these life-style habits to assist with COVID-19 and “lengthy COVID” complications:

  • Take over-the-counter ache relievers similar to acetaminophen or ibuprofen for ache reduction in the course of the acute an infection interval. “Initially of COVID they had been saying to not take sure painkillers, however that is outdated information, so take no matter relieves your complications and/or different signs,” says Dr. Shafqat.

  • Keep hydrated. When you do not get sufficient fluids, tissues and your mind constrict, placing stress on nerves that may set off a headache.

  • Do not skip meals. Even in case you do not feel like consuming, it is necessary to take action to keep away from blood sugar modifications that might result in complications. Strive easy-to-eat meals which you can incorporate vitamins into, similar to smoothies, soups or stews, oatmeal, eggs, and toast.

  • Give attention to sleep. After getting recovered from COVID, do your finest to return to your standard sleep-wake schedule. “I do know it may be laborious to sleep when you’ve a headache, however do your finest to get seven to eight hours of sleep,” says Dr. Shafqat. It could additionally assist fight fatigue, one other frequent symptom of ‘lengthy Covid’.

  • Attempt to tame stress, which is usually a set off for complications.

  • As soon as you’re feeling higher, do some mild bodily exercise like strolling. “It may be laborious to contemplate going again to the kind of train you had been doing earlier than, however simply begin sluggish and work your method up,” Dr. Colman says.

  • If you already know one thing in the environment is triggering your headache or making it worse — like sure lights, sounds, or smells — “getting your self out of that setting is an efficient first step to assist finish that headache.” , says Dr. Intestine.

  • Keep updated on COVID-19 vaccinations. “It is nonetheless probably the greatest issues you are able to do to assist forestall ‘lengthy COVID’ signs,” says Dr. Intestine. “The bivalent vaccine has been good at this.”

When to see a health care provider for a headache associated to COVID-19:

When you have “probably the most terrible headache of your life,” search medical assist straight away as a result of it might doubtlessly sign one thing life-threatening like a mind bleed, Dr. Intestine says. And at all times go to the emergency room in case you expertise a headache accompanied by a stiff neck, decreased degree of consciousness, seizures, or extreme mild sensitivity, says Dr. Colman, as a result of these could also be indicators of COVID-related meningitis or encephalitis (irritation of the liner of the mind, brought on by an an infection).

Generally, it is a good suggestion to speak to your physician anytime complications intrude along with your each day life or turn into frequent sufficient that you simply frequently take over-the-counter ache relievers – they may also help you discover medicines that may assist you to get reduction, or determine underlying points which may be contributing to it.

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