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17 Sure Signs You May Have "Long COVID," Says New Study

These are the most common signs of PASC, according to a new study.

Every day we are learning more about the long form of COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) or more informally, long hauler syndrome, as more resources have become available to researchers. While most of what we know about the condition stems from those who were hospitalized with COVID, on Tuesday, a new study was published in The Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, focusing on 100 individuals suffering from PASC whose initial COVID infections were mild at most. Of them, a whopping 85 percent experienced four or more neurological issues, as well as a bunch of other debilitating symptoms. Read on to find out what they are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


You May Have Tinnitus

Woman touching her ears.

One of the more peculiar symptoms reported by nearly one-third of the respondents was tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. The Mayo Clinic explains that it is a "ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears that may be constant or come and go, often associated with hearing loss." 


You May Have Gastrointestinal Complaints

Woman touches her stomach.

Many long haulers—29 percent of those surveyed—reported gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea and nausea. "A lot of patients with lingering symptoms report constipation or diarrhea that persists for a few days, then resolves, then returns again," F. Perry Wilson, a Yale Medicine physician and clinical researcher and associate professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, previously told Eat This, Not That! Health


You May Have Blurred Vision

Blurred and double vision while driving

30 percent of those with the condition also reported vision problems, specifically blurred vision. "Diana Berrent has experienced symptoms ranging from headaches to stomach issues to glaucoma — even nine months after her March infection. Now, her 12-year-old son has developed long-hauler symptoms as well," reports WBUR.


You May Have a Variation of Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Woman pressing her chest.

It has been established that long haulers experience cardiovascular symptoms. One of the main ones, reported by 30 of those surveyed, were fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure. 


You May Have Insomnia

hispanic woman at home bedroom lying in bed late at night trying to sleep suffering insomnia sleeping disorder or scared on nightmares looking sad worried and stressed

One-third of participants, 33 percent, claim that long COVID has impacted their sleep, reporting insomnia as a symptom. According to a larger survey of more than 1,500 people in the Survivor Corp Facebook group, half of patients recovering from COVID-19 reported sleeping difficulties. 


You May Have Chest Pain

Woman in grey clothes is holding hands on her chest.

More than one-third, 37 percent, experience chest pain. The Mayo Clinic explains that sudden, sharp chest pains—aka pleurisy—may indicate lung wall inflammation. 


You May Have Pain

senior woman holding wrist with joint pain poor bone health

General pain—including joint and abdominal—is reported by 43 percent of long haulers. The Mayo Clinic explains that joint pain is often related to inflammation, which is common in COVID-19 infections. "Inflammation attacks joint tissues, causing fluid in your joints, swelling, muscle damage, and more," explains Penn Medicine orthopedic surgeon, Christopher S. Travers, MD.


You May Have Shortness of Breath

Woman having chest pain and coughing while lying down on sofa at home.

Shortness of breath is one of the main symptoms reported by those with an initial COVID-19 infection. Of those with long hauler syndrome, 46 percent still struggle to breathe. "Shortness of breath, particularly with exercise (even climbing a flight of stairs) can be really debilitating," Dr. Wilson said. 


You May Have Depression or Anxiety

Woman with tablet indoors on sofa at home feeling stressed, mental health concept.

Nearly half of the long haulers surveyed (47 percent) reported mental health issues—including depression or anxiety.  


You May Have Dizziness


Feeling dizzy or unbalanced is another neurological manifestation of the virus, reported by nearly half (47 percent) of respondents. "This may be due to the weakness many patients have after a tough bout with COVID, but any balance or persistent dizziness should be evaluated by a medical professional," Dr. Wilson says. 


You May Have a Disorder of Smell

woman trying to sense smell of half fresh orange, has symptoms of Covid-19

A whopping 55 percent of respondents reported smell disorders. "Some patients still haven't fully recovered their sense of smell months after they lost it during the initial infection," Dr. Wilson explained. "Many people might not recognize how serious this is, but without smell people may not eat as well, may inadvertently expose themselves to contaminated food, and, more broadly, life just feels less colorful. Though we don't often think about it, smell is hugely important for our well-being."


You May Have Muscle Pain


Muscle pain was reported by 55 percent of those surveyed. "One of the more common long-hauler symptoms, muscle aches—particularly after exercise—can limit activity," says Dr. Wilson. 


You May Have a Disorder of Taste

female cook standing at the hob in her apron tasting her food in the saucepan with a grimace as she finds it distasteful and unpalatable

Loss of taste, which generally goes along with disordered smell, is a common sign of a COVID-19 infection and even more common with long haulers. A stunning 59 percent of those surveyed reported it. 


You May Have Numbness or Tingling

Thigh pain or muscle twitching or muscle cramp.

Per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve." It can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, such as herpes zoster (shingles), HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease, and syphilis. 60 percent of long haulers reported it as a symptom. 


You May Have a Headache

Young woman sitting on a couch, holding her head, having a strong headache. Close up Portrait of young woman with headache.

A headache is an extremely common complaint of long haulers, with 68 percent reporting it. Some long haulers, including a woman in this case report, suffer headaches that last for months after their initial infection. "New daily persistent headache (NDPH) is another chronic headache that can be triggered by viral diseases," the researchers explain. 


You May Have Cognitive Dysfunction

Man hands on his head felling headache dizzy sense of spinning dizziness,a problem with the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway

According to the survey, the top neurological symptom was cognitive function, AKA brain fog. It was reported by a whopping 81 percent of respondents. "This is a sense of feeling not 100% sharp, which can be hard for patients to describe," Dr. Wilson specifies. "They just don't feel on top of their mental game."


You May Have Fatigue

Woman suffering from stomach cramps on the sofa at home.

The overwhelming majority of long haulers suffer from fatigue, per the study. 85 percent of those surveyed reported severe exhaustion as their main symptom. "This is one of the most commonly reported symptoms and can be quite severe," reveals Dr. Wilson.

RELATED: Doctors Say "DO NOT" Do This After Your COVID Vaccine.


Protect Yourself and Others From PASC

Woman putting a second face mask.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss your options. Alternatively, you can call a local post COVID center specializing in PASC. And, don't forget to follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah