A neurologist said there’s another long-lasting symptom of COVID-19: severe headaches.
Dr. Jaclyn Duvall said post-viral headaches are nothing new, but what’s different about COVID is how long the headaches last and how intense they can be. Dr. Duvall said without treatment, these headaches can be crippling.
"This can be completely life-changing," Duvall said.
Amber Ostasik is one of Dr. Duvall's patients at Hillcrest's Utica Park Clinic. She suffered severe headaches for months after her COVID-19 diagnosis.
"It was very debilitating," Ostasik said. "I was in and out of urgent care because the pain would get so bad that I didn't know what to do."
Ostasik said she was diagnosed with COVID-19 last June and after a few weeks of recovery thought she was in the clear, but the headaches came back.
"When they came back, they came back with a vengeance. Headaches, that doesn’t sum up what I was having. I was having head pain. I mean I couldn’t see straight the pain was so bad. By the time I saw Dr. Duvall I was in a desperate place," Ostasik said.
Dr. Duvall said the majority of people with the coronavirus won't experience such serious symptoms, but a growing number of people aren't so fortunate.
"I'd say a vast majority of individuals are actually improving within the first few weeks after recovery, but we are seeing a number of patients that are having these lingering effects, even in Amber's case up to 100 days after experiencing COVID," Dr. Duvall said.
Ostasik recovered after specialized treatment but said when she was first diagnosed with COVID-19, she never expected such severe symptoms to last so long.
"I'm in my mid-thirties, I run marathons, I'll be fine. If I get it, I'll get over it within two weeks," Ostasik thought. "I think it was really eye-opening not just for me, but for everyone around me. This could be potentially life-changing."
Dr. Duvall said if your symptoms also linger well after a COVID diagnosis, you should consider going to a specialist for treatment.