Cough, fever and shortness of breath were some of the common symptoms (from A Positive test) as you are They are infected with covid-19.. But Latest variants They brought another growing symptom to the table: headaches.

“We often see headaches in patients who have lost their sense of smell and taste during an earlier outbreak, but with Omicron“Nowadays, we’re seeing headaches even without sensory loss, and they often occur during and after the disease.” says Thomas Guth, DO, Director of Post-Covid Recovery Center at Staten Island University HospitalPart of Northwell Health in New York.

And studies are beginning to emerge that support those unexpected clinical findings. According to a recent study in the journal Headache, fatigue and cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, the most commonly reported symptoms of Omicron are: BMJ, When another enters Journal of Headache and Pain Headache is found to be one of the most frequent occurrences “long covid” symptoms.

Medical experts are also seeing headaches as a symptom of covid-19 in both pre-infected people (those who have had headaches before the illness) and people who have never had a headache before. Many patients report that they have a headache for the first time during covid, which is unfortunate. says Raffia Shaftat, MDOhio Health Neurologist.

Here’s what you need to know about Covid-19 headaches and how to get some relief.

What does a covid-19 headache look like?

If you get headaches or get them often, this may seem normal. But because there are many Types of headache – With migraines, tension and clusters being the biggest ones – there’s a chance you’ve never experienced a real headache like this before. “Most people say it’s a tension-type headache, a band-like phenomenon, but it can be a migraine-type headache that comes with nausea or sensitivity to light and sound.” Rachel Coleman, MD; Board-certified neurologist and headache specialist at Hartford Healthcare Air Neuroscience Institute in Connecticut.

Dr. Shafkat says that a covid-19 headache can also be felt or accompanied by:

  • Throbbing or throbbing pain

  • Sharp, stabbing pain in temples or back of head

  • Dizziness, headache or dizziness

  • Sensory problems such as numbness or tingling, problems with thinking or ringing in the ears

What causes covid-19 headaches?

There may be a few things at play. For one, the body-wide inflammation you experience when infected can cause headaches, as can the blood vessels in the brain, says Dr. Coleman. Then we know that covid-19 can attack our nervous system, so headaches are generally a neurological disease. “Theoretically, once the virus enters through the nose into the sense of smell[it affects our senses]it can attack the nerves that cause pain in the head and affect the blood vessels in the brain,” Dr. Coleman said. “There’s a theory about why people get headaches associated with Covid-19.”

Other things that happen during an infection, such as not drinking enough water, not eating enough food, or not getting enough sleep, can also cause or worsen the headache.

How long does a covid-19 headache last?

It depends. Some people may have headaches until they test negative, while others may only have headaches for a few days during an active infection. The length of time a headache lasts in “long covid” is even more concerning, with symptoms appearing for days, weeks or months. “It’s a mixed bag. Some patients who have had migraines and tension headaches in the past say they’re getting more frequent post-Covid, and some people who don’t know regularly are developing tension-like headache symptoms, Dr. Guth said. “Usually, we see that the headache symptoms go away after a few months.”

What is the best way to get relief from a covid-19 headache?

Spoiler alert: there is no magic fix. “It’s the same thing you would do for a headache otherwise. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing specific you can do to make you feel better,” says Dr. Coleman. “Lifestyle factors are extremely important, and if you want a trick, I’d say chicken soup is always a good idea—it’s hydrating, it’s got nutrients and electrolytes, and it’s comforting.”

Focus on these lifestyle changes to help with covid-19 and “chronic covid” headaches:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with pain during a severe infection. “At the beginning of Covid, they said not to take certain pain relievers, but that’s old news, so take whatever helps your headache and/or other symptoms,” says Dr. Shafkat.

  • Stay hydrated. When you don’t get enough fluids, your tissues and brain become dehydrated, which can put pressure on nerves and cause headaches.

  • Do not delay food. Even if you don’t want to eat it, it is important to prevent blood sugar changes that can lead to headaches. Try Foods that are easy to eat You can pack foods like smoothies, soup or stew, oatmeal, eggs, and toast.

  • Focus on sleep. Once you’ve recovered from Covid, try your best to get back to your normal sleep-wake schedule. “I know it’s hard to sleep when you have a headache, but try your best to get seven to eight hours,” says Dr. Shafkat. This can too. It helps to cope with fatigueAnother common “long covid” symptom.

  • Try to tame stress, which can be a headache trigger.

  • Once you feel better, do some light physical activity, such as walking. “It can be difficult to think about going back to your previous form of exercise, but start slowly and build back up,” says Dr. Coleman.

  • If you know something about your environment that triggers or makes your headaches worse — like certain lights, sounds or smells — “getting yourself out of that environment is a good first step to help stop those headaches,” says Dr. Guth.

  • Stay updated on Covid-19 vaccines. “It’s one of the best things you can do to prevent ‘long-term’ Covid symptoms,” says Dr. Guth. bivalent vaccine He was good at it.”

When to see a doctor for a covid-19 headache:

If you have the “scariest headache of your life,” get medical help right away because it could indicate something life-threatening, like a brain hemorrhage, says Dr. Guth. And always go to the ER if you have a headache with a stiff neck, loss of consciousness, seizures, or severe lightheadedness, as these could be symptoms of Covid-related meningitis or encephalitis (swelling of the upper layer of the brain, caused by infection).

In general, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor any time a headache interferes with your daily life, or if you regularly take OTC pain relievers — they’ll help you figure out which medications will help you find relief. Or point out underlying issues that might contribute.

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