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Many experiencing long-term brain fog after COVID-19 diagnosis

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Posted at 5:47 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 13:26:38-04

That fuzzy, confusing, light-headed feeling that some people who have had COVID just can't seem to shake -- also known as "brain fog."

"Brain fog is not a medical term, but we've all felt it, right?" says ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Janice Johnston with Redirect Health. "We've taken an antihistamine or maybe something that's a sedating kind of drug. Or maybe feeling a little under the weather or jet-lagged, or that kind of thing?"

Dr. Johnston explains that feeling typically goes away once you start feeling better, but for some, the brain fog has a hard time clearing up. Dr. Johnston tells us there are a number of factors.

"We do know with long haulers that they experience a lot of different symptoms, not just the brain fog. They feel fatigued, they have difficulty sleeping, their bodies will be achy. They feel like they can't get exercise like they used to. All of those things can definitely affect how your brain feels. If you just don't sleep very well, of course, your brain is going to feel kind of foggy and not quite with it."

Dr. Johnston says if that foggy feeling doesn't go away, seek medical help.

"If you have persistent inability to concentrate, and feeling that fuzzy, dizzy, weird feeling, I would first recommend people go see their doctor. Because there are lots of other things that can cause this feeling. So just getting checked out, possibly getting some blood work, that kind of thing is very important."

And finally, there are things you can do on your own to try and clear up the fog.

"Making sure that you are trying to get your rest, I think that's really important. Eating well, especially getting all the good oils that come with a Mediterranean diet. Avoiding alcohol... would definitely be another one. Trying to practice mindfulness. Listen to awesome music. That always puts my brain in a good spot. And then maybe even trying some brain challenges. Doing puzzles, reading books. Those kinds of things can help stimulate some good brain activity."