Do you tend to feel as though your brain is buffering? Do your usual mundane activities, or even those you are so used to doing, suddenly become challenging to carry out? If you feel like your thinking is less on the knocker after a COVID-19 infection, or if you feel exhausted most of the time, you are likely one of the many people who experiences “brain fog.”
At this point, saying that the COVID-19 virus has impacted every corner of our lives is an understatement. That said, many people who contracted the virus have seen speedy physical recovery afterward. With great emphasis on physical, thanks to medical advancements that produced safe and effective vaccines. But as we all know, the disease also causes neurologic symptoms. One, in particular, usually lasts for six to nine months. In some not-so-rare cases, it could even be extended to two years. Brain fog or COVID-19-associated brain fog sneaks out when everything else on the physical end seems fine.
WHAT IS BRAIN FOG?
For the record, brain fog is not a medical condition. It is simply a term used by individuals when they feel like their thinking is sluggish. In fact, it isn’t unique to COVID-19. Pregnant individuals and those suffering from illnesses may also experience it. Even people who take on long flights could experience brain fog when they feel jetlagged. But brain fog from the scenarios above tends to dissipate in time. COVID-19 brain fog takes a while to clear out.
We already know that the virus can have long-term effects on our bodies. The virus damages some of our organ systems and could eventually cause sustained cognitive challenges. Many people who experience post-COVID brain fog usually feel like their brains are less sharp than usual. Some also struggle with their memory and ability to focus, which affects their productivity and efficiency.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MANAGE COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
Though the cognitive impairment eventually clears out over time, it isn’t entirely the same as the typical run-in-the-mill lethargy since it affects our executive functions. The sustained and prolonged forgetfulness and fuzziness could disturb our usual routine at work, school, or even at home. Most things you can do to manage brain fog require lifestyle checks.
Watch what you eat – Minimize fast and processed food consumption, as these could slow down your healing process. Foods that are high in vitamins and antioxidants are highly recommended.
Increase physical activities – Physical workouts always do the body good as they increase blood flow. Exercising or doing small chores can also contribute to memory formation in the brain.
Exercise your memory – Perhaps, one of the most obvious things you can do is target the organ that’s responsible for thinking. Reading and playing puzzles both help work our memories out.
Quit smoking – Studies show that smokers, including vaping, are most likely to struggle with mental functions, not to mention that Nicotine decreases your chances of fully recovering.
Control alcohol intake – Like in any recovery process, consuming way more than usual alcohol slows your body to recover fully. Minimizing your alcohol intake if you cannot avoid drinking is highly recommended.
If your experience with cognitive impairment or brain fog prevents you from working or finishing your tasks, it is always best to talk to your doctor. Taking the proper steps to manage brain fog will speed up your recovery and prevent you from losing valuable connections at work, school, and home.