Odds are, you’ve experienced a headache before. You might have even had a migraine at some point in your life. But for some people, a headache or migraine can be recurring. But did you know that a headache is also a common symptom of COVID-19? That headache can sometimes last for weeks after the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. They can even occur daily.
What we know
Well, we know that in a 2020 study, 74.6% of participants with COVID-19 had a mild to moderate headache. To add to that, just under one-quarter of the participants experienced severe, migraine-like headaches.
The pain often appeared at the same time as other COVID-19 symptoms. But it could also be one of the earliest symptoms to appear. These headaches can last for weeks after the initial infection, which is referred to as long COVID.
When to seek treatment
While researchers are still trying to understand long COVID and why headaches continue for weeks, it is important to know when to seek treatment. If you experience a headache that lasts for three days and it does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, you should contact your doctor.
It is especially important to seek treatment if your headache:
- Is a new or unusual symptom.
- Significantly changes in intensity when you change position.
- Starts when you cough, sneeze or strain.
- Occurs with unexplained weight loss or night sweats.
Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on headaches and what treatment options might help.