Researchers are still learning what effects coronavirus has on the body. Initially thought to attack just the respiratory system, experts now have linked COVID-19 to symptoms involving the nervous system, including dizziness.
What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
According to the CDC, coronavirus symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion/runny nose
A report published in Annals of Neurology also shows data linking COVID-19 to the nervous system, causing symptoms such as:
- Loss of taste and smell
- Difficulty concentrating/fogginess
Researchers also report that nervous system-related symptoms may present before other symptoms, including fever.
How Are Dizziness and COVID-19 Linked?
Dizziness is a common condition describing a wide range of symptoms like vertigo (a sense that the world is moving around you), lightheadedness (feeling faint) or feeling unbalanced (like you might fall).
COVID-19 causes dizziness and other symptoms related to the nervous system because the virus wears on the lungs and heart, making it difficult for oxygen to get to the brain. Study authors also suggest the virus may infect the brain directly, and the immune system’s response could cause inflammation that damages the brain and nerves.
If you experience dizziness with no other symptoms, it is unlikely that the cause is coronavirus. Ask yourself whether you are prone to dizzy spells, may be dehydrated, stood up too quickly, etc., before becoming overly worried.
If you cannot identify another underlying cause and dizziness is unusual for you, you may want to seek testing for coronavirus.
What You Should Do if You Feel Dizzy
Whether you have coronavirus or not, dizziness is unpleasant.
One of the first indicators of a dizzy spell is loss of balance. If you experience loss of balance, sit or lie down right away so you don’t fall and injure yourself. Keep your eyes closed until the feeling passes. When you feel ready to stand again, move slowly to avoid inner ear disturbances; quick movements can cause the balance system in the inner ear to communicate incorrect signals to the brain.
For severe or persistent dizziness, IV fluids, prescription medications and exercise-based vestibular therapy may provide relief.
If dizziness persists after seeking treatment or is accompanied by cardiac or neurologic dysfunction, seek immediate medical help.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Topeka ENT today.