Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
April 6, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

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Since the covid-19 pandemic began, an increasing number of people have been reporting symptoms of a “foggy head,” also known as post covid brain fog, one of the symptoms of “long covid.”

This can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition, which is why it’s important to know about all of the treatment options available to you.

In this blog post, we will discuss six different post covid brain fog treatment options, as well as some home remedies that you can try.

We hope that this information will help you find relief from your lingering symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Let’s get started.

What exactly is covid brain fog?

Covid fog is a collection of cognitive symptoms that can include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and headaches when you get infected with the covid-19 virus.

It’s important to note that not everyone who has covid will experience mental fog, and the severity of the lingering symptoms of long covid can vary from person to person.

It also depends on a certain risk factors, such as age and underlying medical conditions. 

For some people, brain fog may only last a few weeks, while for others, it may persist for months or even longer—this is also known as post covid mental fog, which means that the brain dysfunction still lingers even after one has healed from covid-19.

If you’re dealing with post covid 19 brain fog, you’re not alone.

In fact, research suggests that up to 32.7% of people who have had covid-19 will experience some form of long covid, with mental fog being one of the most common cognitive symptoms

How COVID-19 Affects the Brain 

The exact mechanisms by which covid-19 causes brain fog are not yet fully understood, but there are several theories.

One theory is that the virus may cause inflammation in the brain, which can lead to cognitive dysfunction as it passes through the blood-brain barrier and causes instability.

Another possibility is that long covid 19 fog is a result of an autoimmune reaction, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy brain cells. 

Yet another theory is that the virus may cause changes in the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which can impact brain function.

It’s important to remember that each individual’s immune system is unique; thus how long covid-19 affects the brain varies on each person’s brain.

Also, there more research is needed to confirm these theories.

But whatever the exact cause, it’s clear that post covid fog is a real and serious condition that can have a significant impact on your life.

Can post-covid 19 brain fog be diagnosed?

Yes, post covid-19 fog can be diagnosed by a medical professional.

There is not currently a specific test for long covid 19 brain fog, but your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.

They may also order some tests to rule out other possible causes of your cognitive impairment, such as sleep apnea, depression, or anxiety.

Once other potential causes have been ruled out, your doctor may diagnose you with post covid 19 fog based on your symptoms and medical history.

Common Symptoms of Post Covid Mental Fog

As we mentioned earlier, post covid fog can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Sluggish or foggy thought processes
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Problems with thinking or problem-solving skills
  • Forgetting thoughts in mid-sentence during conversations

These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they may come and go or persist over time.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a doctor so they can rule out other potential causes and provide you with the appropriate treatment.

6 Post Covid Brain Fog Treatment Options

There are not many treatments for post-covid-19 fog as of this writing, and there is still a lot of research needed to determine the level of efficacy of the current treatment options. 

That being said, here are six post-covid brain fog treatment options that you may want to discuss with your doctor:

Neuroplasticity Therapy

This is a type of therapy that helps the brain to rewire and create new neural pathways.

The theory behind neuroplasticity therapy is that post covid 19 fog may be caused by changes in the brain’s structure, and this type of therapy can help to reverse those changes.

There is some evidence to support this theory, but more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Cognitive rehabilitation is a type of therapy that helps people with cognitive difficulties relearn lost skills and develop new ones.

This rehabilitation program consists of a set of treatment choices that are frequently utilized to assist patients with traumatic brain injuries or other conditions like “chemo brain.”

This type of therapy can be helpful for post covid fog because it can help you to regain some of the cognitive abilities that you may have lost due to the virus.

Cognitive rehabilitation won’t always cure the cognitive deficits associated with COVID, but you’ll acquire techniques and workarounds to mitigate its impact on your brain function.

Computerized Cognitive Training

Computerized cognitive training is a type of brain training that uses computer games or other digital activities to improve cognitive function.

There is some evidence to suggest that this type of training can be helpful for post covid fog, but more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.

Sudoku and Wordle are two examples of computerized puzzle games that can benefit individuals with long-term COVID.

Constraint-Induced Therapy (CI)

A tried-and-true rehabilitation approach that has shown success in restoring lost function, known as Constraint-Induced Therapy, is being tested in a clinical trial at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

This type of therapy is utilized all over the world to assist people with regaining limb movement and language abilities after a stroke.

Constraint-Induced Therapy is also used to treat patients with traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.

It is also beneficial for treating anoxic and other brain damage in pediatric patients who have been subjected to mild hypothermia.

There is some evidence to suggest that this type of therapy can be helpful for post covid 19 brain fog, but more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.

“Errorless” Learning

“Errorless learning” is a technique that helps people with brain injuries or other cognitive impairments learn new information without making mistakes.

This type of repetition technique aids in the recovery of memory abilities that were damaged during the covid-19 infection.

This type of treatment strategy is also often used in conjunction with other therapies, such as constraint-induced therapy.

There is some evidence to suggest that this sort of treatment might be beneficial for post-covid fog, but more study is needed to verify it.

Shaping Therapy

Shaping is a treatment technique that involves breaking down a task into smaller, more manageable steps.

This technique of rehabilitation also necessitates a person to repeat over and over the rest of their limited functionality, which is diminished use.

For example, remembering chores they have neglected in the past.

Shaping therapy can be helpful for post covid fog because it can help you to focus on one thing at a time and complete small tasks, rather than trying to take on too much at once and getting overwhelmed.

Home Remedies for Post Covid Fog

There are also some home remedies that you can try to help you cope with post covid fog.

Some things that you can do at home to help improve your cognitive function include:

Getting plenty of sleep

It’s important to get plenty of sleep when you’re dealing with post covid fog.

Make sure that you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.

If you have trouble sleeping, there are some things that you can do to help improve your sleep quality, such as:

  • Avoiding caffeine late in the day
  • Limiting your screen time before bed
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine

Doing mind exercises

Improving your brain health by doing mind exercises is a great way to help enhance your cognitive function.

Mind exercises can include things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, and other brain teasers.

You can also try memory games or apps to help give your brain a workout.

Staying hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial for maintaining good cognitive function.

Make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, and try to avoid sugary drinks or alcohol, which can actually dehydrate you.

Maintaining a brain-healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for keeping your brain function sharp.

Make sure that you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Brain-healthy foods include: 

  • Salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Spinach
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados

You should also limit your intake of processed foods, artificial additives, and sugar.

Sticking to a regular aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercises are important for maintaining good cognitive health as they help increase blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function.

Some great aerobic exercises to try include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Tennis

Aim to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three to five times per week.

Performing deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises can help improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.

To do a deep breathing exercise, sit in a comfortable position and inhale slowly through your nose, letting your stomach expand.

Then, exhale slowly through your mouth.

Repeat this process for five to ten minutes.

Practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to help improve brain function as you deal with post covid fog.

Mindfulness involves being present at the moment and focusing on your breath.

You can practice mindfulness by:

  • Meditating
  • Doing yoga
  • Listening to guided meditation recordings
  • Spending time in nature

The Bottom Line

Post covid brain fog can be a frustrating and debilitating condition to deal with.

However, there are treatment options and home remedies that can help improve your cognitive function.

If you’re struggling with post covid fog, talk to your doctor about treatment options that may be right for you. 

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to clear it effectively, here are more educational blog posts to read, and feel free to join this online community of brain health advocates.

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