Long COVID: When to See Your Doctor

When to See Your Doctor

Goodpath offers an integrative care approach to your long COVID recovery. Our program is intended to work with your doctor to provide care that best meets your needs. 

Why Should I See My Doctor?

You should see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your long COVID symptoms. You should also see your doctor for specific reasons:

  1. To confirm that your symptoms are due to long COVID. Your doctor will determine whether or not another condition might be causing your symptoms.

  2. To order appropriate diagnostic tests. For example, they may recommend lung function tests if you’ve had shortness of breath for more than 2 months.

  3. To prescribe medications and refer you to specialist doctors if needed.

  4. To recommend and explain necessary at-home monitoring. For example, they may advise you to use a pulse oximeter which measures your oxygen level and heart rate.

Follow-up After Hospitalization for COVID-19

If you were hospitalized during your initial COVID-19 infection, you should see your doctor at least once after you’re discharged.

This is very important if you were in the intensive care unit (ICU). There are certain problems that are more likely to occur in people who’ve had long hospital stays in the ICU and complex medical treatments (e.g. use of mechanical ventilation  - i.e. “vent”). 

Your doctor will check you for complications related to COVID-19 and your hospital stay. Some of the possible complications include heart or lung problems, muscle weakness, cognitive issues - i.e. trouble thinking, remembering, etc., as well as changes affecting your mood like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When Should I Get Immediate Medical Care?

You should see your doctor right away or get emergency care if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • New or worsening shortness of breath 

  • New or worsening chest pain or pressure

  • New confusion, difficulty speaking or weakness of a specific area (for example, one leg is much weaker than the other leg) 

  • Thoughts of suicide or harming yourself 

You should also see your doctor or get immediate care if you have any other severe symptoms. 

Your Goodpath coach can answer your questions about your symptoms and when you should see your doctor.