The New "Debilitating" Symptom Hitting Younger Coronavirus Patients
As the age of the average COVID patient decreases, the disease is manifesting in different ways.
One of the reasons the coronavirus pandemic has been so difficult to fight is that the disease keeps showing up in different ways. And while the specifics of how and why are not yet clear, the symptoms seem to occasionally vary based on population. In the past several weeks, more and more young people have tested positive for COVID-19, disproving the theory that it would mainly affect older and at-risk individuals. They're also showing symptoms that are not as common in those older populations. In Tennessee, for example, doctors report hearing complaints of migraines from young coronavirus patients.
It appears that the drop in the age of the average coronavirus patient is due, in part, to reopening in many parts of the country, in addition to the initial confusion over who was really in danger of contracting the disease. City centers like Nashville have seen a massive increase in young COVID cases. (Tennessee marked its record high amount of daily new cases when it surged past 2,000 on July 8.) And with those new cases comes new information about what more severe cases look like in younger bodies.
Doctors in Nashville told WKRN News that, while fever proved to be a common symptom among older patients, most younger ones did not experience it. However, the outlet also reported that clinics said their "phones [were] ringing off the hook with younger COVID-19 patients and debilitating migraines, something they haven't found a medication that works for yet."
Headaches are a known symptom of coronavirus and listed on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, along with sore throat, shortness of breath, and other common complaints. But migraines and headaches are not the same. Per the Mayo Clinic, migraines "cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head," can be "accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound," and sometimes "last for hours to days." Migraine pain "can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities," the site says.
There is no cure for migraines, but there are medications that can help prevent them or alleviate symptoms. People who suffer from recurring migraines may also make changes to their sleep schedule, diet, and stress management plans in order to head them off. Still, managing migraines can be a challenge, especially as they can impede activity.
It remains to be seen what information doctors and experts can glean from these cases and whether migraines caused by COVID-19 are functionally different from other kinds. This symptom adds to the mystery of coronavirus, as doctors still aren't totally sure what causes migraines to begin with. But we do know that COVID-19 can impact the brain, along with other organs, and that several neurological symptoms have been reported. Stress is also known to exacerbate migraines, and some other stress-related conditions are notably on the rise amid the pandemic.
If you do experience any symptoms that concern you, including a headache or migraine, consult your doctor and seek treatment. That splitting pain in your head could be an indicator of something even more serious. And for more COVID-19 revelations, here's The Alarming New Way Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted, Study Finds.