Speech-language pathologists successfully treat COVID-19 ‘long journeys’

COVID-19 can present with a wide variety of symptoms.

Some people have a headache and a mild cough, others are hospitalized and have trouble getting enough air.

It is estimated that 10 to 30% of patients with COVID-19 are what are called “ long haul ”.

They are still feeling the effects of the virus months after being diagnosed for the first time.

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital speech-language pathologist Megan Luttrell says even within long haul COVID there is a wide range of symptoms.

“Some people have cognitive functioning problems. It can cause brain fog or possibly problems with memory, attention, planning, and organization. Some people may have trouble swallowing. They may feel like they are choking or strangling when they eat or drink, ”Luttrell said.

For these types of symptoms, Luttrell says speech pathology work can help relieve symptoms.

She works with patients to perform exercises that can help improve memory and organization.

For those who have difficulty swallowing, she may recommend diet changes or vocal exercises.

“I don’t think we know enough yet about how long it will take to recover, if people are going to recover. We just don’t know enough. But we can work with people to improve their quality of life and try to get them back to normal as much as possible, ”said Luttrell.

She said speech therapy can also help people who have been on ventilators for an extended period of time and may have trouble speaking.

Luttrell said people may have had a mild case of COVID initially, then develop these symptoms at a long distance later without realizing there was a link.

If you experience these symptoms, Luttrell recommends speaking with your doctor.

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