Coronavirus arrived to the U.S. in January, so there’s a lot we don’t know about it. One thing research published in Annals of Neurology has found is that COVID-19 affects the nervous system and can cause a number of neurological symptoms, including dizziness.
The authors report that, “Initially thought to be restricted to the respiratory system, we now understand that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) also involves multiple other organs, including the central and peripheral nervous system. The number of recognized neurologic manifestations of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection is rapidly accumulating.”
Symptoms of COVID-19
The CDC reports the following symptoms for COVID-19, although it is not meant to be an exhaustive list:
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle/body aches
- Loss of taste/smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion/runny nose
Loss of taste and smell are considered neurological symptoms, according to the recent research; others researchers have associated with coronavirus include:
- Difficulty concentrating
The authors note that those infected may experience these neurological symptoms before more common symptoms like fever, cough and respiratory issues.
What if My Only Symptom Is Dizziness?
If you are feeling dizzy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush off to get a COVID test. You should first ask yourself whether or not feeling dizzy is unusual for you.
If you’re prone to dizzy spells, especially when dehydrated or after standing up quickly, you probably don’t need to worry, as long as you have no other symptoms. Dizziness is a symptom of several different ear conditions. You should take care to drink plenty of fluids and evaluate whether symptoms persist.
Sheri Dewan, M.S., M.D., neurosurgeon at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital suggests, “If symptoms have dramatically changed in caliber—meaning frequency, length, occurring at different times of the day, trying normal treatments without resolve—then you should contact a physician, for imaging may be needed.”
Allen Towfigh, M.D., medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine also reports that “Dizziness caused by COVID-19 will likely be accompanied by other signs or symptoms to suggest a COVID-19 infection, such as fevers, respiratory illness, or cough.”
If you’re experiencing ongoing dizziness and have ruled out COVID as the underlying cause, schedule an appointment with a local Otolaryngologist.