Although experts said that the omicron variant causes mild symptoms, there is still fear that the growing number of cases could pose a big problem to the healthcare community. And even though the new variant is known to cause similar signs and symptoms as the earlier strains, there is mounting evidence that it could also trigger an unexpected symptom among patients.
Dizziness As A COVID-19 Symptom
Multiple research outputs from scientists and medical experts have shed some light on the notion that dizziness or lightheadedness could be a warning sign of omicron. Several patients have complained about experiencing this while battling COVID-19, according to Best Life.
A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health last month reported on the prevalence of dizziness in numerous COVID-19 patients. The researchers noted that dizziness was more common than other symptoms suggestive of SARS-CoV-2.
A previous study published in September 2020 already pointed out the presence of dizziness as a clinical manifestation of COVID-19. At the time, the team behind it indicated that dizziness was not a surprising symptom since the condition was long associated with viral infections, historically speaking.
A Sign That’s Easy To Overlook
The official list of signs and symptoms recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not include dizziness or lightheadedness. The list mentions headache and nausea but does not mention feeling faint, weak, or unsteady.
Because the symptom is not recognized as a characteristic sign of COVID-19, doctors tend to overlook this compared to other signs of infection. But now that omicron is triggering this symptom in most patients, experts urge everyone to be mindful of nonspecific symptoms such as lightheadedness.
“We would like to emphasize that dizziness should not be taken lightly as it has been proven to be a notable clinical manifestation among COVID-19 patients. It is imperative that attending physicians remain vigilant, especially when managing nonspecific symptoms such as dizziness, as it can be easily overlooked,” the authors of the latest study on COVID-19 and dizziness wrote.
Understanding COVID-19-Induced Dizziness
The National Health Services (NHS) in the U.K. has distinguished the type of dizziness SARS-CoV-2 causes compared to those triggered by other viral infections and conditions. According to the organization, COVID-19 causes “a sensation of spinning or an altered sense of motion often called vertigo.”
In addition, the coronavirus infection may make a patient feel lightheaded as though they are about to faint. Both manifestations tend to appear during the acute infection phase. However, they may also surface during the recovery period or as part of long COVID symptoms, added the NHS.
People experiencing the type of dizziness or lightheadedness COVID-19 causes are advised by the NHS to slowly move when changing from one position to another, especially when attempting to sit up or stand up from a lying position. It is also best to contact a healthcare provider should the symptoms worsen.