Coronavirus patients are reporting feeling dizzy and light-headed when they stand up – months after fighting off the infection.
The condition, called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), affects blood flow and is usually triggered when a person stands up after lying down.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling – and one that COVID patients are experiencing long after the infection has gone.
Other symptoms can include palpitations, headaches, fatigue and blurred vision, and mainly affect women.
The findings were released on Thursday in a clinical case report published in JACC: Case Reports.
In the case report, researchers from Sweden’s Lund University analysed three Swedish patients who were diagnosed with POTS more than three months after presumed COVID-19 infections.
All three patients experienced coronavirus-like symptoms during Europe’s spring last year, though not all of them got COVID tests.
In the months that followed, all three patients began experiencing symptoms of POTS.
They found it hard to get out of bed in the morning, and experienced headaches, nausea and dizziness.
To confirm the patients had POTS, the scientist asked them to perform standing and head-up tilt tests.
Lund University’s Dr Madeleine Johansson, the lead author of the report, said it was important to raise awareness of POTS having possible long-term complications related to COVID-19.
“Much remains unknown about the specific mechanisms responsible for the POTS-like symptoms in post-COVID-19 patients or how long these symptoms will last,” she said.
“But chronic symptoms are expected in a subset of patients based on this initial clinical experience.”
Other causes of POTS symptoms, like dehydration, other infections, anxiety and anemia should be excluded.