COVID-19 patients experience chronic, painful breathing difficulty up to six months after hospital release, underscoring importance of at-home treatments like gammaCore Sapphire™ CV (nVNS).

A 2021 study published in The Lancet provides evidence that frequency and prolonged COVID-19 symptoms can persist after hospital discharge. The study revealed that over 1,700 individuals – “long-haulers” or individuals with Long COVID – experienced symptoms and complications beyond the initial period of acute infection and illness like difficulty breathing or pulmonary diffusion abnormality, for months following the onset of infection. For asthma sufferers with known or suspected COVID-19, breathing difficulty can be particularly debilitating making finding treatments that can be conducted safely at home an additional concern.

“Because the virus is novel, we began with almost no information whatsoever, and many survivors had to silently suffer through lingering symptoms of COVID-19. However, scientific research is beginning to catch-up and provide evidence confirming what has been real to many of us for months, that although you survive COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you recover fully from COVID-19. There were many members of our group who were a couple of months into COVID and struggling alone with debilitating symptoms before joining Survivor Corps,” says Diana Berrent, COVID-19 survivor, founder of Survivor Corps, a grassroots group of over 150,000 COVID-19 survivors who’ve become one of the largest supporters and integral facilitators supporting medical and scientific research on the coronavirus. “Many COVID-19 survivors are still suffering, typically under no medical supervision, with Tylenol and Gatorade as remedies, and told only to seek medical help if they truly cannot breathe – which demonstrates just how important at-home, medical treatment is for these symptoms.”

The World Health Organization has been relying on pain specialists for insights and guidance as COVID-19 causes severe acute respiratory syndrome which often leads to chronic pain, significant suffering, limitation of daily activities and reduced quality of life. The Lancet study revealed that a significant proportion of patients (22–56% across different severity scales) had trouble breathing and lung difficulty in the six months after initial COVID-19 symptoms appeared – underscoring difficulty breathing as an aspect of the chronic pain associated with Long COVID.

“COVID-19 patients report severe, painful, persistent symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and headaches along with difficulty breathing. For these chronic symptoms, telemedicine has been a vital lifeline to ensure patients are receiving the latest recommendations and treatments,” says Dr. Georgios Giannakopoulos, DO, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center. “When combatting COVID symptoms, a convenient option for migraines or breathing issues associated with asthma is gammaCore, a non-drug, at-home therapy.”

gammaCore Sapphire™ CV received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the acute treatment of asthma exacerbation in patients with known or suspected COVID-19. gammaCore Sapphire™ is indicated for use in adult patients and adolescents for the preventive treatment of migraine and cluster headache, and acute treatment of pain associated with migraine and episodic cluster headache which COVID long haulers also experience. Both therapies are non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) treatments which use a gentle electrical stimulation at the neck to activate the vagus nerve, the information highway that extends from the brainstem to the abdomen, and internal organs, including the small intestine and colon. That’s why many people who suffer with migraines also have abdominal pain, diarrhea, IBD, etc. It is also the command and control center for inflammation. Because COVID-19 infections produce a high level of aggressive, prolonged inflammation of the airways, asthma sufferers and newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients experiencing issues including gasping and reduced airflow, are finding gammaCore Sapphire™ CV a safe at-home therapy.

“COVID-19 can exacerbate existing respiratory issues, like asthma, and cause persistent and severe breathing difficulty,” adds Giannakopoulos. “The good news is that there is still a lot that can be done to keep your breathing symptoms in check if you have COVID-19 or Long COVID and asthma. Patients should consult their medical professional to learn about new therapies like gammaCore Sapphire™ CV for breathing difficulties both after an initial COVID-19 diagnosis and if symptoms persist in the following months.”

About Survivor Corps:

Survivor Corps is a grassroots community of COVID-19 survivors mobilizing to educate and support each other, while advocating for engagement in scientific research to help stem the tide of the pandemic. Our work is influencing the development of new therapeutics for those with COVID and improved care for those suffering from Long Term COVID symptoms. Survivor Corps is the Epicenter of HOPE.


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