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You’ve lost your sense of smell and you have a headache – oh dear, could it be coronavirus? You get a test, and the relief when it comes back negative is palpable. But while it’s probably just a cold, there are a few things to be on the lookout for while Covid dominates everyone’s concerns.
1. Losing your sense of smell
If you’re sure it’s not Covid, losing your sense of smell could indicate something else at play.
Note that a loss or change in your sense of smell is also common in colds and flu, allis snap coupler rear blade sinusitis and hay fever, so it’s not necessarily a reason to panic.
But there is a small chance that a foreign body or growth could be blocking your nasal passages, or it could indicate a problem with the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain that detects and processes odours.
And according to Parkinson’s UK, a reduced sense of smell can be an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease as well as the potential link to dementia.
Identifying these conditions early can really make a difference, so if you’re sure your loss of smell isn’t due to a normal bug, you should get it checked out.
2. Ongoing fatigue
While many of us experience fatigue, it is often caused by lifestyle factors.
Those with strange working hours or young children will be no stranger to the feeling of fatigue.
Fatigue can also often be attributed to lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or poor sleep patterns.
Long Covid sufferers also report debilitating fatigue, which should be discussed with a doctor.
But if you’ve ruled out all the lifestyle factors and can’t kick the fatigue, you should check in with your GP.
Ongoing fatigue can be a sign of anaemia, thyroid problems, heart problems, diabetes, coeliac disease or cancer.
Anxiety and depression can also cause fatigue, which should be treated right away.
3. Jaw, back or neck pain
Anyone who spends all day at a desk will easily dismiss pain in the jaw, back and neck as a symptom of office work.
But there is a more worrying reason you could be experiencing these symptoms – it could be early signs of a heart attack, especially in women.
The key thing to look out for is if the pain feels like a squeezing, cramping or pressure.
Other lesser-known but common symptoms of a heart attack include weakness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath and nausea or vomiting.
If you think you could be having a heart attack, you need to call an ambulance – the sooner you get to a hospital the better your chances are of surviving without major damage to the heart.
4. Flashes of light
For migraine sufferers, visual disturbances like flashes of light are a common sign that an attack is on its way.
Sometimes, however, it can indicate retinal detachment.
This can cause permanent sight damage if not treated quickly, so do seek help right away.
5. Tingling hands or feet
Tingling hands or feet are usually associated with spending too long in one position – the common pins and needles.
Sometimes, however, it can indicate nerve damage.
Tingling or burning in the arms, legs or torso can be an early indicator of multiple sclerosis.
They can also indicate diabetes, so you should see a doctor right away.
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