How Long Does Brain Fog Last & How To Clear It Quickly?

Chronic brain fog is when your brain feels foggy all the time. How long does it last, especially in Long-Covid? And how can you clear your brain fog using natural remedies and experimental medicines?

How frustrating do you think it is to walk through the day in a mental haze? If you have ever experienced brain fog, you know.

“Brain fog” is not a scientific term; however, this informal phrase accurately paints a picture of the condition.

Brain fog gives you a constant feeling of confusion, mental fatigue, lack of focus, memory problems, dizziness, and vague muscle pains. You are less effective at almost everything you do.

It is a frustrating experience. But how long does brain fog last?

And what can you do to control its grip on you?


What is Brain Fog?

“Brain fog” is a term collectively referring to symptoms including a state of confusion, persistent cognitive and attention deficits, and consistent impairment of executive functioning, language, processing speed, and working memory.

In a simpler way, brain fog is a condition that makes it difficult for you to think or remember clearly, make decisions rapidly, and find the words you want to express while speaking or writing. You’re frustrated with not being able to be optimally busy and productive, feeling tired, and your progress slowed down.

How Long Does Brain Fog Last?

The length of time your brain fog lasts depends on its type. There are two types: acute and chronic.

Acute Brain Fog: Days to Weeks

Acute brain fog is typically caused by a short-term illness or injury, such as a vaso-vagal syncope (sudden fainting due to low blood supply to the brain), a concussion (a hit on the head), or an infection involving the brain.

It usually lasts for a few days to a few weeks, though its duration can vary depending on the exact cause and personal factors.

Chronic Brain Fog: Months to Years

Chronic brain fog is a long-term condition. It can be caused by long Covid, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, depression, or anxiety.

The duration of chronic brain fog can last for months or even years in some cases.

How Long Does Brain Fog Last After Covid?

The vast majority of patients with post-COVID-19 brain fog recover completely over t 6 to 9 months. A small segment of patients of all ages experience brain fog persistently for up to 2 years.

Covid-related brain fog is difficult to diagnose (Venkataramani & Winkler,2022).

However, brain fog has been proven to be a common symptom of long COVID. Almost half of those suffering from long COVID report either poor memory or brain fog.

Long COVID is when symptoms last beyond months after the COVID-19 infection. Long COVID patients report brain fog, poor memory, dizziness, depressed mood, anxious mood, and sleep disruption. About 4.5% of people have it at 2 months.

This study found that brain fog or poor memory was reported by 48.7% of individuals with long COVID, 36.3% of individuals with acute COVID-19, and 45.7% of all survey participants.

Study authors Perlis & Santillana also found that “brain fog” was the third most commonly reported symptom among survey participants, with 40.4% of individuals reporting this symptom.

  • This study (Brain Fog in Adults Reporting Long COVID Symptoms, Jennings & Monaghan, 2022) suggests the best independent associations with brain fog in COVID were subjective memory impairment, word-finding difficulties, higher fatigue levels, non-orthostatic dizziness, and myalgia.
  • While there are no specific biomarkers, there are some common findings among patients who have long COVID.: brain scans often indicate lowered metabolism in the olfactory bulb, cerebellum, and brain stem; inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein and D-dimer, are typically elevated in patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19.
  • A study by Fernández-Castañeda et al. found that mild respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to neuroinflammation and subsequent brain damage, mediated by CCL11-induced microglial activation and inhibition of neurogenesis.

How To Clear Your Brain Fog Quickly?

Brain fog is a debilitating condition. Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure for it.

Here are some natural remedies and non-medical ways to help reduce brain fog:

  1. Abstain from Tobacco: Stop using tobacco to facilitate optimal recovery from post-COVID-19 brain fog. Studies have shown that non-smokers have a significantly higher chance of achieving full recovery compared to smokers.
  2. Limit Alcohol Intake: Regular or heavy drinking can slow down the recovery process. Stop or limit alcohol consumption to occasional or very light levels to avoid hindering your recovery from brain fog.
  3. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activities, such as daily walks, can help boost blood circulation. Improved blood flow can promote brain healing and help alleviate symptoms of brain fog.
  4. Adopt a Healthy Diet: Consuming processed foods, fast food, and sugary treats can induce inflammation in the body, which works against the healing process. Opting for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can support better healing.
  5. Vitamin D Supplementation: Taking a daily supplement of 1000 or 2000 IU of Vitamin D can support brain and nerve function. Vitamin D is known for its role in maintaining the health of neurons and supporting cognitive functions.
  6. Mental Stimulation: Engaging in mental exercises, such as solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, or reading diverse materials, can enhance cognitive function. These activities stimulate the brain, helping to keep it active and potentially alleviating symptoms of brain fog.
  7. Natural Remedies:
    • Adequate Sleep: One of the most effective natural ways to alleviate brain fog is to ensure you get enough sleep. Strive for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
    • Healthy Diet: A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help mitigate brain fog. Avoid processed foods and incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and nuts, to improve brain function.
    • Stress Reduction: High stress can negatively impact brain function. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help you relax and unwind, potentially reducing brain fog.
    • Hydration: Stay adequately hydrated.

Medical Treatments for Brain Fog

The three mainstays of treating brain fog are cognitive rehabilitation, physical therapy, and psychological support.

If you are experiencing acute brain fog, consult a doctor asap. If you can’t go to a doctor, ask someone to take you to a hospital.

Meanwhile, lie down and take some rest, stay hydrated, and avoid activities that require a lot of mental or physical exertion. And call someone to be by your side.

  • Consultation with a Doctor: Brain fog can be debilitating, but there are no universally approved treatments. Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as stimulants or antidepressants, to alleviate your symptoms, enhance brain function, and speed up your recovery.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help identify and alter negative thought patterns contributing to brain fog, potentially reducing its impact.
  • Address Underlying Conditions: If there is an underlying medical issue causing brain fog, treating that condition may help treat the brain fog. For example, if one has hypothyroidism, taking medicine to manage this condition can help enhance cognitive functioning and reduce brain fog.

These are some experimental, research-based treatments:

  1. “Long‐COVID syndrome‐associated brain fog and chemofog: Luteolin to the rescue”.
  2. “Breathlessness and exercise with virtual reality system in long-post-coronavirus disease 2019 patients”.
  3. “Effect of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Long Coronavirus Disease 2019 with Fatigue and Cognitive Dysfunction”.

Mindfulness And Brain Fog

Mindfulness meditation can help reduce brain fog by bringing us to the present moment and teaching us how to observe the fluctuations of the mind without emotionally engaging in them.

  • Mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to brain fog.
  • Mindful breathing can help quiet the noise in our minds, allowing us to filter through distractions and regain mental clarity. It also helps our lungs absorb more oxygen into the bloodstream.
  • Activities like mindful yoga and mindful walking can help you distract from over-focusing on your problems. It helps you recognize the best methods available to you and take steps on them, learn your limits, and stop ruminating.


  1. How long does brain fog last after drinking?

    Brain fog can be a persistent symptom of alcohol consumption, and it can last for several months or even years after initial consumption. The symptoms that are caused by a hangover usually lessen within 8 to 24 hours.

  2. How long does brain fog last after quitting alcohol?

    When chronic alcohol consumers stop drinking, gray matter shrinkage in the brain begins to reverse within two weeks. Most alcohol quitters find that they are thinking much better within the first week, and their ability to think clearly improves as they make their way through the detox process.

  3. How long does brain fog last after eating gluten?

    It takes approximately 48 hours on average for brain fog symptoms to resolve after accidentally eating gluten. This study found that neurological symptoms are common in non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). The most common neurological symptoms were headaches, brain fog, balance issues, and tingling. The onset time of these symptoms was similar to that in celiac disease, with symptoms typically resolving within 48 hours.

  4. How long does brain fog last after a brain stroke?

    Poststroke acute dysexecutive syndrome (PSADES) is a complex disorder that is not fully understood. This study found that stroke survivors took longer to complete cognitive tasks. The researchers suggested that the cognitive difficulties experienced by stroke survivors are not simply due to a lack of brain activity, but also to a disruption in the way that the brain processes information.

  5. How long does brain fog last after anesthesia?

    Brain fog after anesthesia can last for some days or a couple of weeks.

Final Words

There is no quick cure for brain fog. Moreover, everyone’s experience with brain fog is different, so what works for others may not work for you.

Analyze your lifestyle to find things hurting your recovery (alcohol, tobacco, late nights), and replace them with those things that promote brain and nerve healing (exercise, deep breathing, adequate sleep).

Meticulously study the latest studies and findings on brain fog. Stay persistent in your quest to clear your brain fog.

Don’t hesitate to seek an opinion from an online healthcare professional or researcher from a different country if you’re struggling to find relief with treatment from your local doctor.

I wish for you, as this adage says, “A clear mind makes for a clear life.”

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Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy. His expertise is in mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoic philosophy.

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