When Does Brain Fog Become a Concern?

When Does Brain Fog Become a Concern?

Has your thinking gotten fuzzy—making you feel confused, decreasing your ability to concentrate, and rendering your memory sluggish? Have you been experiencing a mental haze related to COVID-19? Brain fog isn’t considered a medical condition itself, but it can interfere with your everyday life in so many ways. Common symptoms of brain fog include:

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Trouble problem-solving
  • Feelings of confusion or disorientation
  • Having a hard time calculating
  • Diminished visual and spatial skills
  • Trouble finding words

Everybody can experience brain fog after a sleepless night, during a particularly stressful period, or after indulging in a big meal with alcohol, but in some cases, it can be a symptom of a more serious problem. When are your symptoms simply a nuisance and when does mental fatigue become something you need to address? If brain fog persists over time or appears to worsen, it’s time to seek an evaluation.

At Amen Clinics, we have been seeing a growing number of patients who have had COVID-19. Many of them, even those who say they had mild cases and recovered, report experiencing lasting brain fog and fatigue. This is in addition to the mental health issues that originally drove them to seek treatment.

In other people, cognitive dysfunction is linked to other causes. For 67-year-old Lew, making a grave error on his finances that could potentially cost him $100,000 was what prompted him to seek help. He had been a Navy pilot and instructor for 40 years, but he had to stop flying because he was unable to think clearly enough to go through his flight plans. He couldn’t remember conversations; was unable to keep track of schedules, appointments and everyday tasks; and had been forgetting the names of people he recently met. Initially, Lew was diagnosed with dementia, but further testing showed his brain fog was related to a different condition altogether.

6 Conditions Related to Brain Fog

1. COVID-19

Many people with COVID-19 experience an inability to concentrate, confusion, or short-term memory loss. In some people who have recovered from the acute illness, there are lasting issues with mental fog that Amen Clinics calls COVID-Brain. According to a pre-print study published on MedRxiv, cognitive dysfunction is one of the most common symptoms seen in people who are still experiencing issues 7 months after contracting the virus. About 65% of the 3,762 respondents from 56 countries involved in this study reported symptoms lasting longer than 6 months. Over half of those experiencing “long COVID” complained of mental fog.


Getting distracted while you’re paying the monthly bills, tuning out during your weekly department meetings at work, misplacing important documents—these brain fog symptoms could be related to adult ADD/ADHD. Approximately 4.4% of adults have been diagnosed with the condition, but experts suggest it may affect many more who remain undiagnosed and untreated. Getting an accurate diagnosis that includes which type of ADD/ADHD you have (brain imaging has identified 7 types of the condition) and receiving proper treatment can help you think more clearly so you can perform better on the job and in all areas of your life.

3. Depression

Depression can make you feel sluggish—both physically and mentally. Many people with this condition have trouble concentrating, remembering things, and making decisions, which can cause you to spiral into even deeper depression. Getting a targeted treatment plan based on the specific type of depression you have (there are 7 types of depression) can help minimize symptoms of brain fog.

4. Exposure to Toxic Mold

For Lew, the 67-year-old pilot who had to give up flying due to fuzzy thinking, lab testing and brain SPECT imaging showed that his brain fog stemmed from exposure to toxic mold after his home had some water damage. If Lew had simply continued taking the medications he’d been prescribed for dementia, he wouldn’t have gotten any better, and he never would have discovered that toxic mold was the root cause of his cognitive dysfunction issues. Through a cleansing program that included nutrition, supplements, meditation, and exercise, Lew’s memory and thinking began to improve. After three months, he said, “I’m fully functional again.” 

5. Lyme Disease

Common symptoms of brain fog, such as having trouble with focus, problem-solving, and memory can be signs of Lyme disease. This bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick can cause a host of cognitive and neuropsychological issues. Unless Lyme disease is detected and treated appropriately, the infection persists, and symptoms can worsen.

6. Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia

Losing your train of thought, feeling overwhelmed by the decision-making process, having trouble navigating familiar areas—these brain fog symptoms could be related to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. Having brain fog or feeling like your memory is slipping when you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or even in your 80s is common, but it’s not normal. It can be a sign of impending doom. If you live to the age of 85, you have a nearly 50% chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Taking action early to reduce the risk factors that contribute to dementia can help you reduce symptoms of cognitive dysfunction.

No matter your age, persistent symptoms of brain fog should be taken seriously. If you’re struggling with your thinking or memory, now is the time to seek an evaluation. Finding the root cause of your cognitive problems can help you find the right treatment plan. The earlier you start with targeted solutions, the more effective they will be at helping you clear brain fog.

Brain fog, memory issues, and fuzzy thinking can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we use brain SPECT imaging as part of a comprehensive evaluation to identify the root causes of brain fog and to address the conditions related to cognitive dysfunction. Amen Clinics has also created a proven Memory Rescue Program that can help you address your risk factors, train your brain, and improve your memory.

As an essential medical practice, Amen Clinics locations are open and available for in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. I was exposed to toxic mold from a. A.C unit installed incorrectly I was terminated as a Federal Ranger due the CIRS diagnosis heart attack, seizure symptoms, heart attack, hair loss, brain fog fatigue anxiety depression, its been a 2 year nightmare took 2 years to get the correct diagnosis I am going broke from the expenses. I actually had doctor dismiss my diagnosis.

    Comment by JEANNE PHIN — October 10, 2019 @ 4:02 PM

  2. Started with brain fog from Lyme…..and then mold toxicity…!!!
    Mold was bad this year in north central Wisconsin….we received over 12 inches of rain compared to the average rainfall for the season.It seems to be a rarity today to find a person who is not sick…or has some sort of health trial going on.The holistic clinic that I attend performs water and air testing.Their air samples show the Lume bacteria is in THE AIR…!!! not to mention large amounts of herbicides and pesticides.So a person needs to realize we get so many toxins in our body just from breathing in the air.

    Comment by John Szewczyk — November 8, 2019 @ 3:29 AM

  3. I have brain fog related to fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not discussed here. Is brain fog a result of fibromyalgia? If not, what tests do I need to determine the cause. Some days it is worse than others.

    Comment by Betty Caldwell — November 8, 2019 @ 6:48 AM

  4. I find that eating wheat products for a few days in a row or in a large quantity leads to massive brain fog and tiredness. I have to be careful about how much birthday cake I consume – I usually have more ice cream than cake.

    Comment by Neil — November 8, 2019 @ 8:22 AM

  5. What is the cost of a pet scan and spect scan? Is it covered by Medicare?

    Comment by Kurt Pinshower — November 8, 2019 @ 3:50 PM

  6. I am trying the keto diet. It’s really hard to find something you can eat. But it claims to improve cognitive function.

    Comment by Andy — November 9, 2019 @ 6:09 AM

  7. After nearly 20 years as a private practice naturopath, I can attest to gluten and its cross-reactives being a huge contributor!

    Comment by drbetsill — November 9, 2019 @ 6:47 AM

  8. I’ve been going through an exceptionally worse bout of insomnia the past month. It has become cumulative. I’ve tried all the natural remedies & do not like taking RX meds for sleep. The brain fog is significant at this time. A movie I watched about a man’s bout with alzheimers called a “Head full of honey” describes brain fog very well. ” It feels like a head full of honey”, all gummed up & sticky in my head”, Nick Nolte states. For me the day the fog lifts & I can think clearly will be like being reborn.

    Comment by Kenny — November 9, 2019 @ 7:33 AM

  9. I have brain fog from a barometric pressure lowering when a weather front comes through. I also have an allergy to mold. I am highly allergic
    to antibiotics make from mold. My brain fog comes with a weather change and I get dizzy to the point of not being able to drive and thinking

    Comment by Elizabeth — November 9, 2019 @ 7:58 AM

  10. I was forgetting the names, forgetting where I put my key and my eye glasses. Talked to my family doctor and he gave a little reading test and prescribed Arcept medicine. I took this medicine a week and did nit feel good and stopped. Then after two weeks, I sterted again for a week and did not feel good and stopped. Then I decided since, I am going to see my doctor, let e start and write down the symptoms I feel. So the day I started, in the evening I started comletely confused, could not remember anything, could not recognize my wife, my house etc. My wife took me to hospital next day. They took catscan of the brain. We made an appointment with a neurologist and he told I have Alzheimer’s. I had kidney problem, so he did not give any medicine. My memory is detoriating and I am forgetting and confusing more and more. Now my kidney function failed and I started dialysis about two weeks ago. What should I do now? My neurologist will see me after six months. I want your suggestion if you can. We live in Richmond, KY. I will wait for your advice. Thank you.
    Sincerely !
    Amiya Mohanty
    Wrote this letter by Amiya,s wife Sara Mohanty

    Comment by Amiya Mohanty — November 9, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

  11. Yes, The apartment I recently moved into soon had black mold fibers all over the tub… Office people denied and emptied THREE mold kits from Lowe,s I am ill, hair ALL over floors, blood outbreaks all over body….Minnetonka health came out ..First person said YES mold, Office called another one and he said NO MOLD…..
    What can I do to get help?? I am 77 years of age.


    Comment by sharon labine — November 9, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

  12. If someone came out and said there is a mold problem, I’d call one of the state health departments and ask for direction. The state may have laws regarding mold.

    Comment by Ken Smith — November 17, 2019 @ 7:37 AM

  13. Depression is one of the biggest factors in the recent cases concerning sucide. Its a silent killer. I recently learned from the blog at Acupuncture is My Life that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome leads to the causes eventually ending up in depression.

    Comment by Vincent L Taylor — December 19, 2019 @ 2:36 AM

  14. All of the people here making comments need some serious help. Get to a doctor immediately.

    Comment by Gardner Barnes — January 8, 2020 @ 6:45 AM

  15. I’m in Property Management. Mold is taken very seriously in the industry because you can easily be sued if not taken care of properly. You need to communicate with them via email so it’s in writing and use the word mold. When they say no in the email. Just get it professionally tested. Then if it’s positive for mold charge it back to the management company and prepare for them to demo out the mold etc.

    Comment by Nicole Holcomb — January 29, 2020 @ 4:18 PM

  16. Right

    Comment by Ash — March 21, 2020 @ 7:30 AM

  17. Usually doctors – at least from my many experiences getting to talk about my consistent brain fog and muscle aches last year- will diagnose you with anxiety for almost anything, and this isn’t an exception. Though, i will reiterate this is from my personal experience. I think it’s great to check in with a doctor, but some don’t really inquire about it and so we’re left with searching around on the internet.

    I will say for my situation, once I quit a stressful time-consuming job, I was able to take care of my basic needs: like eating right, having at least two days to relax each week without being called in for a shift, getting enough sleep, etc. that my brain fog slowly cleared over a month. I highly suggest people ask themselves whether or not their situation is stressful, and if you have the means, get in touch with a doctor that cares. Sometimes you don’t feel “stressed” but let me tell you, it can easily take over without so much as a minor headache at first.

    Comment by s.p. — April 27, 2020 @ 12:32 PM

  18. I too experience what you’re going through with the barometric pressure dropping and brain fog. I was also diagnosed with BPPV with crystals dislodging in my ear canal. My physiotherapist has done the epley procedure for my dizziness and it works sometimes. I am on allergy medication to try to alleviate the brain fog. I feel pressure in the back of my neck and massage and apply a cold pack. Sometimes that helps too plus essential oils clears my head. I hope you have some relief. Hard to function and some days.

    Comment by Jo — May 23, 2020 @ 6:57 AM

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