The UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) classifies cough syncope as a neurological disease, meaning sufferers may have to quit driving.
Symptoms of coronavirus can result in drivers being barred from the roads for up to five years if they aren’t properly diagnosed.
Cough syncope occurs when a person faints and loses consciousness following an acute coughing bout.
It is believed to be caused by increased chest pressure, which restricts blood flow to the heart and causes a dip in blood pressure.
Individuals with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma are more likely to suffer this.
However, because cough syncope is categorised by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as a neurological illness, those who suffer from it may be required to stop driving.
Drivers are prohibited from driving for six months after a single episode and 12 months after numerous episodes over a five-year period.
The DVLA says: “Having experienced an episode or episodes of cough syncope, a person has identified themselves as being in a higher risk group that is predisposed to cough syncope.
“Therefore, even if the cough syncope episode occurred during a short-lived period of increased cough (such as an episode of acute respiratory infection), this would not alter the fact that the person is then at higher risk of experiencing an episode of cough syncope whenever they cough regardless of the cause.
“Treatment, management or resolution of the condition which caused the cough does not reduce the risk of syncope with further episodes of cough.”
Covid’s long-term effects are unknown, but because prolonged coughing is a sign, drivers are being advised to be cautious.
A case of a 75-year-old man who was hospitalized with Covid-19 was highlighted in a study conducted last year by the Maria Vittoria Hospital in Turin, Italy.
After three weeks of treatment, he was released but was readmitted five days later due to a syncope episode.
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