You are individual and you are our priority
02/04/2021 Sophia Hogg
Defeating the coronavirus can be the start of the battle for COVID-19 patients. People with serious symptoms of the virus can be dealing with problems for years even after the recovery. COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease of the lungs which comprise of air sacs where the fluid is filled, restricting their capacity to absorb oxygen which finally leads to symptoms like shortness of breath, cough etc. Dr A Raghu Kanth, Senior Pulmonologist at Medicover Hospitals shares how COVID-19 affects the lungs and what the path to recovery looks like.
The most frequent lung problem faced post COVID-19 recovery includes lung fibrosis. As there is initial lung damage caused it further leads to damaging of lungs due to which quality of life ultimately comes down. That is the swelling stage gives way to the fibrosis stage. This condition needs the support of home oxygenation even after discharge and recovery. In some cases, lung fibrosis might also affect the cardiac health of an individual causing Cor Pulmonale which happens as a problem of serious lung disorders.
The extent of fibrosis decides the further problems attached. Pulmonary ThromboEmbolism (PTE) is another pulmonary issue which might affect people post-COVID-19 recovery. Its frequency has increased due to continuous restriction of movement while tackling the virus. It refers to a blockage or clot in the pulmonary artery, which stops the oxygen from reaching the lungs.
The methods involved in taking care of these conditions are to administer medications for example Anticoagulant and Anti-fibrotic drugs along with plus or minus home oxygenation. Anticoagulants generally help in stopping the formation or enlargement of blood clots whereas Antifibrotics lowers the risk of acute respiratory degradation.
General preventive measures for patients with pulmonary problems include stocking up medications and supplies for weeks in advance, avoid visiting crowded places and non-essential travel and by staying at home as much as possible. Avoiding smoking, paying attention to immunity levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is compulsory.
Dr. A Raghu Kanth, Senior Pulmonologist, explained “Medicover Hospitals have treated these patients who have returned with complications of lung fibrosis post COVID-19 recovery. Therefore, early interventions and follow-ups are very crucial to begin with medications in order to stop further progression”
Why am I short of breath?
It is very frequent for people with a respiratory disease for instance COVID, to feel breathless both during the acute phase of the disease and whilst recovering. Breathlessness could happen for lots of reasons but it could usually make people feel scared, anxious or begin to panic and might limit your daily activities.
What does breathlessness look like in day-to-day life?
It is crucial to remember:
There are a number of approaches you could use to help manage your breathlessness, including:
Techniques to assist control your breathing
When you are able to do this easily while sitting down, try and then use this technique when you are active.