How Covid-19 Affects Lungs
The whole world is dealing with the deadly coronavirus, which has taken a massive toll on the health and lives of people across the globe. This disease is caused due to a respiratory virus that generally occurs in minuscule droplets resulting in cough or cold or by touching infected surfaces.
How Covid-19 Gives Rise To Respiratory Problems?
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that majorly impacts both the upper and lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract encompasses the nose and throat, while the lower ones cover the windpipe and lungs. In only a few weeks, this disease becomes so fatal that it gives rise to Pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
What Happens When Coronavirus Becomes Severe?
The coronavirus can lead to a number of short and long term pulmonary problems such as Pneumonia. It is a serious problem, especially for older people, as they do not have enough immunity to fight against this life-threatening virus. Hence their reduced lung capacity makes it harder for them to recover from it.
How Pneumonia affects the Lungs?
When we inhale, both the lungs and their 480 million Alveoli receive oxygen supply. These alveoli allow the oxygen to enter in the blood vessels and transfer out the carbon dioxide from our blood cells as we exhale.
When the lungs are swollen or inflamed, it results in fluid or inflammatory cells building up in the lungs, thereby depriving them from transferring oxygen & carbon dioxide, causing breathing problems and reducing the blood’s oxygen supply. At times these problems get so worse that it results in complete lung damage.
This is a situation of medical emergency and must be treated as soon as possible.
Covid-19 Pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome taking place due to coronavirus is life-threatening. This injury takes place in the lungs due to illness or trauma. ARDS is generally accompanied by fluid leakage in the lungs. During this condition, only a slight amount of oxygen is able to enter the bloodstream, making the body struggle to breathe. The significant parts of the human body, including the brain, organs and tissues, get severely affected during this condition.
Those struggling with ARDS are admitted to the hospital and undergo oxygen therapy to ensure that their body gets enough of it to function properly. They are placed on a mechanical ventilator from where the oxygen supply takes place. Pain control and sedation are the two most common methods that are frequently applied to prevent agitation and provide relief.
It is time to pay serious consideration if you or your loved one is struggling with any of the following:
- Troubled breathing or breathlessness
- Existing chest pain or pressure
- New confusion
- Inability to wake up completely
- Blush on face and lips
Warning Signs Linked with Lung Disease
Chronic Cough: If cough persists for eight weeks or more, it falls under the chronic category. It is an indication that something is problematic with your respiratory tract.
Breathlessness: You need to give serious consideration if the shortness of breath doesn’t go away after exercising or when you have little or no exertion. Breathlessness is a warning sign and shouldn’t be neglected.
Chronic Mucus Production: Mucus production is a technique used by the lungs to guard themselves against infections or irritants. Suppose mucus products last longer than it is a symptom of severe lung disease.
Wheezing: Wheezing is the sound produced by the lungs in your body and blocks the airways or makes them narrow.
Coughing up blood: If you are experiencing prolonged coughing, then it is a severe health ailment.
Unexplained Chest Pain: If you are struggling with chest pain that gets worse when you breathe or cough, treat it as a warning sign.
Long Term Lung Damage
Covid-19 is a new disease, and studies are being conducted to understand its symptoms. Those struggling with pneumonia experience decreased lung function, which inhibits common daily activities such as climbing a flight of stairs.
23% recovered patients noticed a reduced exercise capacity and pulmonary function after a year. Those with severe lung problems will see a long term reduction in lung function while struggling with Covid-19.
Take the Following Steps Before Visiting your Healthcare Provider
- Carry a copy of your medical records before visiting the health practitioner. Ask your previous healthcare provider for a copy of your health reports. Make a list of health problems that you were struggling with and the steps taken by the healthcare provider.
- Keep the prescription or make a list of medicines currently prescribed to you. Make a list of over the counter medicines and herbal supplements mentioned in your prescription and traditional methods used to cope with it.
- Jot down the contact information of the healthcare providers and how often you visit them.
- Keep a count of the symptoms bothering you the most and your steps to combat them.
In conclusion, Covid-19 is a disease that impacts the lungs and other organs adversely in the long term. It is advised that you include immunity boosters in your daily intake for complete protection from the disease. It is said that prevention is better than cure. Hence effective coping strategies are an effective way to combat the situation and protect your lungs against the adverse effects of the deadly virus. Here are some guidelines that can help you safeguard your lungs against the Covid – 19.