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Chest Health Matters: Navigating the Challenges of COVID-19

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Chest Health Matters: Navigating the Challenges of COVID-19

Despite struggling with the COVID crisis for over two years, the issue is not fully resolved. While people have returned to normalcy, the danger of the pandemic still looms over the world. Countries like China and the US are still reporting several cases of the new COVID variant. Amidst such uncertainty, it is important to look after the health of your lungs.

COVID-19 brought several short-term and long-term lung complications with it. The subsequent variants pose a similar threat to people's lungs, making it important to seek help from medical professionals. Maintaining lung health is extremely important, as negligence can lead to serious issues like lung cancer.

The seemingly trivial lung cancer symptoms can have dire implications if ignored. Symptoms like long-lasting cough, wheezing breath, hoarse voice, etc., can lead to serious lung diseases. If you or anyone in your family has been experiencing such symptoms for a long, you should seek medical help in your city. For instance, if you live in Delhi, seek help from the best lung cancer hospital in Delhi to get diagnosed and treated.

Now, let’s get back to lung health and COVID.

How Does COVID Affect Your Lungs?

To stay safe from the virus and seek the right medical help, it is important to understand what COVID does to your lungs. COVID can lead to lung complications like acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pneumonia, etc. The virus also causes sepsis, which is another long-lasting lung condition.

If not treated for long, prolonged exposure to the virus, combined with other factors, may cause lung cancer. Lung cancer occurs due to the uncontrolled division of cells in your lung tissue, which may spread to nearby organs. If you or any of your loved ones have already struggled with COVID and are experiencing symptoms that hint toward lung cancer, look for the best oncologist in your city. Simply Googling “best oncology specialist near me” will give you suitable options for getting treated.

Let us now have a look at a few major lung complications caused due to COVID:

Pneumonia

COVID pneumonia was a common condition reported by COVID patients during the first and second waves. Here, the patient’s lungs get inflamed and filled with liquid, causing breathing difficulties. While some patients can tackle the issue while staying home, others may require to get on a ventilator due to severe breathing problems.

Pneumonia caused due to COVID often affects both lungs of the patient. It fills their air sacs with fluid, restricting their ability to breathe in and out with ease.

Bronchitis

COVID bronchitis is another common lung condition reported by patients during both COVID waves. This health complication is characterized by excessive sputum produced in the patient’s airways, leading to breathing difficulties and chest congestion. The sputum also makes the airways narrower, adding to the existing breathing difficulties.

ARDS

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when issues like pneumonia get worse. Due to COVID, the patient’s air sacs may get filled with excessive fluid that leaks from blood vessels into their lungs. Severe and prolonged breathing difficulties may lead to serious issues like ARDS.

Essentially, ARDS is a form of lung failure wherein patients cannot breathe independently. They are often put on ventilator support to facilitate effective blood circulation within their bodies.

Sepsis

Severe COVID infection may lead to sepsis, a condition characterized by the infection reaching and spreading through the patient’s bloodstream. It causes tissue damage wherever it goes, worsening the patient’s health over time. Even after a patient has fought sepsis and survived, the condition may leave a lasting impact on their lungs.

Factors Affecting COVID Lung Damage

There are several factors that affect the lung damage caused by COVID. These factors determine the severity of the issue and how long the patient may take to recover.

Let us have a look at three of the most important factors affecting COVID lung damage:

Existing Health Conditions

People with existing health conditions are often warned the most against heading out during the pandemic. Suppose a patient has already suffered (or is currently suffering) from issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart disease. In that case, their lungs will be more susceptible to damage due to COVID.

Severity Of The Disease

Another major factor affecting COVID lung damage is the severity of the concerned disease. Mild COVID cases may not significantly impact the patients’ lungs. On the other hand, severe cases of COVID tend to put patients at a far greater risk of lung damage. This is because prolonged and severe COVID cases lead to lasting scars on the lung tissues.

COVID Care And Treatment

Finally, the kind of COVID care and treatment received by a patient plays an important role in their lung health. If a patient has received timely care in a good hospital, their lungs are likely to be healthier than those of a patient who received delayed care and support.

Is COVID Lung Damage Reversible?

While lung damage caused due to COVID is reversible, the change will not occur overnight. Damaged lungs often take considerable time to heal completely. In most cases, the damage begins with an initial injury, followed by scarring.

While the damaged lung tissue can heal in a few days/weeks, the lungs may take a few months to a year to become fully functional and healthy. It is, therefore, important for patients suffering from COVID lung damage to have patience and take good care of their health. Make sure you stay in touch with your doctor and report even minor health issues until you heal completely.

The Final Word

These were some of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to the connection between COVID and lung damage. Even though the COVID danger has subsided in most parts of the world, it is important to take the right preventive measures to keep your lungs healthy and stay away from serious health complications in the post-pandemic world.

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