How to properly restore the lungs affected after the coronavirus

Health Tips

What does physical recovery include?

Unfortunately, the incidence of COVID-19 is still high. Over the past 24 hours, 22,851 cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in the country (as of January 10 — ed. note), the total number of infected people has reached 3,401,954 people. Everyone handles the disease differently. If we are talking about severe manifestations, then patients complain of high fever, weakness, shortness of breath, pain in the eyes, diarrhea, loss of smell, sleep problems and tremendous fatigue. After recalling the majority of those who had been ill, getting out of bed in the morning at the time of illness seemed like a feat that was not always possible.

Many of those who have had the infection are asymptomatic. But the latter factor also does not guarantee protection against lung damage, which can be tracked using computed tomography. Actually, the main task is the restoration of lung tissue after an illness. She is able to recover herself, but help will not be superfluous. Physical recovery includes adequate sleep, a balanced diet, a gradual increase in physical activity, and a stable emotional state.

Expert commentary: is there a safe lung injury

The main complication of a coronavirus infection is persistent pulmonary fibrosis. It may appear as follows:

  • shortness of breath with moderate physical exertion;

  • neurological disorders in the form of loss of taste and smell, which may recover after a few months or not recover at all;

  • mental disorders, anxiety, fear for one’s health.

It should also be noted the possible occurrence of thrombosis. It is manifested by pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident.

Is there a safe percentage of lung damage?

According to the results of computed tomography, the severity of coronavirus pneumonia is divided into three categories:

  • KT1 – up to 25%

  • KT2 – up to 50%

  • CT3 – more than 50% damage to the lung tissue.

CT1 is considered a mild degree of viral pneumonia. The prognosis for recovery and recovery from coronavirus in this case is the most favorable.

Let me remind you that the most informative method for diagnosing coronavirus infection is to take blood tests for antibodies that secrete immunoglobulin classes G and M. Class G immunoglobulin is formed after the disease, immunoglobulin M – in the acute period. This analysis can be taken regardless of the manifestation of critical symptoms of the disease.

Re-infection with a coronavirus infection is also possible, since stable immunity is not formed. This indicates that the virus strain is constantly mutating and changing its structure at the cellular level.

Rehabilitation after suffering a coronavirus infection consists primarily in breathing exercises. Here, an elementary exercise in the form of blowing and inflating balloons will be useful.

Rehabilitation at home: the best ways

After an illness, you need to understand how well ventilation and gas exchange in the lungs occur. Lung function tests will come to the rescue. If changes are indeed observed, it means that irreversible changes could have occurred in the lungs, including fibrosis, and then it is already worth doing a second CT scan. At risk are long-term smokers, aged people, workers in hazardous industries, and owners of chronic diseases.

Then you need to do rehabilitation. If we are talking about rehabilitation measures in medical institutions, then speleotherapy is often prescribed. This is a procedure in which the patient breathes air with an aerosol suspension of salt and a high content of negative air ions. Speleotherapy improves the function of the bronchial mucosa. The procedure itself is pleasant – reviews about it are extremely positive.

Almost all doctors recommend Strelnikova’s breathing exercises to patients. You can also, as mentioned above, inflate balloons, blow soap bubbles, practice yogic breathing, exhale through a tube dipped into a glass of water. Swimming will be a wonderful physical activity, especially sports (with exhalations into the water), but not everyone can do it. But walks in the fresh air can definitely master everything – they need to be practiced every day. Try to walk for at least an hour, as you recover, add elementary exercises: side bends, arm swings, lunges. Experts also recommend an exercise bike and a treadmill if you work out at the gym or have machines at home. Still, a walk in a nearby park is the most affordable and feasible means of recovery.

Another tip is vibration massage, which will help clear the airways of mucus. It is easy to do: ask someone in the household to pat their hands on the back for a few minutes. You can also, if possible, lie on your stomach, as this improves ventilation of the basal regions of the lungs.

After suffering a coronavirus infection, many complain of sleep problems, residual cough, general anxiety, and appetite disorders. The cough can last up to two months – this is normal. You can do inhalations, for example, with mineral water, but you should not add mucolytics (they will provoke a cough even more). In case of an increase in cough and the return of shortness of breath, you should consult a doctor. It is not necessary to go to the clinic – consultation can now be obtained remotely.

As for nutrition, you can increase the percentage of protein on the menu and reduce fast carbohydrates. Good sleep is a must – accustom yourself to sleep for at least eight hours, before going to bed, refuse to scroll through the tape in social networks. You can try to fall asleep to soft classical music, the sounds of nature.


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