Cardiovascular system and organs of vision
Coronavirus infection is associated not only with disorders of the respiratory system, but also with dysfunction of other organs and systems. The virus primarily damages the endothelium, the membrane that lines the inner surface of blood vessels, causing endothelial dysfunction. Metabolic disorders in the myocardium, in particular, oxygen supply to cardiomyocytes, leads to the development of dysmetabolic cardiomyopathy. With coronavirus infection, complications such as rhythm and conduction disturbances, myocarditis are common. With coronavirus, blood viscosity is disturbed, which can increase the risk of blood clots, lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Due to damage to the vessels, a frequent complication may be a deterioration in vision by several units. Therefore, it is important to prescribe appropriate therapy in time – the sooner the better. To understand the cause of vision loss and identify possible microthrombi, the doctor prescribes optical coherence tomography.
Safety measures for reduced vision
Damage to the organs of vision, spasms of the eye muscles, disorders of the optic nerve and inflammation of the retina, the World Health Organization has already recorded among the frequent symptoms of COVID-19. Today there are studies stating that the eyes are the “entrance” gates for the virus into our body and they are affected in the first place. This is exacerbated by the fact that the pH (a measure of acidity) of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus matches the pH of a human tear. Therefore, the virus, hitting the mucous membrane of the eye, lingers perfectly there – the eyes, in turn, begin, according to the sensations, as if to “melt”, this happens, for example, with herpes. Frequent ophthalmic manifestations of the effects of coronavirus are coronavirus conjunctivitis and blepharitis, an inflammatory disease of the eyelids.
To protect your eyes, it is recommended to follow safety measures – wear not only masks and gloves, but also special goggles, and do not touch your eyes with dirty hands. With complaints of decreased vision, the appearance of spots before the eyes, distortion of lines, narrowing of the visual fields, you should immediately consult a doctor!
The olfactory system is a complex well-coordinated system of receptor cells of the nasal mucosa, conductive nerve fibers and the olfactory center of the brain. In case of violation of the work of any link, the process of odor perception is disrupted. As a rule, a violation of the sense of smell with COVID occurs on the 4-7th day of illness, in most patients the sense of smell is restored within 14 days. However, there is evidence of a longer course of olfactory disorders.
How long does it take for the sense of smell to recover?
The mechanism of development of anosmia in a new coronavirus infection caused by SARS-Cov-2 is different from anosmia caused by an allergic reaction or the common cold and runny nose. Some scientists believe that the virus affects the olfactory nerve fibers, which are located in the nasal cavity. Harvard neuroscientists believe that the virus infects the helper cells that surround the olfactory nerve fibers, as they contain the ACE2 protein that the virus is known to use to enter cells. Without auxiliary cells, our olfactory neurons cannot fully function, which is why hyposmia or anosmia develops.
As a rule, over time, the sense of smell returns, the duration of anosmia / hyposmia depends on the severity of the coronavirus infection, concomitant diseases of the ENT organs. After finding out the causes that caused anosmia / hyposmia, the doctor prescribes the correct treatment with maximum efficiency in the conditions of modern medicine. Sometimes patients are advised to independently conduct olfactory trainings – regular inhalation of aromatic odorous substances, such as essential oils, through the nose. This method is safe, can be carried out at home, and it allows you to evaluate the dynamics of the recovery of smell. According to research, full recovery from coronavirus anosmia takes from 3 days to 3 months.
You should not self-medicate in such cases, it is recommended to consult a specialist as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. It is unacceptable to use traditional medicine, to carry out olfactory tests with sharp odorous substances that can damage the nasal mucosa (for example, ammonia).
Also, during the first two months after the disease, patients often complain of a change in taste sensations and perception of smells. Most often, the reaction occurs on meat, eggs, dairy products and body fluids. A person can feel a persistent putrid smell, in taste sensations – the illusion of bitterness, burntness or rancidity. This condition can last up to two months and gradually pass.
How to help the body after an illness
In this situation, it is important that patients understand that the disease does not end after receiving a negative test for coronavirus. To eliminate the negative consequences of COVID-19, it is necessary that the patient is not left without professional medical support after being discharged from the hospital.
For a full recovery of the body after a disease, it is important to follow all recommendations regarding the frequency of taking drugs, for example, for the prevention of thrombosis. The same goes for vitamins, because some patients mistakenly believe that all vitamins and trace elements are in sufficient quantities in food. But it’s not. And some vitamins, such as zinc or vitamin D, can only be obtained in the required dose with the help of medications.
The best help to the body during this difficult period is to maintain the immune system in good condition. Here the rules are simple: walks in the fresh air, good sleep, a gradual increase in physical activity, breathing exercises, as this is important not only for maintaining the lungs, but also for saturating the brain with oxygen.