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A recent study suggests that most lungs recover well after covid-19 infection

Published on:27 November 2020, 17:40pm IST
Covid-19 is a curse for your lungs. But according to a new study conducted in the Netherlands, lung recovery in most patients post infection happens fairly well.
Team Health Shots
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You can save your lungs from the advent of covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There is no doubt that covid-19 causes major damage to the lungs. That’s why shortness of breath and low level of oxygen is witnessed in many infected people. But if we go by this new report, then if you take proper care of yourself and consume the prescribed medication then you can protect your lungs. 

This study was recently published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases 

According to the researchers at the Radboud University in the Netherlands, lung tissue of patients who suffer severely at the hands of covid-19 show good recovery in most cases.

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This study included 124 patients who had recovered from acute covid-19 infections.

The patients were examined by CT scan and a lung functional test. After three months, the researchers took stock, which revealed that the patients’ lung tissue is recovering well.

Residual damage in the lung tissue was generally limited, and was most often seen in patients who were treated in the ICU, they said.

covid-19 and lunges recovery
Lung damage may be inevitable in covid-19 but you can prevent it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to the study, the most common complaints after three months are fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pains.

“The patterns we see in these patients show similarities with recovery after acute pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which fluid accumulates in the lungs,” pulmonologist Bram van den Borst said.

“Recovery from these conditions also generally takes a long time. It is encouraging to see that lungs after COVID-19 infections exhibit this level of recovery,” van den Borst said in a statement.

After recovery, very few abnormalities were seen in the lungs

In the study, the patients were divided into three categories: a group who were admitted to the ICU, patients who were admitted to a nursing ward in the hospital, and those who could stay home but experienced persisting symptoms that eventually warranted a referral from their GP.

The study assessed how patients fared after three months, and revealed that the patients who were referred to the aftercare clinic by their GP showed the worst recovery in the following period, the researchers said.

This latter group of patients was referred because of their persisting symptoms, they said.

“However, it does seem that there is a clear subgroup of patients who initially experienced mild COVID-19 symptoms and later kept experiencing persistent long-term complaints and limitations,” van den Borst explained.

“What is striking is that we barely found any anomalies in the lungs of these patients. Considering the variety and seriousness of the complaints and the plausible size of this subgroup, there is an urgent need for further research into explanations and treatment options,” he said.

covid-19 and lunges recovery
Yoga has a solution for everything. Yes, even for your lungs. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar
What you can do to keep your lungs healthy amid infection?
  1. Eat well and take a lot of vitamin C.
  2. Do meditation to release stress as self-isolation can take a toll on your mental health.
  3. Do respiratory exercises like pranayam etc to keep your lungs healthy.
  4. Avoid smoking during and after coronavirus infection.
  5. Take proper medication and do complete the course to recover properly.

(With inputs from PTI)

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