Avoid smoking, especially after you’ve just had Covid-19! Here’s why

The speed of your Covid-19 recovery is in your hands. Following simple tips can make a world of difference to your lung health.
Give your lungs some TLC with jaggery. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr P.P. Bose Updated on: 30 March 2022, 23:14 pm IST
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Even though the lungs are one of the most vital organs, their health has been ignored for long. However, the impact of Covid-19 and its new variants has brought the spotlight on lung health. The virus directly attacks the lungs, and it can lead to long-term damage even after Covid-19 recovery.

The impact of coronavirus on the lungs varies from person-to-person and some symptoms may also vary from breathlessness to lung tightness. The longer the symptoms persist, the more harmful the effects on lungs.

New variants of Covid-19 are doing the rounds. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How does Covid-19 impact the lungs?

Complications like breathlessness and pneumonia are some of the symptoms that are commonly observed after recovery from Covid-19. Since the focus is on the lungs, patients with asthma and COPD need to devote extra care to their lung health.

Some patients also suffer from sepsis right after recovering from Covid-19. which not only damages the lungs but also infects other organs. Other common lung problems that patients may experience after Covid-19 recovery include, Covid bronchitis and acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. All this can contribute to increased chances of lung attack or lung exacerbations that can cause shortness of breath and continuous coughing.

How to take care of your lungs after Covid-19 recovery

Although it is very common to experience respiratory distress or discomfort after recovering from Covid-19, one must focus on restoring lung capacity by following good health practices. This can also help in reducing the risk of a lung attack. Some of these practices include:

1. Regular exercise

To gradually build up lung capacity, it is recommended to engage in some form of physical and breathing exercise daily. It is very important to focus on pulmonary rehabilitation which can help reduce shortness of breath and manage other respiratory complications. Cardio workouts are also beneficial in restoring the capacity of lungs after Covid-19 recovery.

2. Healthy diet

It is important to add foods that are rich in antioxidants in the daily diet to not only boost the lung capacity but the immune system as a whole. One must include fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, pulses and avoid sugary and processed food. At the same time, it is also important to increase the amount of water intake.

Say no to smoking. Image: Shutterstock

3. Avoid smoking

After recovering from Covid-19 recovery, it is very crucial to quit or at least reduce smoking to maintain the functional capacity of the lungs. Not only does smoking weaken the lungs but also harms other vital organs of the body.

4. Routine check-up

To avoid the risk of lung attacks, one must always develop the habit of undergoing routine check-ups to detect the possibilities of any damage or infection to the lungs. With timely intervention, it is possible to keep the lungs healthy.

While the above measures can help keep lung health within check, it is equally important, especially for patients who may have recently recovered from Covid-19, to monitor their lungs regularly. Depending on the underlying conditions of the patient, medical or surgical treatments might be appropriate to reduce risk.

About the Author
Dr P.P. Bose

Dr P.P. Bose, Senior Consultant Pulmonologist, National Heart Institute and Moolchand Hospital, Founder SAANS Foundation

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