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Long COVID Lung

Apr 2, 2022 | COVID19, Long COVID

Long COVID Lung

A large number of patients that experienced COVID-19 will have persisting lung symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, cough,  and decreased exercise capacity.  These problems are usually worse in patients who became so ill that they required hospitalization.

The evaluation and treatment for these pulmonary symptoms is the same as for symptoms caused by regular asthma and emphysema.  Vital signs and a chest examination are the first steps and along with symptoms, determine whether further testing is needed.

Additonal testing may include: imaging by x-ray, CT scan or MRI, pulmonary function testing, exercise testing, and cardiology consultation.  Typical treatments include bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, and frequent follow up for assessment of line function.

These symptoms seem to be related to damage in the lining of breathing tubes.  The cause of this damage is an active area of scientific study in an effort to understand how to reverse it and treat symptoms caused by it.

Treating Long COVID Lung

How should  patients with Long COVID Lung be managed?  Physicians and researchers are refining the best approach and since this is a new problem in medicine, new approaches are being developed daily.

Since patients with Long COVID lung are not hospitalized, a home-based way of tracking symptoms and lung function is needed.

The most standardized method available for self-measurement of lung performance is pulmonary expiratory flow or PEF.

This is measured using a peak expiratory flow meter that is portable, inexpensive and easy to operate by patients.

When the readings from these devices are logged, the numbers can be used as a reference for how lung function is progressing.

If these readings indicate improvement, medication supporting lung function can be reduced. If these readings indicate that lung function is not improving, more intervention is needed.   I recently reviewed all of the currently available PEF devices and you can read my recommendation here.

How Does

Long COVID Lung

Affect

You?

Long COVID Lung symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue can dramatically limit your normal activities.  The cough can disrupt your sleep, create headaches, and disturb your work productivity.  Shortness of breath, both at rest and with exertion can be alarming!

What Causes

Long COVID Lung

At the moment, Long Covid Lung appears to involve damage to the lining of the small breathing tubes (bronchioles) throughout the lung.  This is based on CT scans of patients who have recovered from acute COVID-19 infection.  These finding are seen in patients who did not require hospitalization for their COVID-19 infection!

The cause of this damage is an area of active scientific investigation.  I’ll post updates as new discoveries occur.

Wellivery and Long COVID

I have created a dedicated page about Long COVID as a launching point for exploring what we know about Long COVID, its cause, treatment, and longterm affects.

Clinic Trials Long COVID

Are you interested in participating in a research study about Long COVID?  The National Institues of Health is recruiting volunteers who had and recovered from COVID-19.  The goal is to get at the causes and treatments for Long COVID!

I’ll post new scientific discoveries on this page, so BookMark it now!

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