Here's how the virus is affecting your lungs

The Bridge Chronicle looks at how the Covid-19 virus is affecting your lungs and ways in which you can care for them
Here's how the virus is affecting your lungs
Covid-19 virus impacting lungsImage: The Bridge Chronicle

The new Covid strain is causing a lot of lung damage. According to reports, the new strain might not necessarily cause previously known symptoms such as loss of smell, or taste along with dry cough and fever. Hence the detection of Covid has become difficult.

When talking about the new strain to a doctor, he revealed that some of the patients suffering from Covid, often on the outside did not see any symptoms. But when conducting CT scans it was revealed that the patients suffered from heavy damage to the lungs.

Apart from that, it is also known that the SARS-COV-2, the virus causing coronavirus caused directly affected the lungs anyway. Hence, it has become imperative to keep our lungs protected from the virus.

What does research suggest?

There has been continuous research around the virus that has caused the world to come to a halt since last year. These researches are aimed at better understanding the virus, so as to increase the knowledge and bettering the treatment to combat Covid-19. When researching in the United States, a team of researchers found that exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Covid-19-like symptoms, including severe inflammation of the lungs.

By now we know that the virus is covered with tiny spike proteins. These proteins when entering the body, bind with the receptors of our cells and start a process that releases the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 into a healthy cell.

To verify the understanding, researchers from Old Dominion University, Virginia, US, developed a genetically modified mouse. They then injected the mouse with a segment of the spike protein, to analyse the response. They also injected the other mice with saline. These other mice served as the control group in the experiment.

Within the span of 72 hours, the genetically modified mouse exhibited Covid-19-like symptoms including severe inflammation, an influx of white blood cells into their lungs and evidence of a cytokine storm. The cytokine storm is an immune system response in which our body starts to attack its own cells and tissues, instead of fighting the virus. However, the mice that only received saline remained normal, the results showed.

"Our findings show that the SARS-CoV2 spike protein causes lung injury even without the presence of intact virus," said Pavel Solopov, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

"This previously unknown mechanism could cause symptoms before substantial viral replication occurs," Solopov said.

The disease is also known to cause complications such as pneumonia and, sometimes, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). When affected by ARDS, patients often are unable to breathe on their own and need an external support system (ventilators) to help circulate oxygen in the body.

Additionally, according to a report in John Hopkins Medicine, people who survive from Covid-19 may also have lasting pulmonary scarring. Apart from this, another complication with Covid-19 is sepsis — possible damage to lungs and other organs.

Since Coronavirus basically focuses on the lungs, those with previous lung issues like asthma, constant obstructive pneumonic illness, aspiratory fibrosis, and so forth, are bound to create extreme complications. However, regardless of whether you have a lung condition, it's imperative to play it safe to keep your lungs sound and diminish your danger of disease.

Our lungs are the greenhouse of the body that keep the heart functioning. For long and healthy life, it is important to keep the functioning of our lungs in check and ensure that our lungs recover fully after contracting coronavirus.

Hence, as suggested by the study, and backed by all the cases witnessed in the country, it is safe to say that Covid-19 causes lung damage and it is extremely important to care for our lungs.

But caring for our lungs can be tricky as overtly exerting our lungs or excessive stress on the lungs can cause the lungs to collapse or even weaken further.

The Bridge Chronicle looks at how can we care better for our lungs and keep their functioning in check before and after Covid-19.

Ways to maintain healthy lungs
Ways to maintain healthy lungsImage: The Bridge Chronicle

HYDRATION

Though most of the times we undermine the importance of hydrating our body, it is one of the most important forms of self-care. Proper hydration helps lubricate your lungs and also thins our mucus (mostly naturally present in our lungs). It is important to drink at least half the amount of your body weight for excellent health. Example: a 150-pound woman should be drinking 75 ounces of water (9 cups of water per day).

DIET

When caring for your health, it is important to eat the right kind of food. Naturally available food has an effect on your body. A book called foods that heal talk about all the different benefits of specific foods and can be an important resource to decide what kind of food should be consumed. Food also has the quality of decreasing inflammation in the airways. Choose foods that are high in vitamins and antioxidants like fruits, vegetables, and omega-3. Include foods such as apples, wild salmon, green tea and black coffee. Raw seeds and nuts, are also a good choice. Additionally, vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts should be included in your diet.

ORAL HEALTH

Maintaining oral health is also an effective way to protect your lungs as your mouth is the direct opening to your lungs. It is crucial to pay attention to your teeth, gums, tongue to ensure oral health. Additionally, take steam to clear your nasal and throat passage to protect your lungs. Make sure to floss and brush at least twice a day to prevent the buildup of plaque.

AVOID AIR PURIFIERS AND HUMIDIFIERS

Air purifiers and humidifiers re-circulate the air in the room which can be toxic for the body. Instead, keep the house well ventilated and expose your body to early-morning fresh air.

MEDITATION

Meditating and focusing on your breathing is an excellent way to exercise your lungs. Opt for guided meditations available online to train your lungs to maximise it's potential. Additionally, meditation is proven to induce positive thoughts that also health maintain a balance in your body and strengthen your overall health. Hence, it is essential to meditate and exercise your lungs regularly.

By now, it is known that the virus is an unseen enemy that the world is continually fighting. It is almost impossible to hide from the virus and the only way to stay healthy is to protect ourselves and follow precautionary measures. It is also essential to take a vaccine at the earliest and ensure that you wear a mask at all times. These are our only hopes in these grim times.

Summary

It is known that our lungs are of of the most important organ in our body. Without healthy lungs our body cannot pump blood and oxygen effectively. Hence it is essential that in times like these we take utmost care of our lungs.

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