This study shows that Covid-19 can damage the lungs in the long term

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This study shows that Covid-19 can damage the lungs in the long term

In general, people who have contracted COVID-19 recover fully. However, it happens that symptoms persist in some individuals. In this case, it is the “COVID long”. This post-COVID-19 condition currently affects one in five American adults. Long COVID can have many manifestations, including the brain fog, fatigue, cough and shortness of breath.


Virus in a lungs

COVID-19 affects each victim differently. In some cases, it can affect multiple organs, causing dysfunction. This malfunction would leave sequelae at the origin of the long COVID. Respiratory problems are one of the most worrying symptoms of COVID-19, affecting the lungs in the majority of cases.

It is therefore important to analyze the basic functions of the lungs and to understand how COVID-19 affects them. The results provide insight into what happens to some patients after catching this condition.

When the functions of the lungs are damaged

Researchers observed a permanent airway obstruction in some patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The airways narrow, causing difficulty in expelling air from the lungs. Fortunately, medication can open the airways, the same goes for inhalers. As a reminder, these supply the body with oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.

In the case of a restriction where the lung volume shrinks, the absorbed air capacity is reduced. It occurs as a result of the formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis, in the lungs after an injury. Researchers still ignore whether victims will be able to regain their lung function in the long term. However, today there are clinical trials on drugs for this type of post-COVID-19 lung disease.

When there is a reduction in blood flow, blood flow to the alveoli, where exchanges take place, is altered. COVID-19 increases the risk of blood clots. Clots can cause a pulmonary embolism if they go to the lungs. It has been proven that a severe form of COVID-19 can damage to the blood vessels of the lung, then blood flow during recovery.

More effective targeted treatments?

COVID-19 can cause each of these three diseases that damage the capacity of the lungs. Researchers and clinicians are still looking for a treatment for lung damage long-term observed in cases of COVID-19. According to clinicians, supporting patients who have recovered from COVID-19, especially those whose symptoms persist, would help to diagnose long COVID more quickly.

People with severe forms of COVID-19 are more likely to have long COVID. Fortunately, researchers will be able to study the mechanisms underlying the development of different types of lung disease resulting from COVID-19 infection. This study will allow researchers to develop more effective targeted treatments.

SOURCE: SCIENCEALERT

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