Pneumonia Symptoms: Warning Signs Your Lungs Are Trying To Give You Post-COVID Recovery
COVID can damage your lungs to a great extent, thus taking care of this organ post-COVID is important to not let your body catch pneumonia. Check out for these warning symptoms of pneumonia post-COVID recovery.
Pneumonia, a common lung infection that can affect one or both the lungs and lead to inflammation in the air sacs called alveoli, is one of the most common symptoms of deadly coronavirus infection. COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV2 virus was first identified in China's Wuhan in 2019, ever since then in the last two years, the virus has mutated and formed several virulent strains which mainly target the lungs. While some people experience only mild to moderate symptoms of the infection, others can end up fighting long-term health issues from the virus. Experts have also stated that the risk of developing a lung infection is higher among those who are infected or have recovered from COVID-19. With the arrival of another contagious strain Omicron, let's know from the experts the various warning symptoms that the lungs of a COVID recovered patient may show to indicate pneumonia.
What Happens To Your Lungs When You Are Diagnosed With Pneumonia?
Pneumonia, as discussed above, is an infection in the lungs that mainly leads to inflammation in the air sacs called alveoli. Pneumonia leads to the formation of pus and fluid in the lungs, which hinders the breathing process of the individual. There are two categories of patients who are suffering from Pneumonia - Viral pneumonia, and Bacterial pneumonia. Both these types of Pneumonia are contagious and can spread easily from one infected person to another healthy body. In simpler words, Pneumonia damages the lungs by causing inflammation and jamming the way for the oxygen to enter and mix with the bloodstream. Thus Pneumonia can lead to serious breathing issues and death.
What Happens To Your Lungs When You Get COVID-19 Virus Infection?
COVID-19 virus infection is so far the worst battle that mankind has ever witnessed. It is a severe respiratory disease that mainly targets the lungs, leading to several serious symptoms such as drop-in oxygen levels, trouble in breathing, etc. So what exactly happens to your lungs when you catch the virus? According to the studies, the virus gets into the body through respiratory organs such as the mouth, nose, etc. After entering the body the virus comes in contact with the mucous membranes which are present in the respiratory tract innings. The virus then enters one healthy cell and the cell, in turn, makes new virus parts. This one cell then multiplies, and the new viruses then infect the other cells present nearby. The virus then splits into smaller and smaller branches in the lungs. Thus infecting the lungs and the alveoli slowly, leading to symptoms like breathing issues, cough, etc.
Now, we already know how both Pneumonia and COVID-19 damages the lung cells and disrupt the complete breathing process of an individual. However, the risk of developing pneumonia increases as and when the body gets infected by the deadly COVID-19 virus. Why? it is so because the lung cells at this point are already damaged with the COVID virus.
To understand the complication further, TheHealthSite.com spoke to cardiologist M.K Mukherjee, Max Hospital, Saket. According to the doctor, two things raise the risk of developing pneumonia in COVID recovered patients weak lungs, poor habits while and after recovering from COVID. "The COVID-19 virus causes severe inflammation in the lungs. It damages the cells and tissue that line the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs are where the oxygen one breathes is processed and gets delivered to the blood, which carries it to the other body parts. The damage causes tissue to break off and thus clog the lungs. The walls of the air sacs thus get inflamed, making it very hard for a person to breathe."
Warning Signs Your Lungs Are Trying To Give You Post-COVID Recovery
Your lungs can give you some signs which may signal that something is wrong within your body. Especially when it comes to pneumonia, there are certain signs which may help you spot the condition fast and start the treatment before it is too late for you to save your lungs. According to the experts, the onset of pneumonia can be quite sudden, as in without any prior signals. This is why it is important for you to track the actions of your lungs and understand the abnormalities going on inside your system. COVID-19 wrecks havoc on the lungs, and these conditions thereafter can lead to symptoms such as a phlegm-producing cough. Check out for these subtle, yet warning symptoms of pneumonia post-COVID recovery.
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Persistent Cough Even After 2 Weeks From COVID-Recovery
You may notice thick yellow, green, or brown coloured mucus when you cough. This is nothing but blood strains present in your cough. Please take this symptom seriously and visit your physician immediately without any delay.
Trouble In Breathing Due To Inflammed Air Sacs or Alveoli
You may experience a steady drop in your breathing rate or an unexplained rise in your breathing counts. One may also notice that there is sudden trouble which one may notice every time he/she breathes. This condition is also known as laboured breathing. "The patient may notice that the breathing rate post-COVID recovery has drastically changed. It is either rapid or shallow. One can also find him/herself becoming breathless even while resting," Dr. Mukherjee told TheHealthSite.com.
Beware of Chronic Chest Pains
Never ignore a mild to moderate chest pain post-COVID recovery, as you may not realise when it can turn into a severe symptom and lead to hospitalisation. One of the most common Long-COVID symptoms is chest pain. This can happen due to a lot of reasons, but patients suffering from pneumonia will experience the worst of it. "one may develop chest pain, which can get worse when breathing or coughing. Take this seriously and make sure to get tested for pneumonia without delay," says Dr. Mukherjee.
Other Common Symptoms of Pneumonia Post-COVID Recovery
Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms of pneumonia, one may also notice these changes in their body:
Sudden changes in the heartbeat (rapid or too low)
A rise in body temperature
Sweating and shivering
Unexplained loss of appetite
Tiredness or extreme fatigue
Some of the less common symptoms may include:
Joint and muscle pain
Confusion and disorientation
How To Not Let Your Body Catch Pneumonia After Recovering From COVID?
Pneumonia is extremely common among those whose lungs are too weak or vulnerable to virus attacks. COVID can damage your lungs to a great extent, thus taking care of this organ post-COVID is important to not let your body catch pneumonia. To keep it simple, Dr. Mukherjee says that the best way to reduce the risk of developing pneumonia are certain lifestyle changes, including turning into a non-smoker (smoking affects the lungs and it can make it weak and vulnerable to catch serious diseases), limiting alcohol intake, getting a flu-shot (take recommendation from your physician) and taking the jabs against COVID-19 as well (to avert further re-infection risk).