Shortness of breath is a severe COVID-19 symptom

Sun Online Desk

1st April, 2021 03:02:09 printer

Shortness of breath is a severe COVID-19 symptom

SARS-COV-2 virus causes a lot of fatal implications once it launches an attack on the body.

Shortness of breath is perhaps one of the most dangerous and feared consequences of catching COVID.

Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, chest pain are all signs of the virus fastly spreading through the respiratory channels.

Shortness of breath often also acts as a sign of severity for COVID patients and may require critical support. For some, it can be mild and resolve on its own, at home.

Nonetheless, it can be a deeply unsettling and uncomfortable symptom to encounter.

We delve deeper into the issue:

What does shortness of breath feel like?

Shortness of breath can differ in intensity and sensation for different patients. However, what most people record is a feeling of tightness or constantly gasping for air every few seconds.

In some cases, shortness of breath can also make it difficult for a person to take full, satisfying breaths. It can also convert into a sudden, uncomfortable sensation of tightness or pain when one is trying to inhale or exhale breaths.

The most startling differentiation for shortness of breath in COVID-19 cases could be the state where you experience problems. While it is common to gasp for breath when you engage in physically strenuous activities, shortness of breath can strike you at rest if there's active inflammation caused by the virus.

Why does SARS-COV-2 cause breathing difficulties?

The manner in which you get symptoms depends a lot on the ways the virus begins to infect your vital organs. Shortness of breath, for example, is a difficult sensation one can encounter if there's inflammation and disruption in lung function.

As the COVID causing virus attacks the lung tissues and linings, it also spreads rapidly and impairs the air passageways. The immune system, a resultant of the viral attack also release cells that spread along with inflammation, making it difficult for you to breathe.

Shortness of breath could also disturb the function of the lungs in transporting vital nutrients, fluids and most importantly, oxygen supply and cause a build-up of toxins which can bring on additional complications. A shortage of oxygen flow also causes saturation and can impact blood flow too.

All of these factors, combining impose breathing difficulties and induce other respiratory symptoms.

Who is more susceptible to this?

Again, shortness of breath is a tell-tale sign of COVID severity and could be a quick indicator of a mild COVID case turning bad.

While it is majorly caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus infesting the lung and the chest passage, people suffering from some conditions are more vulnerable to getting this feared consequence.

High BMI levels and obesity, for one, can induce extra weight on the chest and the lungs and put more pressure on the muscles which are responsible for performing breathing functioning. In COVID, high levels of inflammation and cytokines can also pose problems.

People suffering from chronic respiratory disorders, or pulmonary infections are also doubly at risk. Some respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, COPD can cause a lot of irritation, which make the air passage go into spasms and cause breathing difficulties.

How quickly can this symptom occur?

The incubation time for the SARS-COV-2 virus is 5-14 days. While shortness of breath may not be a persisting symptom, it is believed that the symptom starts to come up 5-6 days after the onset of other symptoms.

Signs that require critical attention

Since COVID patients with breathing difficulty may not experience the problem the same way, it can be hard to put across critical signs of attention.

Do remember that not all breathing complications with COVID-19 tend to be fatal. Nonetheless, it's important to know when to seek help.

In short, a person should consider seeking help or medical attention if the following signs and symptoms are experienced:

Therapies and remedies which can help

 

People with breathing problems, with or without COVID are often put on oxygen support and require the use of intensive therapies.

 

While it's important to seek medical help as and when you spot critical signs of danger, some remedies and exercises may also help a patient breathe better and relieve problems. This can be especially helpful in milder COVID cases.

For example, doing breathing exercises, pursed-lip breathing, inhaling a deep breath, or lying on your front may relieve some of the uncomfortable sensations. Lying in a prone position, or on one side may also reduce weight induced by other organs and deal with shortness of breath.

Making use of external support machines and respirometers can also certainly help.

 (Times of India)

 


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