Even being in good physical shape does not guarantee protection against the effects of COVID. At the very beginning of the pandemic, when the enemy was not yet known by sight, the majority of people perceived the coronavirus infection as nothing more than a severe form of the common cold. In a mild form, as a rule, the disease goes away in one to two weeks, but this is still not a complete victory. The long-term effects of the coronavirus can be recorded for a long time in one in ten people who have been ill (according to the British National Health Service (NHS)). This condition is referred to as Long COVID or postcoid.
Maria Mikhailovna Petina Deputy Chief Physician, CDC MEDSI on Belorusskaya, Head of the Center for Diagnosis of Disorders in Patients After Coronavirus Infection
How to properly restore lungs affected after coronavirus
Complications from the respiratory system
We list what pathologies are observed in patients who have undergone COVID-19. Among the most common complications from the respiratory system:
chronic cough with the development of persistent transient airway hyperresponsiveness; post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis; the formation of bronchiectasis; pleural effusions and adhesions in the pleural cavities; pathology of the vessels of the pulmonary circulation.
Patients who have undergone coronavirus often complain of shortness of breath, persistent, debilitating cough. The reason for this is a violation of the receptor apparatus of the bronchi, changes in the respiratory epithelium. In some cases, post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis develops. The severity of chronic fibrotic changes in the lungs largely depends on the timeliness of the initiation of therapy, the characteristics of the body's immune response, gender, age, and concomitant pathology. Therefore, the main task in the treatment of the disease is to prevent such complications.
Heart and blood vessels - in the area of special attention
The virus primarily damages the endothelium, the membrane lining the inner surface of blood vessels, causing endothelial dysfunction. Metabolic disorders in the myocardium, in particular, the oxygen supply of cardiomyocytes, leads to the development of dysmetabolic cardiomyopathy.
With coronavirus infection, complications such as rhythm and conduction disturbances, myocarditis are often encountered. Blood viscosity is impaired, which can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
It is already known today that multisystem inflammatory reactions are characteristic of the coronavirus: a number of vital body systems are under attack: not only the lungs, but also the cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys, central nervous system, endocrine system. Therefore, it is no coincidence that people suffering from a number of chronic diseases, for example, arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus, have an increased risk of developing complications after the disease.
Deterioration of vision
Due to vascular lesions, a frequent complication can be a deterioration of vision by several units. Therefore, it is important to prescribe the appropriate therapy on time - the sooner the better. To understand the cause of decreased vision and identify possible microthrombi, the doctor prescribes a tomography of the fundus.
To protect your eyes, it is recommended to eat properly, be in the fresh air more often and observe safety measures - not only wear masks and gloves, but also special goggles, and not touch your eyes with dirty hands.In case of complaints of decreased vision, the appearance of spots before the eyes, distorted lines, narrowing of the visual fields, you should immediately consult a doctor!
Among those who have had coronavirus, complaints of muscle weakness and pain, chronic fatigue are among the most common. Moreover, the loss of strength can be so strong that it is difficult for a person not only to leave the house, it is difficult even to raise a hand. Post-viral asthenia is the effect of a virus on the central nervous system. A very rapid depletion of the nervous system occurs, and weakness appears. And even if a person was in good physical shape before the illness, then after COVID, with the seemingly usual loads, muscle pains appear.
Important: for those involved in sports, a sharp increase in the workload when recovering from an illness is a serious mistake, since it can lead to a severe post-like condition and even re-infection.
Mental disorders, depression
A group of American scientists, having studied the medical records of 62 thousand patients who have recovered from COVID 19, found a strong link between coronavirus infection and the development of mental illness. As they found out, one in five patients with coronavirus, three months after the onset of the disease, also had a mental disorder, for example, anxiety disorder or depression. Cases of dementia were also frequent.
After the transferred coronavirus, this unpleasant phenomenon is so strong that the curls, it is worthwhile to run through the hair, remain right in the hands. Thus, up to 40% of the hair can fall out. Often for patients, especially women, this is accompanied by psychological problems.
Change in taste
The olfactory system is a complex, well-coordinated system of receptor cells in the nasal mucosa, conductive nerve fibers and the olfactory center of the brain. In case of malfunction of any link, the process of smelling is disrupted. As a rule, a violation of the sense of smell in COVID occurs on days 4-7 of illness, and in most patients, the sense of smell is restored within 14 days. However, there is evidence of a longer course of olfactory disorders.
According to research results, full recovery from coronavirus anosmia takes from 3 days to 3 months.
In patients who have undergone COVID, symptoms are most often observed in the form of an increase in the number of enteritis, lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea after each meal that is not associated with a dietary disorder. As a result, the patient loses weight, important trace elements, nutrients. His quality of life is seriously deteriorating.
Sometimes even pseudoneuronal colitis is detected, when, with reduced immunity, pathogenic microflora begins to multiply, which needs to be treated. Experts believe that the reason for this is not only coronavirus infection, but also massive treatment with antiviral drugs.
Disruption of kidney function
The coronavirus directly infects kidney cells, which in turn have ACE2 receptors that allow infection cells to attach and damage these tissues. The kidneys are damaged due to a lack of oxygen in the blood caused by a viral attack on the lungs. In addition, the immune system, "recognizing" the virus in the cells of the kidneys, will seek to destroy them, damaging the cellular tissue of the kidneys. And the blood clots that form in the inflamed vessels further worsen or even block the functioning of the organ.
The virus is insidious in that it seeks to infect the target organs. If the patient has weak kidneys - he hits the kidneys, if the vessels are weak - strokes begin, if there were diseases of the organs of vision, then as a result the infection will result in eye pathology.
How to help the body
In this situation, it is important that patients understand that the disease does not end after receiving a negative coronavirus test.To eliminate the negative consequences of COVID-19, it is necessary that the patient is not left without professional medical support after being discharged from the hospital.
The best help for the body in this difficult period is maintaining the immune system in good condition. Here the rules are simple: walking in the fresh air, good sleep, a gradual increase in physical activity, performing breathing exercises, since this is important not only for maintaining the lungs, but also for oxygenating the brain. There is no need to rush things and try to return to your usual activity as quickly as possible, since the body is weakened. Give him a chance to recover.