SoCal Pulmonologists and Intensivists Network of Sound Physicians
Pulmonologist & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in Long Beach, CA
In a minority of patients, COVID-19 infection can cause severe, even life-threatening damage and lead to a condition known as COVID lung. If you’re having problems breathing after recovering from the virus, our team of providers at SoCal Pulmonologists and Intensivists Network of Sound Physicians can help. We specialize in lung disorders and are devoting our energies to finding the most effective treatments for COVID lung. To benefit from our expertise in treating this new condition, call the office to book an appointment today.
COVID Lung Q & A
What is COVID lung?
COVID lung is a complication of the coronavirus infection COVID-19 where holes appear in the lungs. It seems to be a long-term problem experienced by patients of all ages who’ve suffered serious lung damage because of COVID-19.
The condition is also known as post-ARDS fibrosis or post-COVID fibrosis. As this is a relatively new disease, not so much is known about COVID lung as other respiratory infections.
How does COVID-19 damage my lungs?
COVID-19 infection damages your lower respiratory tract, irritating and inflaming the linings of your airways and causing tissue swelling. In some patients, the damage spreads down into the alveoli — tiny air sacs in your lungs where oxygen exchange occurs.
COVID-19 causes a dry cough or a sore throat due to the inflammation in your upper and lower respiratory tract. Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, but some also develop pneumonia, a lung infection that causes inflammation in the alveoli.
Why might I get COVID lung?
You might develop COVID lung if you suffer serious damage to your alveoli. Around 14% of COVID-19 patients experience severe symptoms, where the disease affects both lungs. The swelling in the lung tissues worsens, causing your lungs to fill with fluid, mucus, and debris.
If your condition reaches this stage, your breathing becomes strained and rapid, and your body struggles to take in enough oxygen. At this stage, a CT scan of your chest would show small patches in your lungs that are starting to connect.
Critical COVID-19 affects around 5% of patients. The damage then reaches a stage where you develop severe pneumonia or a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This is the point where you might need help from a ventilator to keep breathing.
What problems does COVID lung cause?
COVID lung causes irreversible lung damage that seems to affect patients who develop ARDS but recover afterward.
You may suffer from a chronic cough and shortness of breath that requires oxygen therapy, and you’re likely to experience a severe loss of physical function that limits your mobility.
In some cases, the damage to the lungs is extensive enough that patients need to undergo lung transplant surgery.
The team at SoCal Pulmonologists and Intensivists Network of Sound Physicians specializes in treating lung conditions. For the most up-to-date treatments for COVID lung, you should call their office to book an appointment today.