New Delhi: The second wave of Covid-19 has seen a huge increase in the demand for supplemental oxygen. NITI Aayog member (health) Dr. V.K. Paul has observed that breathlessness is the most common symptom in the second wave, which requires more oxygen.
Dr. Arvind Kumar Chest Surgery Institute President, Medanta Founder and Managing Trustee Lung Care Foundation reported that 90 percent of Covid-19 patients experience lung discomfort but are not clinically significant. Pneumonia develops in 10–12 percent of people, a lung infection in which small air spaces of the lungs, known as alveoli, become infected. Patients in low proportion Covid-19 need oxygen support when difficulty in breathing takes a severe form.
Breathing exercises are a technique that can reduce a patient’s oxygen requirement and help them monitor their condition.
How the practice of holding the breath is helpful
Dr. Arvind says that this practice is very beneficial for those patients who have mild symptoms. If such patients practice breathlessness, they are less likely to require supplemental oxygen. This practice can be done as a test to see the patient’s condition. If there is a decrease in the time of holding the breath, then it is a warning sign and the patient should consult his doctor. On the other hand, if the patient is able to gradually increase the time to hold the breath, this is a positive sign.
Patients admitted to the hospital and patients discharged on home oxygen can also do this practice with the advice of a doctor. This may help reduce their oxygen requirement.
Healthy individuals can also practice breath holding. This exercise will help them keep their lungs healthy.
How to practice holding the breath
Sit upright and place your hands on the thighs.
Open your mouth and fill as much air as you can in the chest.
Close your lips tightly.
Hold your breath for as long as you can.
Check how long you can hold your breath.
Patients can do this exercise once in an hour and gradually increase the time to hold the breath by trying. A person who holds his breath for 25 seconds and longer is considered safe. It should be kept in mind that there should not be too much stress and fatigue does not occur in this process.
Early detection of infection is important
We know that the biggest effect of Covid-19 on our lungs is due to breathlessness and decrease in oxygen levels.
Dr. Arvind states that the most frequent symptom in the first wave was fever and phlegm. The second wave shows other symptoms, such as a sore throat, runny nose, redness in the eyes, headache, body aches, rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; And the patient experiences fever after three to four days. The patient then goes to check up and it takes time to confirm. Therefore, until the confirmation of Covid-19, the infection becomes five to 6 days old and in some special cases the lungs are already affected.
Dr. Arvind says that the factors that affect the lung are age, weight, current lung condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, HIV infection, weak immune system, smoking habit, history of cancer treatment and use of steroids.