Coronavirus: Ways to Improve Your Respiratory Health in Case You Catch COVID-19


Now that more and more areas of the country are reopening, you could be coming into contact with more people and the threat of contracting coronavirus is still possible. The Doctors share possible ways to improve your respiratory system, which can go a long way if you end up catching COVID-19.

Read: Coronavirus: Safety Tips to Follow as States Reopen

Dr. Robert Eitches, an allergist and immunologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center tells CNN there are preventive measures people can take that may help them battle the respiratory illness, which is known to attack the lungs and causes inflammation and makes breathing difficult -- along with possibly leading to other serious health problems. Improved repository health will not prevent someone from getting COVID-19, but it can certainly improve the fight against the virus.

These 4 tips are recommended to help improve your respiratory health:

Stop smoking or vaping: "Smoke is composed of small particles; when inhaled, the particles get stuck in the lungs," Dr. Eitches says. "This begins a vicious cycle of permanent lung damage." He notes this causes irritation in the lung airways and possibly permanent, adverse effects on lung function. The Doctors note smoking can impair your immune system and quitting smoking can have so many important benefits, not only to for your lungs but for your overall health. He also warns against being near a fireplace or lit candles they can also cause irritation in the lungs. Additionally, Dr. Ryan Steel from the Yale School of Medicine warns against smoking cannabis, for the same reasons.

Read: What Are 'COVID Toes'?

Make sure to exercise: The 2 doctors note exercise (which can easily be done at home!) improves respiratory capacity and breathing ability. They explain that people who are sedentary can develop atelectasis (which is a complete or partial collapse of the entire lung or area of the lung. It occurs when the tiny air sacs within the lung become deflated or possibly filled with alveolar fluid) Also, staying active can decrease inflammation and may reduce the occurrence of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a serious complication in some hospitalized COVID patients. Things like cardio, yoga, and stretching, and breathing exercises can improve your respiratory health, and may help to boost your immune system.

Reduce your mucus: Mucus occurs naturally in the body, but too much of it in the lungs can lead be "a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses and blocks oxygen from entering and leaving the pathways of the lungs," per CNN. The experts say saline nasal sprays can help if you suffer from allergies, and Dr. Steels says he has seen patients benefit from eating spicy foods (like chiles, jalapenos, cayenne, hot sauce) that have capsaicin, which can help to thin mucus, allowing it to be coughed out.

Read: Coronavirus: Types of Masks and How Effective They Are

Minimize exposure to allergens, both indoors and out: The experts say staying indoors can lead to being exposed to more dust and spending time outside -- right now during springtime -- can put you in contact with more pollen, both of which can lead to allergies and asthma and can hamper with your intake of clean air. They suggest using medications for allergies and making sure to clean often, and possibly getting a HEPA filter air purifier, to reduce dust in your home.

Get more resources, tips, advice, and news on coronavirus/COVID-19 from The Doctors and stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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