COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a highly contagious virus. Like other respiratory diseases, COVID-19 can cause long-lasting damage to the lungs. The highly skilled pulmonologists, Dr. David Kamelhar, and Dr. Eric Teller, at Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology in Midtown East Manhattan, provide expert care for COVID lung. To get help with your post-infection COVID lung disease, call the New York City office or schedule an appointment online today.
COVID Lung Q & A
What is COVID lung?
COVID lung is a general term that describes lung damage following a COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the newly discovered severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has a wide range of symptoms. While most people develop mild symptoms, some people can experience severe shortness of breath and oxygen deficiency that requires hospitalization. They may have pneumonia, ranging from mild to severe.
Though researchers are still learning about COVID-19 and the long-term health effects of the infection, like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 may affect lung health following recovery from the infection. “COVID lung” refers to this post-infection lung damage.
What causes COVID lung?
COVID-19 may cause inflammation in the bronchial tubes and lungs. That inflammation may lead to lung conditions such as:
Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs (alveoli) and the production of fluid or pus.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
ARDS is when you have lung failure from the infection and require hospitalization, intubation, and ventilator support. Meaning, a machine helps you breathe.
Sepsis is when the COVID-19 infection goes into the bloodstream, infecting other organ systems.
When your body is working hard to fight off COVID-19, you’re more vulnerable to other germs. A superinfection is when you have COVID-19 and another infection, such as a bacterial infection that might also cause lung infection and possibly permanent damage.
Any one of these COVID-related lung conditions may lead to “COVID lung”.
In addition to having any of these serious complications, you may be at risk of developing COVID lung if you have any underlying health condition such as heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What happens during a COVID lung evaluation?
When you visit Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology with concerns about COVID lung, you can expect a compassionate, patient-centered exam.
Your pulmonologist asks detailed questions about your symptoms and medical history. They perform a physical exam and pulmonary function testing (PFT) to assess lung health and function. They may also take a chest X-ray or chest CT to look for signs of lung damage.
It has been noted that apparent lung scarring or fibrosis from Covid infection has resolved or cleared up on its own over time.
How is COVID lung treated?
Your pulmonologist customizes your COVID lung treatment plan based on the severity of your lung damage. They spend a lot of time talking to you about your lung condition and the treatments that might help support the healing process.
Recovery from COVID lung varies and may take anywhere from three months to a year or more. Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology works one-on-one with you to improve your breathing and quality of life.
As Covid is still a relatively newly-recognized infection and because there are newly developed treatments and management interventions, no one can say for sure what the long-term effect will be for any individual patient.
It is important to know that Dr. Kamelhar and Dr. Teller, as members of the NYU Langone Pulmonary Division, work with physicians at NYU Langone who have seen severe Covid lung infection and who are doing research into the course and optimal management of post-Covid management.
Making sure that any pre-existing lung condition is optimized and that other conditions are likewise kept in optimal shape will help to keep you functioning properly now and make it that much more likely that you will improve from your Covid-related illness.
Dr. Kamelhar and Dr. Teller work closely with rehabilitation specialists in order to achieve the most complete recovery possible.
To schedule your COVID lung consultation at Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology, call the office or book an appointment online today.