Mucus And The Coronavirus
As the lethal COVID-19 coronavirus propagates around the globe, we know a sneeze, a cough or simply touching a surface with the virus can spread the infection.
What researchers dont know is exactly the role different compositions of mucus, the slimy substance on human tissue, play in the transmission and infection of coronaviruses. Nor do they know why some people known as super-spreaders will spread the disease more than others. But University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jessica R. Kramer is now researching how mucus plays a part in transferring coronaviruses from person to person.
Not everyone spreads the disease equally. The quality of their mucus may be part of the explanation, Kramer says. One person may sneeze and transmit it to another person, and another may not, and that is not well understood.
She has received a one-year, $200,000 Rapid Response Research grant from the National Science Foundation for the research.
University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jessica R. Kramer has received a new grant to research how mucins, the slimy substance in human tissue, plays a role in spreading coronaviruses such as COVID-19.
Kramers lab at the University of Utah has been creating synthetic mucins and more recently studying how mucins and bacteria interact with each other. She says researching how mucins interact with viruses is a natural extension of this work.
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You Might Have Shortness Of Breath
This is by far the most common pulmonary symptom of Long Covid. “Symptoms might take a long time to fade a study posted on the preprint server medRxiv in August followed up on people who had been hospitalized, and found that even a month after being discharged, more than 70% were reporting shortness of breath and 13.5% were still using oxygen at home,” reports Nature.
You May Have A Headache
“Headache certainly can be a symptom of COVID-19but also approximately eleven-million other health conditions,” says WebMD. “In fact, that’s the problem with trying to diagnose the novel coronavirus based on symptoms alone: no one symptom is definitive for COVID-19. That’s why only a COVID-19 test can say for certain if you’re infected.”
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Home Remedies For Congestion
Outside of medications, there are other home remedies you can try to clear up your chest congestion.
- Stay hydrated. Mucus is 90% water and can get thicker when youre dehydrated.
- Use a humidifier, face steamer, or vaporizer.
- Soothe your face with a warm, moist washcloth or breathe in with your face over a bowl of hot water.
- Try deep breathing and positional exercises.
- Try rinsing your sinuses with a nasal irrigation device or nasal spray.
- Prop yourself up when sleeping or lying down.
What Is Green Phlegm And What Causes It
Green phlegm comes from white blood cells comingto the sinuses, and releasing the contents of neutrophils, saysDr. Aaron Hartman, MD at Richmond Integrative and Functional Medicine. This gives the phlegm its green tint color. So, the first thing to realize is that green phlegm is simply inflammation. It could be bacterial or it could be viral.
The second reason you have green phlegm could be dehydration.
You can have a normal level of inflammation from dust, mold, allergies, etc. andif youre dehydrated and the relative humidity in most peoples homes being about 30% from the heat, theyll get a concentration of the mucus excretions and get a green tint to them, Dr. Hartman explains.
The big question that comes with that greenness, he adds, is whether or not theres a puss-like, white thick-ish appearance to it. If there is, you know you have a little bit of bacteria in there as well. Bacteria and fungi and yeast commonly live and reside and invade the nasal passageways and sinus cavities, Dr. Hartman adds.
Hence, its important to note that discoloration is not always a sign of an infection.
It just means theres some type of underlying inflammation in the mucosa associated lymphoid tissue, also referred to as MALT, which is the part of the immune system that lives in your sinuses, says Dr. Hartman.
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Loss Of Taste Or Smell
Most people who get COVID-19 call out the loss of taste or smell as one of the early symptoms. In some cases, these senses are completely gone, while in others, things smelled or tasted bad or different.
Some COVID-19 survivors regain these senses within a couple weeks, but for others it can take much longer. Studies are ongoing about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on taste and smell, but at this point, it looks like most people will get better within a year.
When to contact your doctor
If its been a few months and your sense of smell and taste havent come back, talk to your doctor. There may be therapy options to help get you smelling and tasting again.
Clear And Watery: Allergies Or Nonallergic Rhinitis
“Clear drainage tends to be associated with early onset of a cold, seasonal allergies or nonallergic rhinitis,” says Dr. Barnes. “If it’s allergies, that tends to be accompanied by itchiness, watery eyes and sneezing.”
Nonallergic rhinitis is a drippy nose that could have several causes. “Nonallergic rhinitis could be related to your work exposure, like from irritants,” says Dr. Barnes. Another cause of nonallergic rhinitis could be hormone shifts. “As we age, the hormone changes after menopause can affect the moisture of the nose,” explains Dr. Barnes. The stereotype of a little old lady with a runny nose would fit into the category of nonallergic rhinitis.
But clear drippy drainage out of just one nostril could signal a serious condition called cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. “That raises the alarm for anyone who has experienced head trauma, for example after a car accident or skull fracture,” says Dr. Barnes. If only one nostril is gushing watery discharge, seek medical attention right away.
Runny nose that won’t quit?800.922.0000
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Positioning Exercises To Clear Phlegm
Your lungs have 5 lobes in total and phlegm can be in any of these.
Positioning exercises use gravity to help clear phlegm that has built up in your lobes.
How effective they are will depend on the thickness or stickiness of your phlegm. It may be harder to clear thick phlegm. These exercises may not work if your phlegm is very thick and sticky.
Wait for at least 1 hour after a large meal before starting these exercises. Stop an exercise if you have heartburn or feel sick during it.
What Are Bronchitis And Covid
It’s important to know the difference between these two illnesses.
Bronchitis happens when the bronchial tubes that carry oxygen to your lungs become inflamed and irritated. These irritated airways then produce excess mucus and cause you to cough. Acute bronchitis typically will get better on its own. It can develop into pneumonia when not properly cared for.
COVID-19 is a new type of virus that has caused a global pandemic.
There are many different types of coronaviruses. Some cause mild illnesses such as colds. Some cause more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome .
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread from person to person. Symptoms usually appear within two weeks of exposure. You can spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t have any symptoms yourself.
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Should I Go To The Doctor To Make Sure My Symptoms Are *not* Covid
Both experts agree that if you have any of the symptoms above, you should check in with your health care provider. However, this doesn’t mean you need to actually go see your doctor just yet.
“A lot of doctors office are offering telemedicine, which may be a good way to reduce your exposure, along with the health care providers exposure,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel. “Most have protocols in place to try to discern these types of infections from one another, so your best bet is to discuss any and all symptoms with them, and they can provide you with the best guidance.”
A few things to think about before doing a telemedicine check-in that can also help you gauge whether you could have COVID: “Have you been exposed to someone that was sick? Have you done any recent travel?” says Dr. Del Signore. “Considering those that you have been around and plan to be around if you’re not feeling well are also important screening factors.”
The bottom line: The symptoms of a sinus infection and COVID-19 may appear similarly in some cases, so check in with your doctor if you are concerned you’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
How Long Dosymptoms Last
|As long asyoure exposedto allergens|
If you start to feel sick, try not to panic or think the worst.
- Coronavirus shares some of the same symptoms caused by the flu and colds, including fever and cough.
- Remember, its still cold and flu season and seasonal allergies are widespread.
- For most people who are normally healthy, coronavirus does not cause serious health problems.
How to seek care for coronavirus:
If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of smell and/or taste, stay home and isolate yourself from others. To find the best care, take our free COVID-19 risk assessment, or call our 24/7 Health Line at .
If your symptoms are life-threatening, call 911 immediately.
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Why Are Some Covid
It should be noted that hemoptysis has only been reported in a small number of COVID-19 patientsand it’s not necessarily a main diagnostic symptom of COVID-19. Typically COVID-19 infections cause cough, sputum production, and shortness of breath,”Charles S. Dela Cruz, MD, PhD, a Yale Medicine pulmonologist and associate professor of medicine and microbial pathogenesis, tells Health. “Hemoptysis, which is coughing up blood, is much less common in COVID-19.”
Instead, coughing up blood may be more of a secondary symptomor a complication of symptoms or conditions most commonly caused by COVID-19. Dr. Cosgrove explains that the severity of lung damage from the viral pneumonia is likely the reason why some patients are coughing up blood. Dr. Dela Cruz agrees: If it does happen, it can mean more severe COVID19 infection or a patient has superimposed bacterial infections,” he adds. Again, any type of viral or bacterial pneumonia can cause hemoptysisnot only pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
Of course, coughing up blood at any time can be alarming to both a patient and their family, but it should not be ignored in COVID-19 patients right now. “In the current environment, it should raise concern and be appropriately evaluated, especially if the hemoptysis is associated with shortness of breath, says Dr. Dela Cruz.
What Are The Key Differences Between The Two Infections
Typically with a sinus infection, you’ll have that telltale congestion, facial and/or ear pressure, and mucus, but you wont see all the other physical symptoms that you do with COVID-19 , says Dr. Shanker-Patel. “Symptoms of a rhinosinusitis are mostly centered around the upper respiratory tract,” she adds.
That being said, “Many of the symptoms are very similar and, for this reason, it is most appropriate to talk to your health care provider if you develop any symptoms of either,” Dr. Shanker-Patel adds.
To make things even more complicated, you can have a sinus infection and COVID-19. “The two are not mutually exclusive. You can have both at the same time, and that’s where things become tricky,” says Dr. Del Signore. “The thing that sets apart is really those systems systematic changesthe fevers, the total body chills and intense fatigue, and a dense loss of smell and taste.”
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Bacterial And Viral Infections
Life Hacks For Your Dry Cough
According to Providence.org, recovery is more than just slamming down liquids to keep your throat moist. You need to balance what you drink with that you eat. You can start by meeting the daily nutritional requirements:
- Fluid About 3 Quarts
- Calories Around 2000 to 2500
- Protein 75 to 100 Grams
This helps build up your immune system protein and calories are crucial in the fight as they protect you from muscle loss especially if COVID-19 leaves you inactive or bedridden.
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Heart Problems After Covid
Your chance of getting COVID-19 heart damage depends on how healthy your heart was before COVID-19 and what happened when you were sick.
COVID-19, especially severe cases, can put a lot of stress on your heart. If you had heart disease before getting the coronavirus, it could increase the chance of rapid heart rate and chest pain after COVID-19.
But according to the American Heart Association, there is data showing that even people without heart problems before COVID-19 may have long-haul cardiac symptoms. And, some people may end up with heart problems, even if their initial COVID-19 symptoms were minor.
How to improve heart health after COVID-19
There are things you can do at home to promote heart health after COVID-19 and being active is one of them. Getting daily exercise can make your heart stronger.
When to contact your doctor
If youre not sure youre healthy enough for exercise, check with your doctor first. Your doctor may recommend cardiac rehabilitation to improve how well your heart works.
Also, if you feel like your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat or fluttering, you may be experiencing heart palpitations after COVID-19 and you should contact your doctor. And if you experience warning signs of a heart attack such as dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain and shortness of breath call 911 right away.
Clearing Your Lungs After Covid
You may find that you are still coughing up phlegm or mucus after an infection with COVID-19 . This is normal after respiratory infections. It is how the lungs and airways keep themselves clear.
Keep clearing the phlegm from your lungs to improve your lung condition and reduce the chance of getting chest infections. There are breathing exercises and positioning exercises that can help.
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What Do Other Mucus Colors Mean
Your mucus can give you a total cornucopia of colors, with shades that go way beyond yellow. Heres a breakdown of what specific shades of snot might allude to:
- Clear mucus: Consider this your baseline. When your mucus is clear, everything is likely easy-peasy lemon-squeezy in your nasal passages, Abbas Anwar, M.D., a board-certified otolaryngologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF.
- Green mucus: In the same family as yellow mucus, this could be a sign that you have a cold or an infection in your nose or sinuses, Dr. Anwar says.
- White mucus: Thick, white mucus can be a sign that your body is starting to fight an infection, Dr. Anwar says. You just havent built up to the level of yellow mucus yet.
- Brown mucus: Brown mucus is usually caused by dried blood, Dr. Anwar says. If your nasal passages are really dry, you can have some blood that pools in your nose and throat and dries, he explains. Then, when it slowly makes its way out in your mucus, it can look brown.
- Pink, orange, or red mucus: This is also a tip-off that you have light bleeding in your nose, Dr. McCormick says. The potential causes can range from blowing your nose too hard or too often to actually getting hit in the nose, Dr. Anwar says.
- Black mucus: Dr. McCormick says heavy pollution can lead to black mucus, while Dr. Anwar points out that smoking can cause it too. In rarer circumstances, it can be an indication of invasive fungal infections3, Dr. Anwar says.
You Might Have A Dry Cough
A signature sign of COVID, a dry cough is described as one that is unproductivewith no phlegm. It can last long after the virus has left your body. “It has a very consistent sound,” Subinoy Das, MD an Ohio-based ear nose and throat physician, and medical director for the US Institute for Advanced Sinus Care & Research, tells Health. That’s because “the airway is not constantly changing with the cough,” says Dr. Das.
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To Monitor Your Oxygen Level
A home pulse oximeter, which clips to your finger and measures how much oxygen is in your blood, can help you monitor your condition. This may be recommended by your doctor, especially if you have risk factors for severe illness. Talk to your doctor about how to use it and what oxygen level should prompt a call to the doctor.
Food Is Medicine This Is Your Prescription
There are smaller treatments you can take to temporarily numb the pain. You can suck on cough drops, lozenges, or hard candy. Take acetaminophen, cough medicine, or drink hot tea. Even a delicious frozen treat can provide some sweet relief basically, you have an excuse to eat a little extra ice cream.
Many of the COVID symptoms can last longer than the actual infection. It varies from person to person.
Youre not out of the woods yet.
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