COVID-19: Breathing Better, Together

By: Dr. Neetu Ahluwalia


Hello Friends,

TGIF! Another week is almost over and I hope you continue to stay healthy and happy. Our breath isn’t something we often think about. It is one of those bodily functions that are on autopilot, but, like our beating heart, it is vital for life. COVID-19 has made us appreciate all of the small things and value the simple act of breathing deeply and easily.

The main function of the lungs is to exchange gases—you inhale oxygen (which all of the cells in your body need to function) and exhale carbon dioxide (a waste product of metabolism). The blood carries oxygen from the lungs to cells and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs. This process is called respiration.

When COVID-19 affects the lungs, it can cause a range of symptoms. This can be milder and cause a sore throat or pneumonia, to more severe symptoms that prevent that gas exchange and cause lung damage via inflammation and swelling. This can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and, on a CT scan, it can look like ground glass opacity—which looks like frosted glass. People often are short of breath and need support with extra oxygenation. In really severe cases, they may need to be intubated and put on a ventilator.

I know this sounds scary but there are some things you can do to improve your lung health and possibly lessen complications:

1. If you have a chronic condition, like COPD, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes,
ensure you are taking your medications and extra precautions during this time.

2. Don’t smoke or vape anything! Smoking leaves lung tissue inflamed, fragile and susceptible to

3. Stay hydrated—this keeps your mucus membranes loose and can help fight infection.

4. Exercise regularly—this can improve your lung volumes and your ability to take deep breaths.

5. Steam inhalation may help loosen mucus membranes and open passages in your throat, nose,
and lungs.

6. Remember to wash your hands, and don’t touch your face!

My office remains open for essential services. Call me anytime or click to schedule an appointment below.

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There are a lot of things that are out of our power right now but each day you have the opportunity to put new practices into place to improve your overall health and immunity.

Keep washing your hands, wearing your face mask, and breathe easy as we get through this together.

Stay well,

Dr. A

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.