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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Chronic cough torments Covid-recovered patients

Dr Isaa al Jahdhami "In general, there are many home medicines that are used to relieve coughing, but as doctors we cannot prescribe them to patients officially because there is no scientific evidence of their benefit, but only personal experiences."
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Doctors are baffled over the Covid-19 post-recovery symptoms like continuous coughing, which sometimes leads to speaking difficulty.


Most Covid-19 recovered patients are showing this symptom. Since the coronavirus is primarily a respiratory disease of the lungs, it is normal in some recovering cases to have a persistent mild cough for a short period after recovery. But in some cases, it lasts for months.


The virus can damage the lungs, heart, and brain, which increases the risk of long-term health problems.


Discussing the post-Covid-19 symptoms, Dr Isaa al Jahdhami, Consultant of Respiratory and Sleep Diseases, said, "Many patients come to the clinic suffering from persistent cough even after recovering from Covid-19, and they ask for solutions. Most of them have already received different treatments such as antibiotics, allergy pills and cough medicines".


He explained, "We should know that coughing is a natural reaction to a foreign body or an inflammation in the trachea and bronchi. There are nerve cells in these places that send signals to the brain to start coughing in case of infection or the like. Coughing is a way to get rid of phlegm and fluids in the airways, which if the body did not get rid of them (by coughing), would lead to complications." The doctor said about 10 per cent of people with mild Covid-19 may have cough for up to four months.


"What matters is treating the disease that is causing the cough. For example, if it is a bacterial infection, one will need to take an antibiotic. For Covid-19, antibiotics are ineffective. In general, in sputum discharge with cough, the patient needs to drink fluids so that the sputum becomes less dense and easy to pass. Also, a medicine containing NAC, Carbocystine or Ambroxol can be used. While in case of dry cough (without sputum), medicines containing Guaifenesin or Mucinex can be used".


He added, however, that there are no good studies that show the best way to treat a cough after coronavirus infection.


"Some recommend using Gabapentin or Pregabalin because some studies showed that nerve cells in the airways were infected with the virus and subsequently transferred to the center that controls coughing in the brain stem. As for the use of cortisone, there are no accurate studies in this area, but some may improve with its use," he explained.


Regarding home remedies like bay leaves, Dr Al Jahdhami said, "In general, there are many home medicines that are used to relieve coughing, but as doctors we cannot prescribe them to patients officially because there is no scientific evidence of their benefit, but only personal experiences."


@zainabalnassri


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