CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – We spoke with Dr. Lo’ay AI-Asadi to find answers why many experienced prolonged respiratory issues after recovering from COVID.
Since the COVID pandemic started over a year ago, doctors are beginning to see the long term effects of the virus.
“It is to the level that the American College of Chest Physicians have come up with the term Post-COVID Pulmonary Syndrome,” said Dr. Al-Asadi.
Dr. Al-Asadi says, up to 50% of his patients still have lingering effects of COVID six weeks into this new pulmonary syndrome. It includes a cough, shortness of breath and a loss of taste and smell.
“Even after the CDC said you had 14 days before you can go back to work, I felt like I still had the symptoms until 21, almost 28 days after the fact,” said Jay Silverman, who recovered from COVID.
“The first couple weeks were very lethargic, very tired, after about two weeks I finally got my pep back, but I still couldn’t taste or smell for literally an extra two weeks,” said Silverman.
According to Dr. Al-Asadi, patients affected by COVID for the long term are divided into categories. One is pulmonary fibrosis which can take a long time to clear, and may never return to baseline. The second category is:
“A hyperreactive airway disease. Meaning they have significant inflammation in their airways,” said Dr. Al-Asadi.
Due to severe coughing. The third category is a long term shortness of breath or a lack of smell and taste.
“Probably the best management of those patients is going to be taking an inhaled steroid, you see that very frequently in patients who have viral syndromes,” said Al-Asadi.
Dr. Al-Asadi says getting the vaccine prior to having COVID helps avoid these effects long term.