How to protect your lungs this flu season & beyond

In India the Influenza (flu) virus spread peaks during the monsoon season, with secondary peaks during the winter months from November to February. The respiratory viruses are largely winter viruses. Other than taking precautionary measures to prevent infection like avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, minimizing air pollutants, following hand hygiene, exercising, eating nutrient rich food; there are various ways to protect your lungs.


  • Taking a vaccine now will prevent one from catching the Flu this winter season-it takes about two to three weeks before the immunity from the vaccine starts. The flu vaccine is well researched and there are no major side effects. Minor side effects include mild fever and body ache for 2 days; these are much less serious than the flu or its complications.
  • It is safe for people who have taken the Covid-19 vaccine to take the flu vaccine.


Did You know?

Senior citizens 65 years and older or if you have other health problems, it is highly recommended to take Pneumonia shots (Pneummococcal vaccine) which protects against serious pneumococcal disease and pneumonia.


Regular check ups

This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious. Consult your doctor at the earliest if you experience the warning signs.


Did you know the warning signs?

  • Chronic cough – A chronic cough is one that lasts longer than eight weeks 
  • Wheezing – Whistling sound as you breathe
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic mucus production
  • Chronic chest pain


Don’t smoke

Cigarette smoking is the #1 cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease ( COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It causes chronic inflammation, or swelling in the lung, destroys lung tissue and may trigger changes that grow into cancer.


Did you know?

  • It’s never too late to benefit from quitting smoking!
  • Heart risks drop-1 to 2 years after quitting
  • Lung cancer risk is reduced to half – 5 to 10 years after quitting
  • Heart disease is close to that of a non smoker-15 years after quitting
  • Quitting smoking can also add as much as 10 years to your life


Post-Covid lung damage

  • 3 factors that determine the risk of lung damage in Covid-19 infections
  • Disease severity – severe case Vs mild case
  • Health conditions – Preexisting health problems, lung or heart disease, older people are also more vulnerable for a severe case of Covid-19.
  • Treatment-how quickly it started and the kind of care received


Is Covid Lung Damage be reversible?

After a serious case of Covid-19, a patient’s lungs can recover, but not overnight. There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre- Covid-19 levels.

-The author is a Medical Doctor and MBA from Johns Hopkins University, USA

E-paper link to the article at Lokmat Times below:-