A dangerous condition leading to a number of serious and life-threatening problems–ARDS, can make breathing difficult and won’t allow oxygen to get into the body!
Most people who suffer ARDS or Acutre Respiratory Distress Syndrome are already at the hospital for trauma or illness. Let’s have a clear look at ARDS!
What is ARDS?
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a lung disorder in which fluid accumulates in the lungs' small sacs. These sacs help in the delivery of inhaled oxygen into the bloodstream. Fluid buildup can reduce the concentration of oxygen in the blood. Inadequate oxygen levels impair organ function and eventually lead to organ failure.
This is a life-threatening medical condition caused by sepsis, pneumonia, the coronavirus (COVID-19), and other factors. Although some ARDS patients recover, the chance of mortality increases with age and the severity of the underlying cause.
Is acute respiratory distress syndrome contagious?
ARDS is a lung disorder that can affect both men and women. It is not contagious and can not be passed from one person to another.
This condition is not an inherited disease. However, ARDS is a byproduct of lung damage and can affect people of any age.
Can ARDS be cured?
There is no cure for ARDS at this time. However, with treatment, the patient can recover and heal from the lung problems and remove the injury that caused ARDS to develop.
Here are the treatments for those who have ARDS.
- Oxygen: The doctor will use supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. Most people with ARDS will need the help of a machine to breathe.
- Fluids: The amount of intravenous fluids is carefully managed because too much fluid can cause fluid buildup in the lungs and too little fluid can put a strain on the heart and other organs, leading to shock.
- Medication: ARDS patients are usually given medication to prevent and treat infections, relieve pain and suffering, reduce gastric reflux, and avoid blood clots in lungs.
Lifestyle changes after ARDS treatment
By adopting a few changes in life, one can improve the health of the lungs. Although these changes may not directly affect healing capabilities but can provide the lungs the opportunity to recover.
Here are some tips to enhance your lifestyle following ARDS:
- Take deep breaths: Even 2-5 minutes of deep breathing exercises can help you regain the correct mechanics of breathing, improve the lung capacity and reduce fatigue.
- Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy treatments, such as diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation breathing exercises, will be given based on the severity and duration of the ARDS.
- Stop smoking: ARDS already reduces the oxygenation of the different organs in your body. Chronic smoking can further deteriorate the lung condition.
- Reduce exposure to pollutants: The lungs become more vulnerable to infectious after ARDS. Reduce pollutant exposure by avoiding second-hand smoke and reducing pollutant levels in the home by dusting and deep cleaning on a daily basis.
- Reduce the risk of infection: After a respiratory infection, the lungs are vulnerable and can develop severe consequences. To avoid respiratory tract infections, wash your hands frequently with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes or face.
- Get flu shots on time: The vaccinations can help to reduce the impact of infections on the lungs.
- Staying hydrated: Drinking sufficient water may not improve your lung functions directly, it can protect your lungs during the recovery period.
- Eating healthy: While recovering from the condition, you have to take precautions with the diet. As you recover from ARDS, a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can be especially beneficial to lung functions.
Incorporate these changes in your life to let your lungs heal faster. You can improve your lung functions by concentrating on these activities.
If you have any respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath, pain while deep breathing, coughing, fever, or chest pain, seek medical help immediately. As the lungs recover from ARDS, they will become more prone to infections and other disorders.
The road to recovery from ARDS can be tough and you'll need plenty of support.
Let’s marathon the recovery from ARDS together!