How to handle a COVID-19 case at home
Getting diagnosed with COVID is stressful. However, it is also the time you need to make critical decisions and decide the next course of action based on your symptoms.
Most COVID-19 cases can be easily managed at home
Even though the pandemic may have slowed its speed, COVID is still spreading. However, the good news is that most of the cases are mild or moderate in nature, and fewer COVID cases are requiring hospitalization. That means manageable COVID care can be provided at home itself.
Being prepared will also help you recover faster. Here are a few basic guidelines on how to treat and manage your COVID symptoms at home.
03/9The things you will need for your recovery period
If you are a lone COVID patient at home, self-isolation will be required till the time you recover so as to protect the ones around you. If possible, try and minimize your contact with the ones at home, stay in a room with ample sunshine and ventilation. Doctors also suggest that patients have a separate room which has a different bathroom attached to it.
Sanitisers, disinfectants, masks, handwash, contactless thermometers, steam inhalation machines, pulse oximeters, clean laundry and separate bedding arrangements will be required.
Managing respiratory symptoms
Respiratory symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, sore throat still remain to be some of the most commonly reported symptoms with COVID-19. It can be prickly, irritating and linger for longing. Hence, a patient will require attention from the very start.
Steam inhalation gargles help the most in relieving symptoms. Over the counter medications, such as cough syrups, nasal sprays and lozenges can be kept handy.
Fever and chills
Fever, chills, fatigue, shooting pains and aches- commonly exhibited with viral illnesses can be quite ruthless in case of COVID infection. Excruciating back pain or a constantly high temperature (over 100 degrees Farhenheit) is common. While fever and related symptoms take their own time to really go away, the only thing which really helps speed up recovery is scoring ample of rest and snooze time.
Certain medications, such as paracetamol, which work to bring the temperature down, and other pain-relieving medications which alleviate inflammation in the body may also be used. However, be sure to check in with a doctor first.
The other uncommon, yet reported symptoms of the infection include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhoea. ORS solution, hydrating fluids will help keep the tummy happy and relieve symptoms, to an extent.
Are there medications you should be stocking up on?
While one can easily manage symptoms at home, soliciting a doctor's advice will be handy in knowing what to do and what not to.
If you are already taking any medications for an illness, continue to do so, after informing your doctor of the same.
While there is no medicine which actively 'prevents' COVID-19, doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory or anti-viral medicines for the same. But since many of these are prescription medicines and have strong properties, they should only be used after consulting with a doctor.
Apart from this, supplementing medicines, such as vitamin C, zinc can work to boost your immunity and keep the body healthy. They may not help fight COVID-19 directly, but studies have shown that deficiencies may only make matters worse for those lacking in these vital minerals and nutrients.
Drinking soothing teas, concoctions, humble kadhas can also help relieve problems.
Foods to avoid when you have COVID
When you are in your recovery phase, remember that while the viral load will take its own time to vanish away from the body, the important thing one needs to do is charge your immunity. Therefore, any foods which increase your oxidative stress levels, or do not let the immune system work in a healthy manner should not be had.
Ideally, like with any illness, recovery time is when an individual should have a rich nutritious diet- eat healthy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes packed with immunity-boosting ingredients. Antioxidant-rich foods should be included in the diet along with healthy proteins for faster recovery.
As a rule, make sure you are not having too much of processed foods, sugary drinks, or salty foods, which are not just bad for health but have also been linked to lower immunity and high inflammation.
If you are dealing with acute respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness, bad cough or shortness of breath, drinking soothing teas, jaggery, nuts may help relieve congestion to an extent.
What to do if you suffer from appetite loss?
A lowered appetite is also witnessed in many cases. Those suffering from an impaired sense of smell may also find eating normal foods troublesome. Nonetheless, eating nutritiously is important. Smoothies, juices and protein-rich foods should be had in abundance.
When is it time to rush to the hospital?
COVID-19 symptoms can go from mild to worse in a matter of hours, especially if a patient isn't attentive.
Therefore, it's super important to keep a track of your symptoms, any unusual signs you spot, or any symptoms which worsen over the recovery time, instead of improving.
Breathlessness, oxygen levels below 95, chest pain, delirium, decreased consciousness, taking fewer trips to the bathroom, a bluish tinge on the lips or a fever which doesn't subside after 6-7 days are some of the signs a patient may require serious help or hospitalisation. Read here to learn about some more symptoms of COVID-19 and the ways to know if COVID-19 has impacted your lungs or heart.