Undeniably, COVID-19 has brought about in its trail a series of recurring symptoms which are being looked at as an aftermath of the infection.
As such, people who have successfully recovered from COVID are reportedly facing issues from time to time, and are being tagged as “long haulers” carrying the impact of the deadly virus.
As an obvious consequence, medicos around the world can’t help but resort to alternative options like hyperbaric treatment to help deal with persisting symptoms.
More so, in serious cases, where there were no options left other than the ventilator accounting for a high mortality rate.
Hyperbaric treatment thus presents itself as a plausible approach towards dealing with “long haulers” for the greater good, and further research is underway to help expand the horizon of treatment.
The “Long Haul” Syndrome
The feeling of being a “Long Hauler” from COVID-19 can be a daunting experience.
Reportedly, several patients believe that the feeling isn’t easy to share with others. At times, one is all right, and at the other moment, things can get uneasy.
Commonly occurring “long haul” symptoms include brain fog which can impair a person, hindering his thinking ability.
In other words, he might feel he is not being himself for some unknown reason. Other associated symptoms include perpetual dizziness, and even passing out in some cases when rising from a stationary position.
“Long Haulers” have often experienced situations where they had to be taken to the emergency room on more than one occasion.
In one case, a patient experiencing a fall was further subjected to anywhere between five to six sessions of hyperbaric treatment. The HBOT sessions turned out to be beneficial pushing an optimum level of oxygen directly and real fast into the bloodstream.
In due course of the treatment, the patient reportedly felt better and her “long haul” symptoms took a backstep – the brain fog was gone, and she felt more energetic, and her sleep patterns were also dramatically improved.
Post-COVID symptoms are usually characterized by borderline cognitive impairment coupled with neurological issues as well as severe fatigue.
As medical professionals gradually form a comprehensive idea about the virus and its unique form, especially how it’s been mutating, HBOT can be the answer to an urgent need for a sustainable treatment.
In the majority of cases where the COVID-19 affected were admitted in hospitals, neurological discomfort was identified in more than forty percent of patients at the very onset of the infection.
Furthermore, no less than at least eighty percent of patients depicted the same neurological symptoms, when their treatment was midway. The suffering patients generally complained of multiple issues that included:
- Headaches and Dizziness
- Encephalopathy, and
Several patients even after being released from hospitals continue to suffer from such symptoms. Reportedly, only a mere thirteen percent experienced no difficulties or discomfort after they were treated for COVID-19.
Above all, cognitive impairment and severe sleep disorders were reportedly the most common issues that people complained about after successfully recovering from COVID.
A study that comprised data from more than 80,000 individuals who recovered from the deadly virus depicted a much reduced cognitive ability. Such a deficit rings the reality bell to establish the severity of the symptoms and is in line with all those who are still being treated at hospitals and clinics.
Pathogenesis And The Role Of HBOT
The pathogenesis of the “Long Haul” syndrome is governed by a couple of biological sequences linking it to the effects of COVID-19, namely cytokines storm and the state of hypercoagulability associated with the acute stage of infection.
The cytokine storm is nothing but an “inflammatory response” that can’t be controlled and is further characterized by increased TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-6.
On the other end, hypercoagulability attunes towards the occlusion of both small and large vessels. All neurological complications were ruled out to be a direct result of the peripheral nervous system carrying micro-infarcts.
With the COVID-19 virus leading to neuroinflammation, the same can show prolonged effect and render as prominent aftermath of the “Long Haul” syndrome.
Owing to the presence of microinfarcts and subsequent neuroinflammation, one can also experience conditions like local and neurological hypoxia. This is where hyperbaric treatment makes a difference with its reversing effects.
Inside an HBOT chamber, you breathe pure, unadulterated oxygen at a pressure that exceeds 1 ATM. This, in turn, boosts the amount of oxygen running through your bloodstream and tissues. In essence, it’s the coming together of hyperbaric treatment as well as hyperoxia that helps trigger all pressure-sensitive as well as oxygenated genes. In turn, it facilitates regeneration with the proliferation of stem cells to boost anti-inflammatory function.
However, given the less wide availability of hyperbaric treatment, restricted to a few hospitals and special clinics, not many are privileged to undergo HBOT sessions.
Hyperbaric treatment, by all means, has established its efficacy in reversing the aftermath symptoms of COVID-19.
For all “Long Haulers” this is indeed a new ray of hope as it promises long-lasting relief from recurring episodes of discomfort like no other treatment in comparison.