Coronavirus pandemic has thrown everyone into an unknown territory, where the fear of contracting the virus can even keep people from getting tested. But it is highly essential to get tested if symptoms arise to not only get early treatment but also protect the loved ones around you. However, if the thought of going to a COVID-19 testing center scares you, a general medicine practitioner from New Zealand Dr Sandhya Ramanathan is here to share some helpful tips to test for coronavirus symptoms at home.
Dr. Ramanathan's helpful tips can also be of great help in cases where there's limited access to hospitals and testing centers. The doctor uses simple and affordable equipment to provide self-diagnosis of the deadly contagion.
How to test for coronavirus using home equipments?
Dr Ramanathan strongly suggests every home has a pulse oximeter, which tells you the oxygen levels in your blood. Other necessary items are medium to large-sized latex balloons and drinking straws.
Using the pulse oximeter is pretty simple as one must put the machine on the index finger and secure it for an accurate reading. In a matter of a few seconds, the oxygen saturation levels will be shown on the tiny display. Safe levels are 95-100 percent, but if the oxygen saturation falls below 93 percent and associated with shortness of breath, it is strongly advised to get medical help.
The doctor also advises some breathing exercises and along with priming immunity tips and reducing viral load.
- Box breathing: 3 seconds breathe out and hold and then 3 seconds inhale and hold. Focus on complete exhale to empty lungs and then deep inhalation after that will be reflex and optimize oxygen intake
- Blowing balloons while seated creates positive end expiratory pressure similar to that created in mechanical ventilation.
- Blowing bubbles through a straw into a glass of water will also be helpful.
- Prone sleeping to avoid collapse of air spaces at lung bases
Reducing viral load
- Betadine or saline gargles twice a day
- Saline nasal spray or drops with a few drops betadine in it twice a day
- Saline nasal rinse in a soft squeezable bottle as needed (250ml cooled boiled water, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda,1/2 tsp salt +/- few drops betadine)
- Steam inhalation with vicks especially when you are suffering from loss of smell
- Nasal decongestants eg. Otrivin nasal spray, phenylephrine, antihistamine tablets also helpful
- Eat healthy whole foods (avoid processed food, alcohol and sugary drinks)
- Stay well hydrated with water
- Sleep 8 hours a night
- Stay calm with a positive mindset
- Immune supplements taken daily: Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and other optional ones eg. turmeric, echinacea etc.
Watch the complete video below where Dr Ramanathan explains home medical management plan for mild coronavirus: