Long Covid: Singing could help to alleviate symptoms of the condition – study

Long Covid: Dr Sara Kayat discusses impact on children

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Conducted by the English National Opera (ENO), the study programme found singing lullabies could help patients with long Covid.

Since 2020, the ENO has been running the programme in a bid to help sufferers combat one of the most common symptoms of long Covid, breathlessness.

Lullabies were chosen as they are short and easy to remember.

As well as singing lullabies participants also breath through and make noises with straws.

Imperial College London has compared the results of participants who take part in ENO’s programme, known as Breathe, with a control group.

Compared with the control group, participants in the ENO’s programme had improved mental health and breathing.

At the moment there is no known cure for long Covid, a condition known to be unpredictable and chronic.

Long Covid patients report the disease coming in waves with symptoms sometimes changing from day to day or appearing to have vanished entirely before returning.

Treatment for long Covid is available on the NHS.

An NHS long Covid programme typically includes:
• Physiotherapy
• Breathing exercises
• Physical exercises
• Balance training
• Fatigue management.

Although outperformed in some areas, participants in the control group reported slightly better at rest breathlessness scores.

Dr Keir Philip, lead author of the Imperial College study, said of the Breathe results: “Our study suggests that the improvements in symptoms experienced by participants, resulted from both practical breathing techniques learnt, but also the creative, humane, and positive way the programme is delivered.”

Meanwhile, Dr Sarah Elkin added it was “vital we find ways to support people with long Covid who are experiencing debilitating symptoms long after recovering from their initial Covid infection”.

As the number of people living with long Covid continue to rise more resources will be required to deal with the wave of patients.

So far close to one in 30 people are living with the condition.

As well as long Covid, there is also greater understanding of the long term impacts of COVID-19 on the body.

The BMJ says people who have experienced a mild form of Covid have a 72 percent increased risk of heart failure.

Furthermore, they add individuals also have a 63 percent increased risk of a heart attack and a 52 percent increased risk of stroke compared with control groups.

What this means is that as cases numbers fall as the UK heads into summer and people think of the end of a viral war, the truth is that it is far from over.

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