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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can singing help long Covid-19 patients breathe easier?

10 May 2022 - 07:53
Music and singing-based activities can help improve health-related quality of life for people with long-term Covid-19 and breathlessness.
Music and singing-based activities can help improve health-related quality of life for people with long-term Covid-19 and breathlessness.
Image: 123RF/Ian Allenden

Music and singing-based activities can help improve health-related quality of life for people with long-term Covid-19 and breathlessness. 

This is according to findings of one of the first clinical trials to report an effective intervention for people with post-Covid syndrome, also known as long Covid-19. 

The study was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Some of the symptoms of long Covid-19 include loss of taste and smell, headaches, persistent fatigue, continuous shortness of breath, anxiety and reduced quality of life. 

“Music and singing-based activities have been shown to improve health-related quality of life and are popular for people with long-term respiratory conditions and breathlessness,” said the study. “Additionally, the pandemic has seen successful online adaptation and delivery of many activities, including dance and 'singing for lung health' programmes, because singing is an activity associated with increased aerosol generation.” 

Participants in the study learnt to sing lullabies and after the experiment, they evaluated their breathlessness at rest and after physical effort.

“Lullabies were intentionally selected given their accessibility, appropriateness for non-specialist singers, and inherent suitability given their core purpose to calm and soothe,” said the study. 

The study said participants noticed an improvement in their shortness of breath.

“Our findings suggest that mind/body and music-based approaches, including practical, enjoyable symptom-management techniques, might have a role supporting recovery for people with persisting breathlessness after Covid-19,” it said.


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