Some COVID patients have severely swollen tongues.
A small number of COVID-19 patients in American hospitals have developed severely swollen tongues, and doctors are trying to figure out why this is happening.
In a study published on Thursday by KHOU 11, Dr. James Melville of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry (UTHealth) said he knew of nine known cases of macroglossia in COVID-19 patients in the United States. This is a tiny fraction of the 33 million COVID cases recorded in the United States since the outbreak began.
All nine patients were intubated in the hospital, and eight of them are African-American. Two had had strokes, and the other seven had been admitted to the hospital and given COVID before developing a swollen tongue.
People couldn’t eat or speak normally because of the illness, according to Melville. He has performed a variety of procedures to help people with macroglossia regain control of their tongues.
Melville said inflammatory cells had been found in the patients’ tongues, despite the fact that the connection between the virus and the disease is still unknown.
Melville told KHOU 11 that he believes it has a lot to do with where the virus attaches itself and the body’s immune response to it.
Anthony Jones, from Lake City, Florida, was one of Melville’s patients.
Jones had spent more than a month in the hospital since contracting COVID-19. His tongue, on the other hand, appeared massively swollen.
His mother, Mary Ann Jones, told UTHealth News, “The doctor was shaking his head and saying he might do surgery, but he couldn’t guarantee Anthony would ever eat or talk again.”
“When Anthony began to weep as if he was giving up, I told him, ‘Don’t worry, boy, we’ll find someone to support you.’ The expression on his face after the doctor had gone broke my heart.”
A specialist told the family the condition was called macroglossia and Mary Ann Jones began searching online for more information. She stumbled across a study published by Melville and contacted him in the hope that he could help.
Melville told UTHealth News that Jones’s macroglossia was classified as massive.
“It is psychologically depressing because they are looked at as an oddity. They have to be on a feeding tube, a permanent. This is a brief summary.