Today more than ever, in this testing and changing times, we need to be more careful about how to manage asthma. The first Tuesday of every May is observed as the World Asthma Day. This year on 5th May, countries across the world will spread awareness regarding this respiratory illness.
Currently, in India, 2% of the adult population and 6% of the child population are diagnosed with asthma and the number is increasing every year. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, many asthmatics are anxious about how it will impact them.
Is there a link between COVID-19 and asthma?
No, there isn’t a direct link that exists between the two. COVID-19 is a respiratory disorder caused by coronavirus. It affects the respiratory apparatus in the body – nose, throat and lungs.
If an asthmatic person contracts COVID-19, then the person could suffer pneumonia, an asthma attack or other severe lung problems.
Although there is no evidence to show that having asthma increases your risk of contracting COVID-19, health experts have suggested that asthmatics will experience severe COVID-19 symptoms if they were to contract it. This is because COVID-19 leads to breathing troubles, and asthmatics already have breathing difficulties.
Asthma is one of the existing illnesses that can make COVID-19 infection more severe. So if your loved one or you have asthma, manage it with extreme caution and don’t let there be flare-ups.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma
Asthmatic patients have to be very careful because many symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma are similar. Symptoms such as cough and breathing difficulties are common between the two disorders.
So when an asthmatic has breathing troubles, how can he or she determine if it’s an asthma attack or COVID-19?
One way to do that is to check your temperature. Studies have found that a large percentage of COVID-19 patients experience fever, it could be mild or high.
What can you do?
Take medications for your asthma as prescribed. Avoid going out and even if you do, then wear a mask. This will lower your chances of being exposed to the virus. Stock up on foods and medication so that you don’t have to go out often to buy essentials.
A few other things you should do are –
- Keep your nebulizer clean.
- Stay away from triggers like pollen and smoke.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Don’t share personal items.
- Avoid sick people.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Disinfect any object that other people touch a lot, such as doorknobs and tables.
- Indulge in relaxing activities to reduce stress.
If there are sick people in the house, then you have to isolate yourself. Avoid going near them and disinfect common spaces regularly.
You can keep a peak flow meter with you and use it daily to measure the speed at which air comes out of your lungs. Note down the readings in a diary. This will help your doctor determine if the symptoms of asthma are worsening or they’re signs of COVID-19.
COVID-19 and asthma both cause damage to the respiratory system. So take the necessary precautions and stay safe.