Express News Service
Asthma may not be considered a serious condition by most people, however, asthma compounded by other infections can prove life-threatening. In the current scenario, asthma patients are much more susceptible to contracting Covid, and symptoms can be amplified considerably more in them.
Today being World Asthma Day, it is important to note that asthma must be kept under control right now, as it may lead to inflammation in the lungs and other complications.
“People feeling breathless may get confused between Covid symptoms and an asthma attack. At present, the major symptoms in Covid positive patients are breathlessness instead of common Covid symptoms such as fever, sore throat, headache, cough, etc. In such a situation it is best to use the inhaler so the asthma attack can be managed,” says Dr Sandeep Nayar, Senior Director & HOD, Chest & Respiratory Diseases, BLK-MAX Super Speciality Hospital.
“In case an asthma patient has contracted Covid, inhalers and bronchodilators as well as other medications should be continued as per schedule,” advises Dr Nayar, stating that nebulisers can be used with or without steroids to handle Covid-induced bronchospasms.
“Since Covid affects respiratory organs, theoretically asthma patients are more at risk. Such people should continue taking the controller medications without any break as these help keep conditions under control,” says Dr Vishal Sehgal, President, Medical Services, Portea Medical.
“Asthma requires round-the-clock monitoring and access to specialised care, so it is necessary to continuously coordinate with the treating physician. Technology is emerging as a great enabler in the healthcare domain. A growing number of health-tech service providers are offering specialised home care and assistance in disease management. These services, including options like diagnostic tests at home, condition monitoring by experts, medication planning, tele-consultation by pulmonologists, should be used by patients,” he adds.
“It is important to have a digital health monitor to watch the trends in vitals, as these will help a physician prescribe a course of action,” says Runam Mehta, Chief Growth Officer, HealthCube.
Doctors stress that alongside constant monitoring of a patient’s condition to avoid asthma triggers, a strict adherence to hygiene measures such as wearing a mask, handwashing, sanitising surfaces, and physical distancing, etc., should be followed.
Besides, all asthma patients above 18 years of age must get vaccinated to prevent the deadly implications of the virus even if they get infected.
“Vaccination not only offers protection against the virus, but also helps reduce the severity of the symptoms. But, consult a physician before going ahead with the dose,” says Dr Nayar.
Do not step out of home. If unavoidable, wear a double mask while going out
Avoid outdoor exercises, focus on breathing exercises, and doing yoga indoors
Take prescribed medicines and inhalers. Keep medicines stocked up
Eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients and proteins. Avoid eating oily foods
Take steam twice daily to avoid chest congestion
Keep anxiety and stress levels as low as possible
Delay your vaccination till you are fully recovered and done with self-isolation and quarantine measures