Monday, January 4, 2021
If you or a loved one has asthma, it is especially important to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene while avoiding certain asthma triggers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the airways, making it harder to move air into and out of the lungs. If something triggers a person’s asthma symptoms, this can cause tightness around the airways and may lead to shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with moderate or severe asthma may be at a greater risk of developing a more severe form of COVID-19 if infected with the virus since the illness can affect the respiratory system.
If you have asthma, here are some tips on staying well now and in the future.
- Create and follow your asthma action plan. Work with your healthcare provider to create an asthma plan that outlines how to prevent an asthma attack, how to control asthma symptoms and what to do if you have an attack. (Check out the CDC’s “Asthma Action Plans.”)
- Identify and avoid the things that trigger your asthma symptoms. Common asthma triggers include mold, dust, smoke from tobacco products, furry pets, certain types of pests like mice and cockroaches, air pollution and cleaning products (disinfectants). Many other things can trigger an asthma attack, including allergies, infections, acid reflux, participation in physical activities, strong emotions and weather changes. It’s important to identify your own asthma triggers and develop strategies to avoid them.
- Take current medications as prescribed by your provider and know how to use your inhaler (if you have one). The CDC offers instructional videos on how to use different types of inhalers. Try to keep a 30-day supply of medications and supplies on hand in case you are homebound for an extended period of time.
- Find ways to manage your stress. Strong emotions like stress and anxiety can lead to asthma symptoms. Make sure to take time to relax and recharge. Check out our recent blog with tips on reducing stress.
- Prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remember to wear a mask; wash or sanitize your hands often; stay at home if you are sick; use a tissue to cover your sneeze or cough or use your upper sleeve (wash or sanitize your hands immediately after); and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces often (check out these tips on using disinfectants if you have asthma).
Norman Regional Health System remains committed to your health. Learn more about our telemedicine offerings and stay up-to-date on Norman Regional’s COVID-19 response efforts, which includes details on what to do if you think you may have COVID-19.