Link between asthma and COVID-19

World Asthma Day – the link between asthma and COVID-19

 Link between asthma and COVID-19

The World Asthma Day is organized every year on the first Tuesday of May. The goal of organizing it is to spread awareness and improve the quality of care for asthma patients across the world. It is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). The first ever World Asthma Day was organized in 1998 in over 35 countries.

Asthma – an overview 

Asthma is a medical condition that occurs when your airways narrow down and produce excessive mucus. Both of these factors make it difficult to breathe. Other symptoms of asthma are wheezing and coughing. 

Generally, the condition of asthma is chronic and requires careful attention. The symptoms don’t occur in the same intensity in everyone – some experience mild symptoms while others have severe asthmatic attacks, which sometimes turn fatal.

It is assumed that asthma is triggered by environmental and genetic factors. A few environmental triggers are – cold air, pollen or dust mites, smoke, stress and preservatives added to food.

Is there a link between COVID-19 and asthma?

No, there isn’t a direct link between the two. COVID-19 is a respiratory disorder caused by coronavirus. It affects the respiratory apparatus in the body – throat, nose and the lungs. 

Now if an asthmatic person is infected with COVID-19 then the person could suffer an asthma attack, pneumonia 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.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma 

Some symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma are similar. They are cough and breathing difficulties. 

So how can you tell whether it’s an asthma attack or you have been infected by COVID-19? Check your temperature, studies have found that a large percentage of COVID-19 patients experience fever, it could be mild or high. 

You can consult a doctor though MediBuddy’s E-consultancy services if you are having frequent attacks of asthma.

Should you call the doctor?

If you are asthmatic and notice signs of fever, cough and breathing difficulties, consult a doctor right away.

You should also contact your doctor under the following circumstances –

  • Asthma medicine does not work as intended
  • Pain in the chest
  • Unable to talk
  • Confusion
  • Pale or blue lips
  • Unable to breathe

 

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 if these are signs of COVID-19.

Asthma treatment and COVID-19

Asthma patients use corticosteroids to reduce the inflammatory response of the body, and these drugs are known to affect the immune system. However, doctors advise asthma patients to remain on these medications to keep asthma in control – as the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Experts have also advised asthma patients to be extremely vigilant about following guidelines to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Conclusion 

Asthma can be a problem when COVID-19 is in the air. But if you remain extra careful, then you can sail through these trying times with ease. Stay safe!

Click here to read about our other blogs on updates about the Coronavirus.

Sources:

  1. Mayoclinic 
  2. WebMD

Life During The Lockdown

With India in an extended state of lockdown, normal life seems to drift farther away from most of us. However, staying at home doesn’t have to be dull & bleak. Take a look at how you can turn your time at home more fruitful and engaging for you & your family.

 

Tips to Manage Lockdown Well!

Work from home tips

Is HOME the new office? Boost your work performance now

Work from home tips

To contain the COVID-19 virus, the entire country is in a state of lockdown. Malls, schools, cinema halls, public transport have all been shut. In fact, the government has urged all of us not to step out of our homes unless absolutely necessary.

Many businesses across the country have asked their employees to work from home (WFH) in this context, especially those sectors where most of the work is done on a computer, such as tele-calling and digital marketing.

Some of us have experience of working remotely but for those who are doing it for the first time, things can go awry. This is why we have listed down a few tips that will make your WFH experience enjoyable and productive.

Tips to enhance your WFH experience

Set up a workspace

Your first task is to hunt for a workspace that is conducive for work. It should ideally be a place in your house where you can work in a quiet atmosphere.

You need a proper desk with an ergonomic chair so that you can work while maintaining a good posture. Sitting on your bed or the sofa and working means inviting backaches. Should you need to make Skype calls frequently, then ensure that the wall or the background behind you is conducive to such calls.

Organize your stuff

Gather your laptop/desktop, pen and pad, chargers, cell phone and a bottle of water and place them neatly on your worktable. If the surroundings are noisy, use earplugs or noise-cancelling earphones to drown out the noise.

Also, sync your daily home routine with your work hours so that they don’t overlap and disturb one another.

Let technology help

There are multiple technologies that you can leverage at times like these. For example, you can use Google Hangouts to create a group and chat with teammates, share your screen for remote viewing and even get on video calls. Similarly, there are project management tools like Trello to help you monitor the progress of your projects.

Plan your workflow beforehand

Every day before you start work, plan your workflow first. You can create a target list, keep it near you and cross targets off the list as you complete them. This will motivate you to complete your tasks on time.

Communicate

During WFH, some people tend to slack off from work. Communicate with your team members and manager via video calling or online chat instead of sending emails. This is will show that you are always accessible and are carrying out your duties earnestly.

If you are alone at home then participate in non-work related video hangouts with your team to prevent social isolation.

Keep distractions at bay

The biggest threat to any WFH routine is distractions. So talk to the people in your home and establish a few ground rules with them. This way you won’t get involved in housework and conversations during your work hours.

Remember that you are earning a salary for this period so you have to stay committed to your timings and deliverables. If you don’t, then your professional integrity may be compromised.

Stay off social media

It’s easy to get distracted by social media because there is no one to keep tabs on your work during WFH. This is why you have to keep all your social media accounts off during work hours. Turn off notifications and only use data for work and communicating with your colleagues.

Get into your office gear

Another way to transition yourself to your WFH routine is to wear your work clothes when you work. This will help you retain a familiar aspect of your workplace and keep you motivated. Once your work is done, you can slip back into your home clothes.

This practice can help you maintain a clear distinction between work and home. Being in your work clothes while making Skype calls to your team is also a good idea.

Take regular breaks

In your office, a colleague stopping by or a trip to the coffee machine ushered a break. In WFH, you can set up reminders to alert you to take regular breaks to get up from your seat and move about a little. You can also do bouts of exercise like spot jogging and squats during these breaks to keep your body fit. Remember that you won’t be moving around much during the lockdown period so to avoid the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, stay active whenever possible.

Create a routine

Form a routine similar to the one you follow on a regular workday. Freshen up, change into work clothes and then take a small commute to your work desk. At the end of the day, shut down your device and pack it in the bag just like you do in the office. This routine can help you transition from personal to professional and vice-versa.

Conclusion

Enhance your WFH experience during the lockdown with these tips. Don’t forget to maintain social distancing and personal hygiene to stay safe.

Coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate, and is something you should be cautious against! So, don’t leave space for any confusion! If you have medical queries on Coronavirus, call us on 080-47193456

References:

Economictimes