In view of the complications and disruptions due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, patients with Asthma are at higher risk of getting very sick from Coronavirus which can affect the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs) which can cause an asthma attack and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
Some people have concerns about the steroids in their asthma inhalers weakening their immune system. What should people know about inhaled corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone)?
If you need to take quick-relief medicine (such as albuterol) for an asthma episode, use an inhaler (with a spacer) if possible. Using a nebulizer can increase the risk of sending virus particles in the air if you are sick. But if you have a nebulizer and solution, it is OK to use it to treat an asthma episode. When using a nebulizer, limit the number of people in the room or use it in a room by yourself.
The biggest risk to people with asthma is not treating asthma symptoms when needed at home. This can lead to visits to overcrowded emergency rooms with no hospital beds. Uncontrolled asthma is a much higher risk to your health than COVID-19.
To Help Our Asthma Patients Stay Healthy during the Pandemic, we recommend the following:
1. Make sure you are taking the prescribed doses of your Asthma Maintenance medication and have at least one month’s supply of these medications and your rescue albuterol inhaler.
2. Make sure you have a Peak Flow meter , Asthma Control Test, Thermometer, and an updated Asthma Action Plan. Consider obtaining a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels in case you are infected with Corona virus.
3. Stay home, wear a face mask and follow social distancing, hand washing and other recommended practices to avoid COVID 19 infection.
4. As a service to our Asthma patients, we have started an Asthma Patient Monitoring Program where our practice will monitor patients’ Peak Flow, other vital sign measurements, Asthma Control Test scores; and medication compliance and send them reminders and alerts to help them stay healthy during this time. If you are interested in registering for the program, please call our office for further information.