How to Live Well with Asthma in the Post-COVID Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough time for everyone, especially for people with asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways and makes it hard to breathe. People with asthma may have more severe symptoms or complications if they get infected with COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to know how to manage your asthma and protect yourself from the virus.

But even as the pandemic seems to be winding down, the challenges are not over for people with asthma. Many people still live in fear of getting sick or infecting others. Many people still face stress, anxiety, depression, or isolation due to the pandemic. Many people still struggle with access to health care or vaccines.

That’s why we need to learn how to live well with asthma in the post-COVID era. In this blog post, we will share some insights from recent studies and some tips on how to cope with the physical and mental health challenges of asthma and COVID-19.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the quality of life and treatment of asthma patients around the world. A recent study by Naglaa Youssef and colleagues surveyed 200 asthma patients in Egypt and found that 80% of them had uncontrolled asthma, meaning that their symptoms were frequent or severe and interfered with their daily activities. The most common factor that affected their quality of life was the limitation of activity, such as exercise, work, or socializing. Women reported a higher level of perceived threat from COVID-19 than men.

The study also found some positive changes in the patients’ health behaviors during the pandemic. More patients visited their clinician regularly and followed their treatment plan than before the pandemic. However, over 75% of the patients could not tell the difference between asthma and COVID-19 symptoms, which could lead to confusion or delay in seeking medical help.

The study concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic improved some aspects of asthma care, but also highlighted the need for better asthma control and education. Uncontrolled asthma is a major risk factor for poor quality of life and should be addressed by both patients and clinicians.

Another study by Valeria Saladino and colleagues explored the psychological and social effects of the pandemic on the population, mostly children, college students, and health professionals. They found that these groups were more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of distress due to the pandemic. They also found that social distancing and security measures affected the relationship among people and their perception of empathy toward others.

The study suggested that telepsychology and technological devices could be useful tools to decrease the negative effects of the pandemic and improve psychological treatment of patients online. Telepsychology is the delivery of psychological services using telecommunication technologies, such as phone calls, video calls, or online platforms. Telepsychology can offer benefits such as convenience, accessibility, affordability, and continuity of care.

Key takeaways

Here are some key takeaways on how to live well with asthma in the post-COVID era:

• Keep your asthma under control. Follow your asthma action plan, take your medications as prescribed, monitor your symptoms and peak flow, and avoid triggers that can worsen your asthma.

• Protect yourself from COVID-19. Follow the public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. Wear a mask when you are in public places, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, and get vaccinated when it’s available for you.

• Seek medical help when needed. Don’t hesitate to contact your clinician if you have any questions or concerns about your asthma or COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, get tested and isolate yourself until you get the results.

• Stay active and healthy. Physical activity can improve your lung function and overall health. Choose activities that are suitable for your fitness level and don’t trigger your asthma. Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep.

• Seek support and information. Living with asthma can be stressful and isolating, especially during a pandemic. Reach out to your family, friends, or support groups for emotional support. You can also visit the World Asthma Foundation website to learn more about asthma and how to manage it during the pandemic.

• Practice empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It can help you to care for others, cooperate with them, and support them in times of need. Empathy can also motivate you to follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus.

• Use telepsychology. Telepsychology is a convenient and effective way to access psychological services online. It can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems caused by the pandemic. It can also help you improve your relationship with yourself and others.


Asthma is a common chronic condition that can impair your quality of life if it’s not well controlled. The COVID-19 pandemic has added more challenges and risks for people with asthma. However, by following some simple steps, you can live well with asthma in the post-COVID era.

The World Asthma Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to empower the world asthma community through education, collaboration, and advocacy. Our vision is to see a day where they can improve the quality of lifem for all asthmatics.
We do this by advocating for an improved understanding
of the causes, diagnostic tools, methodologies, precision therapies, prevention, sustainability in healthcare, and one day
a cure.

Together, we can makea difference for people living with asthma.

Food Dye and Inflamation

Common food dye can trigger inflammatory processes, say university researchers

A recent university study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research reflects that long-term consumption of Allura Red food dye can be a potential trigger of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) and potentially other inflammatory diseases processes as well.

Researchers using experimental animal models of IBD found that continual exposure to Allura Red AC harms gut health and promotes inflammation. Researchers using experimental animal models of IBD found that continual exposure to Allura Red AC harms gut health and promotes inflammation.

‘This further understanding will benefit Asthmatics as well,’ said Alan Gray, Director at the World Asthma Foundation . The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a diverse ecosystem of microbes, known collectively as the microbiota. Among its many roles, the gut microbiota regulates the immune system and protects against harmful pathogens. In fact, the largest part of the immune system, the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, is found in the gut. This network of immune cells and tissues interacts closely with the gut microbiota, influencing inflammation throughout the body including the lungs.

The dye directly disrupts gut barrier function and increases the production of serotonin, a hormone/neurotransmitter found in the gut, which subsequently alters gut microbiota composition leading to increased susceptibility to colitis.

Khan said Allura Red (also called FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17), is a common ingredient in candies, soft drinks, dairy products and some cereals. The dye is used to add colour and texture to foodstuffs, often to attract children.

The use of synthetic food dyes such as Allura Red has increased significantly over the last several decades, but there has been little earlier study of these dyes’ effects on gut health. Khan and his team published their findings in Nature Communications. Yun Han (Eric) Kwon, who recently completed PhD in Khan’s laboratory, is first author.

“This study demonstrates significant harmful effects of Allura Red on gut health and identifies gut serotonin as a critical factor mediating these effects. These findings have important implication in the prevention and management of gut inflammation,” said Khan, the study’s senior author, a professor of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and a principal investigator of Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

“What we have found is striking and alarming, as this common synthetic food dye is a possible dietary trigger for IBDs. This research is a significant advance in alerting the public on the potential harms of food dyes that we consume daily,” he said.

“The literature suggests that the consumption of Allura Red also affects certain allergies, immune disorders and behavioural problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

Khan said that IBDs are serious chronic inflammatory conditions of the human bowel that affect millions of people worldwide. While their exact causes are still not fully understood, studies have shown that dysregulated immune responses, genetic factors, gut microbiota imbalances, and environmental factors can trigger these conditions.

In recent years there has been significant progress in identifying susceptibility genes and understanding the role of the immune system and host microbiota in the pathogenesis of IBDs. However, similar advances in defining environmental risk factors have lagged, he said.

Khan said that environmental triggers for IBDs include the typical Western diet, which includes processed fats, red and processed meats, sugar and a lack of fibre. He added that the Western diet and processed food also includes large amounts of various additives and dyes.

He added that the study suggests a link between a commonly used food dye and IBDs and warrants further exploration between food dyes and IBDs at experimental, epidemiological and clinical levels.

Interventions To Help Asthma Clinical Adherence

Conditions:   Asthma/Drug Therapy;   Medication Adherence/Statistics & Numerical Data;   Reminder Systems;   Humans;   Hispanic Americans;   Communication Barriers;   Child
Interventions:   Device: SmartInhaler with reminder function turned on;   Device: SmartInhaler
Sponsors:   University of California, San Francisco;   Academic Pediatric Association
Not yet recruiting – verified December 2016

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Cysteinyl Leukotrienes Pathway Genes, Atopic Asthma and Drug Response: From Population Isolates to Large Genome-Wide Association Studies.

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Cysteinyl Leukotrienes Pathway Genes, Atopic Asthma and Drug Response: From Population Isolates to Large Genome-Wide Association Studies.

Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:299

Authors: Thompson MD, Capra V, Clunes MT, Rovati GE, Stankova J, Maj MC, Duffy DL

Genetic variants associated with asthma pathogenesis and altered response to drug therapy are discussed. Many studies implicate polymorphisms in genes encoding the enzymes responsible for leukotriene synthesis and intracellular signaling through activation of seven transmembrane domain receptors, such as the cysteinyl leukotriene 1 (CYSLTR1) and 2 (CYSLTR2) receptors. The leukotrienes are polyunsaturated lipoxygenated eicosatetraenoic acids that exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and physiological actions. Of the three enzymes involved in the formation of the leukotrienes, arachidonate 5 lipoxygenase 5 (ALOX5), leukotriene C4 synthase (LTC4S), and leukotriene hydrolase (LTA4H) are all polymorphic. These polymorphisms often result in variable production of the CysLTs (LTC4, LTD4, and LTE4) and LTB4. Variable number tandem repeat sequences located in the Sp1-binding motif within the promotor region of the ALOX5 gene are associated with leukotriene burden and bronchoconstriction independent of asthma risk. A 444A > C SNP polymorphism in the LTC4S gene, encoding an enzyme required for the formation of a glutathione adduct at the C-6 position of the arachidonic acid backbone, is associated with severe asthma and altered response to the CYSLTR1 receptor antagonist zafirlukast. Genetic variability in the CysLT pathway may contribute additively or synergistically to altered drug responses. The 601 A > G variant of the CYSLTR2 gene, encoding the Met201Val CYSLTR2 receptor variant, is associated with atopic asthma in the general European population, where it is present at a frequency of ?2.6%. The variant was originally found in the founder population of Tristan da Cunha, a remote island in the South Atlantic, in which the prevalence of atopy is approximately 45% and the prevalence of asthma is 36%. In vitro work showed that the atopy-associated Met201Val variant was inactivating with respect to ligand binding, Ca(2+) flux and inositol phosphate generation. In addition, the CYSLTR1 gene, located at Xq13-21.1, has been associated with atopic asthma. The activating Gly300Ser CYSLTR1 variant is discussed. In addition to genetic loci, risk for asthma may be influenced by environmental factors such as smoking. The contribution of CysLT pathway gene sequence variants to atopic asthma is discussed in the context of other genes and environmental influences known to influence asthma.

PMID: 27990118 [PubMed – in process]

View full post on pubmed: asthma

Optimization of substituted imidazobenzodiazepines as novel asthma treatments.

Optimization of substituted imidazobenzodiazepines as novel asthma treatments.

Eur J Med Chem. 2016 Nov 24;126:550-560

Authors: Jahan R, Stephen MR, Forkuo GS, Kodali R, Guthrie ML, Nieman AN, Yuan NY, Zahn NM, Poe MM, Li G, Yu OB, Yocum GT, Emala CW, Stafford DC, Cook JM, Arnold LA

We describe the synthesis of analogs of XHE-III-74, a selective ?4?3?2 GABAAR ligand, shown to relax airway smooth muscle ex vivo and reduce airway hyperresponsiveness in a murine asthma model. To improve properties of this compound as an asthma therapeutic, a series of analogs with a deuterated methoxy group in place of methoxy group at C-8 position was evaluated for isotope effects in preclinical assays; including microsomal stability, cytotoxicity, and sensorimotor impairment. The deuterated compounds were equally or more metabolically stable than the corresponding non-deuterated analogs and increased sensorimotor impairment was observed for some deuterated compounds. Thioesters were more cytotoxic in comparison to other carboxylic acid derivatives of this compound series. The most promising compound 16 identified from the in vitro screens also strongly inhibited smooth muscle constriction in ex vivo guinea pig tracheal rings. Smooth muscle relaxation, determined by reduction of airway hyperresponsiveness with a murine ovalbumin sensitized and challenged model, showed that 16 was efficacious at low methacholine concentrations. However, this effect was limited due to suboptimal pharmacokinetics of 16. Based on these findings, further analogs of XHE-III-74 will be investigated to improve in vivo metabolic stability while retaining the efficacy at lung tissues involved in asthma pathology.

PMID: 27915170 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

View full post on pubmed: asthma

Association of interleukin-18 and asthma.

Association of interleukin-18 and asthma.

Inflammation. 2016 Dec 02;

Authors: Xu MH, Yuan FL, Wang SJ, Xu HY, Li CW, Tong X

Cytokine-mediated immunity plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of various immune diseases, including asthma. The recent identification of the family interleukin (IL)-1-related cytokine IL-18 now contributes to our understanding of the fine-tuning of cellular immunity. IL-18 can act as a cofactor for Th2 cell development and IgE production and also plays an important role in the differentiation of Th1 cells. Recent work identified an IL-18 association with the pathogenesis of asthma, wherein increased IL-18 expression was found in the serum of patients. Furthermore, IL-18 polymorphisms with susceptibility to asthma were reported, suggesting that IL-18 may be therapeutically relevant to asthma. In this review, we discuss the role of IL-18 in the pathogenesis of asthma and its therapeutic potential based on current research.

PMID: 27913952 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

View full post on pubmed: asthma