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