What To Do If You Have Covid And Asthma

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 8 October 2021

What To Do If You Have Covid And Asthma


Coronavirus and Asthma

A coronavirus causes COVID-19, a respiratory illness. That means it has the ability to damage your lungs, throat, and nose. Infection with the virus may induce an asthma attack, pneumonia, or other severe lung diseases in some patients.

According to one small study, asthma should not increase the risk of contracting the coronavirus that triggers COVID-19. If you should get sick, however, the symptoms can be more severe than others because you already have respiratory issues.

There is no treatment for Covid-19. However, you should take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.


Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus and Asthma

Common COVID-19 symptoms include :

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms of asthma include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when you exhale (breathe out)

Both conditions have several symptoms in common. Pay close attention to other distinguishable signs and symptoms. According to early studies, 83% to 99% of people infected with COVID-19 have a fever, though it could be mild.

What should you do if you have coronavirus and asthma symptoms?

If you have asthma and have signs of a cold, allergies, or any respiratory issue, you may be worried. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see the doctor:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your asthma medicine doesn’t help with your symptoms.
  • You develop chest pain or pressure.
  • You have difficulty breathing.
  • You are unable to talk because it’s difficult to breathe.
  • You develop sudden confusion.
  • Your lips or face are blue.


How to Prepare

Continue to take your asthma medication. As much as possible, stay at home. This reduces the chances of contracting the infection. A 30-day supply of food, nonprescription medications, and other household items is a good idea to have on hand.

Your doctor, pharmacist, and health provider will also assist you with determining how much-prescribed medicine you’ll need for an immediate supply. Here are few more pointers:

  • Make sure you know how to use your inhaler.
  • Make sure the nebulizer is clean.
  • Smoke, allergens, and air quality are both asthma triggers, so stay away from them.
  • Avoid cruises and flights that aren’t absolutely required.
  • Avoid close contact with others (stay 6 feet away from others).
  • Crowds and sick people should be avoided.
  • Cups, eating utensils, and towels should not be shared.

Stay at home if you're feeling a little under the weather. Always cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue. When you've used it, throw it away responsibly.

Stay away from sick people in your household. They should be kept in a separate space and use a different bathroom until they feel better. If they can't, clean all shared areas where the sick individual spends time. When you're with each other, you should both wear masks.

You can use a peak flow diary to keep track of the asthma symptoms. Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about obtaining a peak flow meter, a portable instrument that monitors the rate at which air exits your lungs. Make a list of your daily readings, how often you use rescue drugs, and any symptoms you're experiencing. This will warn you and your doctor whether your breathing is getting worse or whether your symptoms are COVID-19-related.


Preventing Complications of Coronavirus and Asthma

To avoid coronavirus and asthma risks, take the following precautions:

  • Hands should be washed often for at least 20 seconds. Your knuckles, thumbs, fingernails, and wrists are all included. If soap and water aren't accessible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wash your hands after:
    • Going out in public. 
    • Touching new surfaces.
    • Cough, sneeze, or blow your nose
  • Make sure they're absolutely dry. Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, make sure you wash your hands. The virus may be passed from your hands to your face.
  • Disinfect something that has been used often. COVID-19 can survive for a long time on certain surfaces. It will adhere to plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, according to studies. Avoid disinfectants that could aggravate your asthma. Items that should be disinfected on a daily basis include:
    • Knobs on the door
    • Switches for lights
    • Desks and phones
    • Keyboards
    • Anything in a bathroom (toilet, faucet, sink)

Treating Asthma During Coronavirus

Corticosteroid medications may cause the immune system to slow down. For those with asthma, though, doctors believe the advantages outweigh the risks. The most key component is to have control of your circumstance. Continue to take your medication. Never stop or change your prescriptions without first consulting your doctor.

Bronchodilators and other rescue drugs have no effect on your immune system. If you have an asthma flare and need to take medication, an inhaler is the safest option. If you use a nebulizer when you're sick, you risk spreading the virus through the air. If you do use a nebulizer, do so alone in a room.


Coronavirus and Children With Asthma

Asthmatic children are more prone to have more severe symptoms of any respiratory infection, like COVID-19.

Keep your child at home, have them wear masks in public (if they are above the age of 2), and limit their interaction with others. Encourage them to wash their hands often. Assist them with keeping their toys and electronics safe.

Keep an eye on your child's symptoms and, if you have any questions, contact their doctor.


Referenced on 7.4.2021

  1. UpToDate: “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Asthma.”
  3. Asthma UK: “Coronavirus (COVID-19).”
  4. Cleveland Clinic: “Peak Flow Meter.”
  5. Medscape: “Asthma Patients: Stay on Steroids in Face of COVID-19, Say Experts.”
  6. American Lung Association Each Breath Blog: “Asthma and COPD: COVID-19 Myth Busting with Dr. Juanita Mora.”
  7. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know.”
  8. Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Coronavirus in Babies and Children.”
  9. Asthma Canada: “Asthma & Coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A.”
  10. CDC: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): People with Asthma and COVID-19, How It Spreads, Clean & Disinfect, Protect Yourself, Symptoms,” “Asthma: Triggers.” “Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).”
  11. World Health Organization: “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters,” “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public.”
  12. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Important information About COVID-19 for those with asthma.”
  13. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: “Clinical characteristics of 140 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China.”
  14. The New England Journal of Medicine: “Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1.”
  15. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Asthma Action Plan.”
  16. https://www.webmd.com/asthma/covid-19-asthma

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