I have asthma. What if I get COVID-19?
Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are familiar symptoms for people who have asthma. So what happens if you add COVID-19 into the mix?
Professor Douglass agreed."There's no indication that inhaled steroids are [putting us] at increased risk at all that we're aware of, and I think they are the best protection we've got against having asthma exacerbations," she said.
She said it was important that people talked to their doctors and stayed on their inhaler medications to avoid exacerbations, which could be serious, or the need to go on oral steroids if a flare up happened."All doctors are keen to avoid the use of high-dose continuous oral corticosteroid medications, especially in the current setting of infections," Professor Douglass said.
Newer medicines that are based on human antibodies are good options forpeople with severe asthma, as they cut down the use of high dose oral steroids and prevent flare-ups, she added.How do I know if my asthma is controlled?While around 10 per cent of Australians have been diagnosed with asthma it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed especially in adults.
If you haven't been diagnosed, signs to look out for include:Coughing or shortness of breath, especially during exerciseWheezing that occurs in the early morning or wakes you up at nightSome people may have been diagnosed but have undertreated asthma.
As a rule of thumb, using a puffer more than twice a week means your asthma is poorly controlled, Professor Douglass said."If you're needing [a puffer] more than twice a week you should be on a preventive [medication]," she said.Other people may have also been diagnosed with asthma, but gone off their preventative medications because they haven't had an attack for a while.
"You can fool yourself into thinking it has gone away, Professor Oliver said."But the message is if you've had asthma, you should keep taking your preventive medications."The recent cases of thunderstorm asthma highlight why."When we had the thunderstorm asthma ... a lot of people with asthma weren't taking that preventive medication and then did really badly," he said.
It was also important to realise, he said, that these medications have a finite shelf life."So contacting your GP and talking to them and getting medical advice is really important," he said.Video Player failed to load."The only thing that will really allow life as we once knew...
It would be fair to say that you would then have both. My pharmacist refuses to fill my Ventolin script for inhalers ( two on pbs) but offers me one over the counter for nearly $10. We are fucked that’s what F Stay home just like I told my asthmatic daughter who gets bronchitis at the drop of a hat 'I couldn't imagine this being good for asthma, but there's no evidence to say how bad it is for asthma at the moment,' Professor Oliver said.
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