Are asthma patients more susceptible to COVID-19?
Last updated date: 06-Sep-2021
2 mins read
Dubai: As a dust squall blows over many emirates and humidity levels rise and the air is thick with allergens such as pollens and silica, chronic asthma patients fear it may trigger a respiratory distress. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, while wearing face masks has brought down the incidence of allergic asthma attacks, doctors advise chronic patients to exercise extra caution to prevent COVID-19, which could exacerbate their respiratory distress.
Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist in respiratory medicine at Medeor, Dubai, explained: “Asthma patients do panic as they are not sure whether the symptoms they are experiencing is due to their chronic condition or whether they have contracted COVID-19. All respiratory illness viruses affect the upper or the lower respiratory tract. Asthma affects the bronchial tubes that facilitate the external air going into the lungs as these get constricted. In COVID-19 impacts, the alveoli — tiny air sacs in the lungs — get filled up with secretions, making breathing difficult. However, one can complicate the other and therefore the first thing Asthma patients need to keep in mind is to strictly follow their medicine protocol — even if they are feeling fine.
It is important that patients of controlled asthma get vaccinated, said Dr Sainalabdeen. “Controlled asthma means patients who have managed to minimise their attack with regular medication. Those who can get attacks without any known triggers are said to have uncontrolled asthma and these individuals need to take the vaccination under their treating physician’s guidance.