By Allie Bahn
With COVID-19 spreading worldwide, we’re living in an unprecedented time. If you are one of the 24+ million Americans with asthma, you may be concerned about how to maintain healthy breathing. People with moderate or severe asthma may be at greater risk for complications if diagnosed with COVID-19.
Here is what you need to do to help avoid flares and stay healthy:
Use your daily maintenance and controller medications
Be sure to continue taking any maintenance and controller medications. Consult your physician with any questions concerning seasonal allergy season and additional medications. Also, check your Asthma Action Plan.
Check that all of your prescriptions are up to date
Since we are unsure how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, it is important to check that you have enough of your prescription medications for at least the next few weeks. Consult your doctor and pharmacist if you need an updated prescription, especially for any asthma inhalers or seasonal medications.
Monitor your breathing using a peak flow meter
People with asthma should continue to monitor their breathing by using a peak flow meter. Be aware of your breathing and take note of any changes. Our Asthma Storyline app can help you to keep track of your measurements.
Avoid your asthma and allergy triggers
If you know your asthma and allergy triggers, then make sure to avoid them as much as possible. This will help keep your lungs healthy and clear. Some common asthma triggers include mold, pollen, dust, smoke, and exercise.
Work from home (if possible)
We recognize that not everyone has the ability to work at home, however with continued closures around the country due to COVID-19, this is a reality for many. If you’re working from home, find ways to create consistency and develop a routine to minimize stress. This is essential for those of us with asthma since stress can be a factor that worsens symptoms.
Follow social distancing
This practice of isolating ourselves will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help our healthcare system adapt to treating patients. It is recommended to avoid groups of 10 or more people. If you have kids at home, playdates and sleepovers should be avoided. Spend time together as a family. Play in your own yard instead of a park. Go for a walk to get some movement and fresh air.