WHAT DOES CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) MEAN FOR PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA?
There is no specific data as yet to suggest that people with asthma are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that people with asthma have a higher risk of experiencing serious illness if they get it.
- People over the age of 70
- People over 75 years with one or more chronic condition
- People with low immunity
- This would include people with asthma who use 20mg or more prednisolone per day for 2 weeks or more to control their asthma symptoms
- Aboriginal People over the age of 50.
Nevertheless, we encourage people with asthma and their families and communities to do everything they can to protect themselves and others.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk is to optimise your asthma control. When it comes to managing your asthma, consider the following checklist:
- Ensure you are taking your preventer medicine as prescribed
- Ensure your preventer and reliever device technique is correct and have this checked by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist
- Obtain, update and use your written Asthma Action Plan. This will provide instructions for when and how you should adjust your treatment as symptoms worsen and when to seek medical assistance
- Maintain good overall health and wellbeing
- Which includes managing other long term conditions
- And also includes focusing on your wellness (think nutrition, exercise, stress management)
- You can go back to your GP at any time if you think your medication needs adjusting or if you don’t have a written Asthma Action Plan. You might like to ask your medical practice if they provide telehealth consultations
- Ensure you always have access to a reliever puffer and spares (when you leave the house, at school, at work – depending on schooling or work at home arrangements)
- Ensure you can identify asthma symptoms and can treat them properly; do you know asthma first aid?
- Ensure you understand what your asthma triggers are and how to manage these (it will help to have a written Asthma Action Plan), including allergies
- If you have allergies such as hay fever, make sure you’re on the right treatment for them, and;
- Tell your family and friends you have asthma and make sure they also know your triggers and how to provide asthma first aid.
We know that for some people with asthma, achieving good asthma control can be difficult. People with moderate to severe asthma do not respond as well to commonly prescribed asthma medications and often require additional treatment options. People with moderate to severe asthma tend to have more symptoms or flare-ups even when taking the prescribed dose of their inhaled preventer treatment, using their device correctly, following their asthma action plan, and doing their best to stay on top of their health. We encourage people with asthma who experience regular symptoms and/or frequent flare-ups to ask their doctor for help to get in control of symptoms. This might include referral to a specialist for a review.
You can ask us any questions about your asthma and the points above by emailing us or by calling us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).