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Asthma Symptoms vs. COVID-19 Symptoms

Seeking Proper Treatment for Respiratory Issues

Asthma is a common respiratory condition that affects more than 25 million Americans. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 in 13 people have asthma. Generally, people with asthma can manage their symptoms by establishing a medical routine and plan of action in case of respiratory distress. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, managing asthmatic symptoms has never been more important. COVID-19 works by spreading through the respiratory system and attacking the lungs, so taking extra care of the condition during this time is essential.

While our understanding of COVID-19 is still evolving, there is some good news for those who have asthma. Studies have shown that the prevalence of asthma has been low in patients with COVID-19, at only .9%, or 5 of 548 tested patients. Nonetheless, it is important for those with pre-existing conditions like asthma to take the proper precautions and be familiar with the differences between their standard symptoms and symptoms of COVID-19.

Most Common Symptoms of Asthma

If you have asthma, then you probably know that the most common symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing and exhaling, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Patients with asthma usually have specific triggers that bring on these symptoms, so taking note of one’s surroundings can help determine the cause. Common asthmatic triggers include exposure to allergens like ragweed, pollen, animal dander, and dust mites, as well as irritants in the air like smoke, fumes, and strong odors. Some patients experience asthmatic symptoms when they exercise as well. If you have been diagnosed with asthma for a while, you most likely have a treatment plan underway. The way you respond to your typical treatment plan can help determine the true source of your symptoms. For example, it’s less likely that viral COVID-19 symptoms would be helped by a respiratory medication like albuterol.

If you believe you have COVID-19, don’t wait to get the testing you need. Advance ER is open 24/7 to help patients in the Galleria Area and Park Cities with medical emergencies. Call us now at (214) 494-8222. If you are having a medical emergency and you are located outside of this area, dial 911 or your local emergency room center.

How to Protect Against COVID-19 with Asthma

The CDC recommends that those with moderate to severe asthma keep at least a 30-day supply of their medicine on-hand in case they need to quarantine. If you are part of this group, you should also be sure to take daily precautions like washing your hands, avoiding close contact, and staying at least six feet away from others. Wearing masks in public settings and avoiding crowds is also advised.

As far as following your asthma action plan, the CDC recommends that you avoid your asthma triggers as much as possible and continue using your current medications as prescribed. If you would like to be extra careful, you might consider investing in a device like a peak flow meter if you do not already have one. It is a rather inexpensive handheld device that measures how air flows from your lungs and tracks your ability to breathe. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider to see if a peak flow meter is right for you.

Because stress and anxiety can trigger an asthma attack, one of the most important steps you can take is caring for your mental health. Spending an excessive amount of time worrying about contracting COVID-19 will not benefit you. Instead, simply have a plan in place, and remember that highly skilled healthcare providers like the team at Advance ER are here for you if you need medical intervention.

Seeking Treatment for Breathing Difficulties

Every system in your body is dependent on oxygen. All of your functions, from digesting food to moving muscles and thinking, require oxygen in order to succeed. For this reason, if you are experiencing difficulty breathing of any kind, it is important to seek medical care immediately. While you wait for help to arrive, we recommend loosening any tight clothing that might be restricting airways or blood flow. Keeping your atmosphere as calm as possible will help you breathe with more ease. Remember that you have taken proper action by seeking medical help, and let the medical team take care of the rest.

Call Advance ER now at (214) 494-8222 to find the answers to any more questions you may have about breathing difficulties. For urgent medical needs, we recommend visiting our emergency center if you are in the Dallas area, or dialing 911.