The effect of covid on Asthma patients has been quite variable. Younger generation, majorly the females are the most impacted with long covid and Asthma as per observations.
Furthermore, many patients that were exposed to Covid-19 and had previously suffered from allergic rhinitis developed asthmatic symptoms. Since Covid, a new subset of patients has appeared with symptoms lasting 6 to 8 months such as runny nose, sneezing, dyspnea on exertion, coughing (mainly dry), especially when laying down. It is this group of people who have never been diagnosed with Asthma and are now at risk of developing it. Although, over the next few months or years it remains to be seen whether these symptoms were because of long covid or because of asthma that has been revealed by Covid.
Another factor contributing to the rise of Asthma patients is Lifestyle. Younger people who ignored mild indications like sneezing and running nose, especially in the morning, have become victims of the disease. The majority of obese people were also vulnerable to Asthma. Asthmatics who continued to use their inhalers during the Covid illness had some alleviation. Asthmatics who did not use their inhalers on a regular basis had more severe symptoms and poor asthma control.
Needless to say, Asthma patients should be cautious, especially in the humid weather that Kolkata is currently experiencing. People who are allergic to pollen must stay away from places with plenty of flowering plants. The heat and humidity in this part of India is an ideal condition for molds and asthmatics/covid patients with persistent cough should avoid places that are damp and musty. With public places and work sectors opening up, asthmatics should not forget their masks and its hygiene. N95 is not required but surgical masks should be used to ward off microbes and pollution. To keep Asthma in check, one must keep the inhalers handy at all times. Regular diagnosis is important with timely medicine intake.
–Authored by Dr SivaresmiUnnithan, Consultant Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, Kolkata