Respiratory Disorders and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
What if I am already experiencing a respiratory condition (For example Asthma, COPD, Bronchiectasis, Interstitial lung disease)?
We know that people with existing respiratory conditions might have some additional concerns about catching the coronavirus. You are at no more risk of catching the virus than anyone else but if you do then you can become sicker. As COVID affects the lungs, it might be more difficult for you to judge what is causing symptoms.
Washing your hands on a daily basis (particularly after visiting the toilet and before eating) and social distancing will lower your risk of exposure to the virus and it is crucial you do this.
Do I have to take my medicine the way I usually do?
It is crucial that you continue taking the medication that has been prescribed for you. Otherwise, this can have an effect on your overall condition and possibly make you feel worse. If you have any concerns or queries about your medication please talk to your local pharmacist or your General Practitioner (GP). Your local surgery or pharmacist could organize a delivery for you.
It is very crucial that you clean your spacer and inhaler, and any masks/mouthpieces at least weekly.
If you do require to be admitted to the hospital, please remember to bring your inhalers, and an up-to-date list of your medication with you.
What do I do if I'm not feeling well?
Early treatment for a flare-up (exacerbation) of your lung condition might avoid requiring you to go to the hospital, and you might be able to be treated at home. You should call your doctor or primary care physician who could evaluate your symptoms and likelihood of COVID. They could prescribe treatment for you.
If you have a community respiratory nurse they could offer further advice and support.
If you are not sure or outside doctors’ hours you could call 111 for advice or 999 if your breathing problem is very serious.
Does it make any difference if I smoke?
The chemicals and particles in cigarette smoke will irritate and affect your lungs if you do not stop. It is never too late to stop or prevent smoking. Help and support are available, and you are four times more likely to stop with the help of a stop-smoking advisor.
What can I do when I feel short of breath?
If you have a ‘rescue’ inhaler you could take that as prescribed. Using a handheld fan (not in a public place) moved slowly cheek to cheek could be helpful.
Try to slow your breathing (for example breathe in and count to four; breathe out slowly and count to seven).
If you have inflamed feet and ankles you might have extra fluid in your body so you should talk to your doctor or primary care physician about this.
What about regular hospital appointments?
Many hospitals have had to make a hard decision to postpone many of the non-urgent hospital appointments and planned procedures because of the COVID outbreak. These decisions have been in line with national guidance, you will be provided another appointment when it is safe to do so.
Patients must be contacted by their local hospital teams to see how their appointment has been affected.
Some of the appointments might go ahead and some will be provided either face to face (urgent appointments or via the telephone (virtually).
If you are not sure what has happened to your appointment then please contact your local hospital switchboard or ring the number on the appointment letter.
Although, it is crucial to remember that you should not attend if you have any symptoms of COVID, or have suffered from sickness or diarrhea in the last 48 hours.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from post covid respiratory disorders, our expert providers at Post Covid Centers will take care of your health and help you recover.