People with severe asthma have been identified as extremely medically vulnerable by the Department of Health, meaning they are at a higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms upon contracting COVID-19. People with mild to moderate asthma are still at risk of becoming severely unwell with the coronavirus. You will need to take necessary steps to protect yourself by managing your asthma, restricting your movements, and possibly socially isolating yourselves. The Asthma Society of Ireland has developed a guideline to help you stay well with your asthma or COPD during COVID-19
Continue to practice social distancing
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with warm soapy water
Avoid touching your face
Manage your asthma or COPD
Proper management of your asthma or COPD will reduce the risk of an exacerbation. During COVID-19, it is more important than ever to manage your illness and to know your symptoms. Here are ways in which you should manage your asthma and COPD:
- Continue to take your medication as prescribed by your physician. Use a spacer when using your inhaler and proper inhaler technique
- Download an Asthma Action Plan and fill it in with your GP or a respiratory nurse over the phone
- Know your triggers and avoid them where possible
- Consider going smoke-free for your health and do not smoke in the home
- Continue to eat well and get a good night’s sleep
- Use relaxation techniques and mindfulness to help ease any anxiety
- Exercise where possible. Always have your reliever (blue) inhaler with you when exercising
- Use relaxation techniques and mindfulness to help ease any anxiety at this time
If you have COPD, remember to:
- Use the traffic lights system on your COPD Communications Card to know how you are feeling to and manage your health. This will be made available on our website shortly
- Complete your ‘Breathe Easier’ exercises including pursed-lip breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and active cycle of breathing techniques
If you fell unwell, experience COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are concerned over your medication use, contact your local GP over the phone. Do not visit the GP directly.
Who can I contact about keeping well?
For people with asthma: Contact the Asthma Adviceline to speak to a respiratory nurse on staying well: 1800 44 54 64.
For people with COPD: Contact the COPD Adviceline to speak to a respiratory nurse on staying well: 1800 83 21 46. Visit COPD Ireland to find out more about living well and staying well: www.copd.ie