Asthma is one of the common respiratory diseases of children, but adults have it as well. It causes breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing when an asthmatic person is exposed to certain triggers.
It is unclear what causes asthma, but it is has been found that genetic predisposition, environmental pollutants, and occupational factors have a key role to play in developing asthma. Some of the triggering factors associated with asthma include molds, dust mites, passive smoking, air pollutants, among others.
COVID-19 is another respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which has so far affected more than 35 million people and killed over 1 million people globally.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills, cough, breathlessness, fatigue, body ache, headache, loss of taste or smell, throat pain, stuffy nose, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) or GI disturbances.
Does COVID-19 trigger an asthma attack?
According to the CDC, people who have moderate to severe asthma are at greater risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.
The coronavirus infection can affect the respiratory tract that consists of the nose, throat, lungs, causing an asthma attack. This could eventually lead to lung complications such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS).
Asthma is now one of the high priority health conditions among children. Asthma can affect anyone. When an asthma attack occurs, the airways in the lungs tighten, causing breathing difficulty. If left untreated or poorly controlled, asthma can cause death.
If you are asthmatic, you can live a healthy and active life through proper self-management, which includes taking your asthma medications regularly as advised, staying away from triggering factors, and more importantly, checking with your doctor on a regular basis.
One of the concerns while managing asthma during the coronavirus pandemic is the fear of an increased risk of catching the infection. Another concern among asthmatics is the fear of developing a severe COVID-19 illness, especially among those who have been receiving biological treatments or inhaled steroids.
However, an Italian study has shown that these concerns may not hold true. However, the study researchers think there could be a few explanations about why there is such a low incidence.
Other studies have shown the link between severe asthma and poor prognosis of COVID‐19, which means asthmatics are highly vulnerable to develop serious COVID-19 illness and have poor clinical outcomes if poorly treated.
Experts opine that more studies are required for a comprehensiveness evaluation to determine the connection between severe asthma and COVID‐19.
Based on the findings of the current research, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which also includes asthma, might be at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness.
The new coronavirus infection could trigger an asthma attack, especially in people who already have a history of asthma. However, it is unclear whether the virus triggers asthma in those who have no history of asthma or COPD.