We all know that the World Health Organization (WHO) has given some strict rules to follow in order to protect from Covid-19. Those recommendations include washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, covering your cough with a tissue, and practicing social distancing.
However, the above-mentioned rules don’t take susceptibility and medical conditions into account. Hence, if you suffer from a certain chronic illness, it makes you more vulnerable and you have to take extra preventative measures. And, if you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) you have to be even more careful since the Covid-19 virus affects the respiratory system.
That being said, let’s have a look at what you should know about Covid-19 if you have COPD. So, let’s begin.
People with COPD are at a Higher Risk
First and foremost, if you are a COPD patient you have to bear in mind that in case you get infected with Covid-19, you are at higher risk to experience severe symptoms, compared to those without COPD. This is because the virus affects the respiratory system as we already mentioned.
The main reasons why COPD patients aren’t fully able to cope with the coronavirus are lung inflammation and a weak immune system. Namely, people suffering from COPD usually develop immune dysfunction which is a condition that compromises the ability to fight against lung infections. So, they should take special precautions in addition to the general preventative recommendations by the WHO. Here’s what COPD patients should do:
- Avoid large crowds and unnecessary travel
- Practice social distancing even with close family
- Stock up on COPD medications to avoid leaving home often to refill a prescription
- If needed, seek medical help as soon as possible
- Disinfect the house regularly
Other chronic illnesses that put people at higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms in case of a Covid-19 infection include moderate or severe asthma, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, serious heart conditions, obesity, and immunosuppressive condition.
Your COPD Treatment is Important
In general, COPD patients should follow a treatment plan consisting of pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, and a healthy diet. Although it can be challenging to keep up with the plan and everything else happening around you, you must stick to it if you want to have better odds of coping with the coronavirus in case you get infected.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation is crucial for every COPD treatment plan. Typically, it means that you should attend an in-person program. But, during the pandemic, you are most likely to follow online rehab classes.
- Oxygen therapy is another aspect of a COPD treatment plan. It helps you keep your condition stable, reduce breathlessness, and prevent exacerbations that could even lead to hospitalization.
- The last element of a successful COPD treatment plan is following a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals to help you improve your immune system. But, try to avoid going shopping by yourself so that you avoid crowds. Instead, ask someone else to do it or ask for a delivery.
The bottom line, if you are a COPD patient, you have to ensure that you not only follow the general WHO recommendations but also take additional preventative measures to protect your already weak immune and respiratory system and continue your COPD treatment plan as usual.