Coronavirus and Asthma: How can telemedicine help asthma patients?
Asthma is a devastatingly common respiratory condition. As per a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, eighteen million adults and six million children in America are suffering from asthma. The condition is common but a lot of times cannot be managed properly. Like any other chronic disease, asthma can be managed by frequent doctor visits to treat and monitor the symptoms of an asthmatic patient.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the disease affects the lungs, throat and nose, asthmatics experience the worst symptoms when infected. Telemedicine is the perfect solution for ongoing and newly diagnosed patients who may not be able to attend their doctor’s appointments every two to six weeks.
Studies have supported the value of telemedicine services for asthma treatment even before the pandemic. For some, telemedicine has put a stop to most in-person medical visits. As yielded by a meta-analysis in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, telemedicine has been found helpful for asthma control and better life quality of asthmatic patients.
Managing Asthma during COVID-19
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your respiration by hindering air movement in the lungs due to inflammation. Because of your inflamed airways, your lungs can become sensitive and flare up due to some triggers. These include strenuous activity like exercise and everyday activity like inhaling gases and fumes. Allergies, weather changes and air pollution can also be triggers for some patients.
Asthma can trigger stress and anxiety for patients daily. This disease can hinder day-to-day activities, affect productivity and sleep, and increase your healthcare bills.
Managing asthma during the pandemic has proven more difficult than usual since the symptoms of an asthmatic attack may be easily confused with those of the novel coronavirus. Common symptoms of both conditions include coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. The only telling symptom for COVID-19 is experiencing fever.
Telemedicine For Asthma Care
Telemedicine has become hugely popular in the medical world in the last couple of years. Therefore, it is not surprising millions are using the services during the pandemic. For an asthma patient, telemedicine brings with itself many advantages. Since leaving the house is a greater risk for many asthmatics, this provides an excellent opportunity for patients to obtain consultations from their chosen specialists. Telemedicine shrinks distances so that doctors can easily provide consultations to patients who live far and wide, assess them, prescribe tests, and then interpret the results.
There are two sorts of asthma-related telemedicine visits: facilitated, where a care-taker or nurse is with the patient; and non-facilitated, in which the patient is by themselves. Non-facilitated visits are more common but facilitated visits can occur in clinics, hospitals or at home. The purpose of these visits is to help older, disabled or severely affected patients who need to get their vital signs taken. These include body temperature, pulse and breathing rate, blood pressure, listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope and administering a lung function test known as spirometry.
Telemedicine is an excellent solution for treating asthma patients because it is cost-effective, eliminates commuting and lets doctors reach more patients. Telemedicine makes treatment easier for patients who don’t have insurance or live in a rural or low-income area.
Usually, doctor visits for asthmatics consist just of a refill of their inhaler or inhaled corticosteroids. So, telemedicine can be a common solution for people living with asthma who may have had to take a day off in the past to go for an appointment. This process allows patients to skip the strenuous and time-taking regular appointment process to get a simple prescription filled.
Online doctor visits for asthma are proven to maintain the quality of asthma care and be accessible and convenient for those who reside far from asthma specialists.
Using telemedicine for asthma care, patients can be in the comfort of their own home or office and easily schedule an appointment, see their doctor, and receive the proper medicine for their symptoms. Where a patient feels more comfortable with their doctor due to an established relationship, online doctor visits allow quicker and effortless treatment while minimizing any discomfort.
Asthma is a significant and growing condition in the United States of America. Millions of asthma patients suffer due to not receiving proper care. The issue deserves greater attention and innovation to reduce the cost of asthma treatment and increase accessibility. In the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine is an intelligent solution to manage millions of American asthmatic concerns. It cuts costs and sick days for many people living with asthma and allows doctors to care for more patients.
The benefits of online doctor visits for asthma patients are comforting and it is expected that more asthma specialists will adopt telemedicine treatment solutions for their patients. Hopefully, this will enable more asthmatics to obtain the healthcare they need at the right time.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.