AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As COVID-19 cases in our area continue to rise, even people with asthma are more hesitant to go to the doctor.
“If the asthma is not well controlled, infection with the COVID-19 can be devastating, you know it can cause serious problems, they might end up needing oxygen, hospitalization, ventilator all that,” said Constantine Saadeh, allergist immunologist for Allergy A.R.T.S.
Saadeh says if asthma is not treated properly, stress from the pandemic and wearing a mask can increase symptoms.
“With increased requirements of wearing masks, I have noticed more struggles with my allergy cough,” said D’les Dyer, an asthma patient.
Communicating that to a doctor can be challenging over a phone.
40 percent more of Saadeh’s patients are choosing to do that with the increased positive cases in our area.
“You can make some diagnosis by telemedicine. You cannot do a chest X-ray on them; you cannot do lab on them because they don’t want to leave the house. So, you have to guess what they have and treat them by what they have in order to keep them away from the hospital,” said Sadeeh.
To be extra sure his patients are safe at home, he is sometimes doing weekly check in’s.
With many people nervous about going to their doctors lately, inhalers have helped them address their asthma from the safety of their own home.
Staff at Medical Square Pharmacy say doctors have prescribed 20 percent more inhalers as a result.
“When you have these fits where you can’t breathe and its restricted, not only is that incredibly scary and anxiety in the patient. But these inhalers go to work, everything is opened up right away, it eases their breathing, it keeps them out of needing a ventilator in the ICU,” said Elizabeth Neyland, clinical pharmacist for Medical Square Pharmacy.
To also help limit wheezing, Sadeeh is telling his patients to wear a n95 mask or clean their mask daily.