This article explains Asthma and the flu, their causes, symptoms of asthma and the flu and their treatment, how does the vaccine affect patients with asthma and much more
Asthma and the flu
If you have asthma, then you need to do everything possible to protect yourself from the flu. In asthma, any respiratory disease, such as the flu, can greatly affect the lungs, leading to inflammation and narrowing of the airways. It is very important to take preventive measures to stay healthy and respond to any symptoms of asthma, even the most minor ones, in order to avoid serious bouts and hospitalization.
Every year from 5% to 20% of the population is sick with flu. More than 200,000 people get influenza to hospitals, about 36,000 people die. This is mainly due to secondary infections and complications that occur after the flu.
The risk of getting a respiratory illness associated with influenza in people with lung problems, including asthma symptoms, is very high. The best way to protect yourself against influenza and secondary respiratory diseases associated with influenza and asthma is vaccination.
What symptoms of asthma and influenza need to be feared?
Call a doctor if you feel the approach of even the slightest signs of influenza (viral disease is the causative agent of asthma). Also, you need to call a doctor if the first symptoms of an impending asthma attack have appeared. Symptoms to look out for:
- Severe shortness of breath, shortness of breath or wheezing
- Cough with phlegm
- Slime yellow or green
- Heat (fever above 38) or chills
- Increased fatigue or weakness
- Sore throat, stiffness in the throat, or pain while swallowing
- Sunken mucus, stuffy nose, headaches, sensitivity in the upper part of the cheeks.
What should I do if a person with asthma gets sick with flu?
If you have flu symptoms, immediately call a doctor who will tell you what to do and how to prevent further worsening of asthma. The doctor can prescribe tests to check breathing, and then prescribe medications that will reduce the exacerbation of asthma symptoms.
Be sure to follow the instructions of the program for treatment and control of symptoms. And also continue to use a pneumotachometer to notice the deviation of breath from a safe level in time.
How can you prevent infectious diseases that trigger asthma?
There are certain methods that will help prevent infectious diseases that cause asthma symptoms:
- Proper hygiene reduces the likelihood of developing infectious diseases. Regular washing of hands with soap in hot water by all members of your family will not spread the infectious disease.
- Be interested every year about the opportunity to get vaccinated against the flu. In addition, discuss the possibility of getting a vaccine from pneumococcus or pneumonia (pneumococcus is a common cause of viral pneumonia, which is especially dangerous for people diagnosed with asthma).
- Sinusitis and asthma at the same time – a very dangerous combination. Be attentive to the symptoms of sinusitis and at their first appearance, immediately consult your doctor to prevent it from developing.
- Auxiliary breathing apparatus should be kept clean. Do not allow others to use your medications for asthma, including inhalers, aerosols, an aerosol tube with a mouthpiece.
What are the types of influenza vaccines?
At the moment there are two types of vaccines.
The first is a traditional flu vaccine or a flu shot that is made through a needle. This vaccine does not contain live virus and it can not cause the flu itself. Instead, the vaccine contains an inactivated virus.
The second is a nasal flu vaccine. This vaccination is not recommended for asthmatics. This vaccine contains a weakened live virus that usually does not cause flu, but in rare cases, it still can. The nasal vaccine is recommended only for people from 2 to 49 years old who do not have chronic diseases and are not pregnant.
How does the vaccine affect patients with asthma?
The flu vaccine affects everyone the same, including asthmatics. The vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against the flu. These antibodies provide protection against an infectious disease. In some people, antibodies can cause fatigue or pain in the muscles.
Every year the flu vaccine changes: new types of the virus are added. If the researchers made the right choice, the vaccine will be 70% -90% effective in preventing influenza in people under 65.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
A flu vaccine is recommended to anyone who wants to protect themselves from the flu. The vaccine is particularly recommended for sensitive to respiratory diseases, including asthma patients, who are most susceptible to complications after the flu, for example, pneumonia.
The vaccine is recommended for the following people:
- People aged 50 years and over
- All children from 6 months to 18 years
- People living in a nursing home
- Adults and children from six months with a chronic heart or lung disease, including asthma
- Adults and children aged six months who need constant medical care or who have been in hospital the previous year because of diabetes or chronic kidney disease
- Adults and children from six months with a weakened immune system
- Women who were pregnant during the influenza spread
- People with any symptoms that affect the performance of the lungs
- People who are in close contact with others in the high-risk group
When does a patient with asthma need to get vaccinated against the flu?
The flu period can begin in October and end in May. If you have asthma, the best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated in October or November, but the vaccine will also show its protective functions in December and later. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to begin to build protection in the body.
Where can I get tested?
You can call your doctor and ask him about a flu vaccine. Surely your family will be grateful to you for such care.