Controlling Chronic Lung Diseases Amid COVID-19

Having a chronic lung disease means that you can be more likely to get severely ill and have complications from COVID-19. This makes it more important than ever for you to follow all the guidelines to minimize your risk of infection – with a continued emphasis on staying home and physically distanced from others. We know that isn’t easy.

That is why we are here to help you get the answers you need to stay safe during this unsettling time. There is so much information out there so we narrowed it down to seven essential things we think every person living with chronic lung disease should know.

  1. Get vaccinated. When a COVID-19 vaccine is available to you, we encourage you to utilize this safe and effective tool to prevent severe illness from occurring. Don’t forget your flu and pneumonia vaccinations either!
  2. Get tested and get treated. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to get tested. There are new treatments available that may reduce your risk of severe illness from COVID-19, but you need to start them quickly. Speak with your doctor about your options.
  3. Reopening communities doesn’t mean the virus is gone. Stay home if you can and maintain distance of at least six feet from others when you must be out. For example, supporting local restaurants through curbside pickup or delivery options is a lower risk to your health than dining in.
  4. Lung health emergencies are still emergencies. If you are having a flare-up from your lung disease or experiencing new symptoms that trouble you – call your doctor and come up with a plan together.
  5. Keep taking your prescribed medications as directed. Whether you take oral or inhaled medication, it’s important to continue your regimen as prescribed.
    1. If you use a  nebulizer  to take your medication at home, it is safe to continue doing so. However, if you have suspected or diagnosed COVID-19, speak with your healthcare provider about additional precautions to take when using your nebulizer.
    2. Consider mail order pharmacy options for your controller medications. And if your insurance allows, secure a 90-day supply of prescription medications.
    3. If you find yourself unable to afford your prescription medications, check out our list of financial support programs.
  6. Stay connected. Maintaining at least six feet of distance between others is necessary for your physical health but maintaining connections with others is important for your emotional health. Join our Better Breathers Network or one of our online support communities to connect to others in similar situations. Better Breathers Club Online meetings are held monthly to mimic in person support groups and cover new topics each month.
  7. Check your sources. Misinformation is everywhere. You can count on the American Lung Association to share science-based information. Our Lung HelpLine is available to answer any of your questions about COVID-19. Contact us by calling 1-800-LUNGUSA or submitting a question online.

More Tips for Keeping Your Chronic Condition Well Controlled

The links below include ways to stay active and connected while managing your lung disease during this pandemic.

    • Lung Disease Lookup
      No matter which lung disease you have, you can use our tools and resources to learn more about disease management.
    • Maintaining Your Inhaled Medications
      Now it is more important than ever to maintain control of your chronic lung disease, including taking your medications as prescribed. Whether you use an inhaler or nebulizer, check out our important tips.
    • Protecting Your Lungs
      When you have a chronic lung disease, your lungs are weakened. Learn how to reduce exposure to anything that could make your condition worse.
    • Physical Activity and Lung Health
      Exercise may look different now than it did before COVID-19 but it is still vitally important for your physical and mental health.
    • Coping with Emotions
      Getting emotional support is just as important as protecting your lungs and staying active. Learn how to recognize and handle feelings of fear, anxiety, depression or stress.

Finding Support

Calling on a support system can positively impact your health and we are here to help connect you. Find a support group nearby, connect with an expert online or over the phone, or join one of our online communities today.

Safely Using Your Nebulizer at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Download this resource to help you manage using your nebulizer at home.

Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.

Page last updated: May 20, 2022

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