The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on People With Asthma & Allergies
Remember the summer of 2021 when it seemed like the end of the pandemic was in sight? It turns out COVID-19 had other plans. With each new variant wave, people’s mental health suffers more, as feelings of fear, worry and distress increase. But some individuals are affected more than others—evidence shows that asthma and allergy sufferers, in particular, may be more at risk for mental health issues due to COVID-19.
According to a paper published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, researchers Anne K. Ellis, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FAAAAI and Alyssa G. Burrows, BHSc, sought to summarize the current medical literature on the psychological impact of COVID-19 on people with allergic diseases and to identify gaps in need of future research.
After their review, they found that people with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions were at a higher risk for negative psychological outcomes, perhaps because they believe they are more at risk of severe disease from COVID-19. People with severe asthma, of the female sex or a history of anxiety and depression were most likely to experience poor emotional well-being.
In addition, the psychological impact wasn’t felt just by the individuals with respiratory conditions. Parents of children with food allergies or asthma also reported experiencing a substantial psychological burden throughout the pandemic.
So, what does this mean if you or someone you love has asthma or allergies? You may want to pay more attention to your mental health during this time. Practice good self-care habits, including getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, staying active or seeking the support of a mental health professional if needed.
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