If you have a heart condition, you need to take special care to avoid getting COVID-19.
The number of people dying due to COVID-19 is reducing day by day. However, if you already have heart disease, you still have more chances to get severely ill if you are infected.
Heart Disease And COVID-19
Health experts started researching the link between COVID-19 and heart disease when the pandemic started. However, the picture has become more evident over time. People with cardiovascular disease have a higher mortality rate due to COVID-19 than people with chronic respiratory disease.
How COVID-19 Affects Your Heart
COVID-19 is a global pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. According to studies, many viruses can result in arrhythmia and heart attacks. COVID-19 results in severe inflammation in the body, which can be the biggest reason for heart attacks. This inflammation can result in arteries swell, heart attack, blood clots, and stroke.
According to a study published by Harvard Medical School, inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis occurs typically in people suffering from severe illness of COVID-19. It can be caused by a virus that enters the heart. However, according to recent studies, a milder form of heart muscle inflammation can be expected.
Heart problems caused by COVID-19 may remain even after a person recovers from a severe illness. Long-term side effects of COVID-19 on heart patients show that multi-year research and studies are needed.
How to Stay Safe and Healthy
If you are a heart patient, you must take extra care to stay healthy and avoid contracting COVID-19. Limiting your interactions with other people, practicing good hand hygiene, and keeping social distancing at least six feet are recommended. These tips can also be helpful to avoid getting ill.
Don’t Delay to Take Care of Heart Issues
If you experience the signs of a heart stroke or attack, you should call for help immediately. People suffering from heart disease also need to take extra care and pay attention to the symptoms, including shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain.
During the early months of the pandemic, some people delayed getting care to avoid contracting the coronavirus, resulting in an increased number of deaths. According to a study published in JAMA on July 1, 2020. The study analyzed data from New York City during the increased number of COVID-19 cases in March and April of last year.
The study found that death rates due to heart disease increased by nearly 400%. In addition to possible non-respiratory manifestations caused by COVID-19, the study’s authors also recommend that delayed access to healthcare can be a reason for the increase in cases.
Take Your Medication
It is necessary to take your heart medication as prescribed by the doctor, even more so when you face the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Studies recommend that at least a 30-day supply of heart medication should be on hand.
By taking regular medication, you can protect your heart better that can be helpful to protect you against COVID-19 complications.
The FDA has approved three vaccines to avoid COVID-19. During phase 1c of the vaccination rollout recommendations, the experts recommend vaccinating everyone above the age of 16 and those who are already facing an illness like heart disease that raises the risk of life-threatening complications due to COVID-19.
The heart health experts recommended every one take the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible. Particularly people with cardiovascular risk factors, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke survivors because they are at a greater risk of catching the virus than they are from the vaccine.
However, it is also great to keep up-to-date on other vaccinations also. The health experts suggest that people with heart disease need to get vaccinated for influenza every year because they are at higher risk of developing severe complications from the flu, like heart stroke and attacks.
The experts also suggest that people with heart disease need to stay updated with pneumococcal vaccination to avoid pneumococcal diseases like meningitis, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections.
Increased Protection against COVID-19
According to a study conducted by the CDC, it is crucial to wear a snug mask to keep themselves safe against COVID-19 and found that it is better to wear masks than one.
This experiment included two dummies where both the dummies wore two snug-fitting masks that offered 95% protection against harmful aerosols. The study also suggested that double-masking or using a cloth mask combined with a disposable surgical mask can be helpful to block 92% of potentially dangerous aerosols. Two masks are better because they create a tighter fit.
You need to be mindful about the layers; according to CDC guidelines, using a disposable surgical mask with one cloth mask underneath is an appropriate way to wear a double mask. However, it can be hard to get a tight seal with the help of a disposable mask. According to the guidelines, it is recommended to use double disposable masks, and it is not ideal to double-mask using a KN95.
Health experts in the study suggested that masking-up properly is one of the best defenses to avoid the spread of COVID-19 variants.
Lowering the Risk through Healthy Lifestyle
People infected with COVID-19 who adopt a healthy lifestyle can increase their defense to fight against COVID-19. However, it is also helpful to reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease. This means increasing physical activity and a healthy diet can be beneficial to fight against COVID-19. You can cook at home and walk outdoors and follow a proper workout routine.
Moreover, you can purchase an affordable and easy-to-use monitor for measuring your blood pressure at home. Don’t forget to follow all the guidelines to wear a mask, maintain proper hygiene, avoid large gatherings, and social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.