high blood pressure and coronavirus

High blood pressure and Coronavirus

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries – the vessels that carry your blood from your heart to your brain and the rest of your body. You need a certain amount of pressure to get the blood moving around your body.

Your blood pressure naturally goes up and down throughout the day and night, and it’s normal for it to go up while you’re moving about. It’s when your overall blood pressure is consistently high, even when you are resting, that you need to do something about it.

High blood pressure is serious. If you ignore it, it can lead to heart and circulatory disease, such as a heart attack or stroke. It can also cause kidney failure, heart failure, problems with your sight and vascular dementia.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms. But the following can be symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

More than 1 in 4 adults in the UK have high blood pressure but many will not know they have it. Many people with high blood pressure feel fine. But even if you feel fine, you should still have your blood pressure checked regularly. If you’re a healthy adult over 40, it’s recommended that you get it checked at least once every five years. But if you’re at increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have it checked more often, ideally once a year.

Please get in touch to get your BP measured, to speak about family history and your risk, arrange tests and appropriate medication. We believe in medications as a last resort and so try hard to avoid starting patients on medication, concentrating on lifestyle changes first. We also try to wean patients off the medications if appropriate measures result in the blood pressure control improving.

High blood pressure medications and Coronavirus

There has been a lot of speculation about blood pressure medications and the increased risk of getting/worsening the effects of Coronavirus. This has led to many discussions and opinions and the advice of our doctor would be that each case is individual and dependant on your other risk factors and current health issues. Contact us if would like to discuss your individual case with our doctor.

We would also like to reassure you there are currently no shortages of heart medications as a result of Coronavirus and many pharmacies offer a home delivery service if you are self-isolating and are unable to have a friend or family member pick up your prescription. Contact us to help you arrange this if needed.

 

Credit: British Heart Foundation

fair weather warning during coronavirus

Why is the weather not playing ball?

We think the weather is reminding us that in these grim times, there’s a reason to smile and value life & nature. Thank you all so much for staying home. We appreciate how difficult it is not meeting family and friends.

Please enjoy the sun and the vitamin D (safely in your private garden/balconies/through the window)! While we have the warm weather and the sun, please do remember to apply sunblock and keep your skin well-moisturised.

If travelling out for necessities, please remember to keep a 2m distance between yourselves and others.

It is also a good idea when going into an enclosed space like a shop, to wear a mask. This helps protect others and as such if we all wear masks then we protect each other.

If you have any questions about skin conditions or vitamin D deficiencies, please get in touch.

asthma and coronavirus

Asthma and Coronavirus

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.

It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults.

There’s currently no cure, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it does not have a detrimental impact on your life.

Symptoms of asthma

The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • coughing: especially at night or in the cold (if that is your trigger)
  • a wheeze: whistling sound when breathing
  • breathlessness and/or a tight chest (which may feel like you’re struggling to breathe)

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 and you have asthma:

  • You need to stay at home until you are no longer contagious to others.
  • You don’t need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home.
  • If your COVID-19 symptoms don’t go away after 7 days or get worse, or you are having difficulty breathing, call us for advice, or 999 if you need emergency care.
  • If you get an asthma cough and are not sure whether your cough is a symptom of COVID-19 or related to your asthma, please speak to our doctor

Keep following your asthma action plan (if you have one) to manage your asthma and so you know what to do if your asthma symptoms get worse.

If you are having an asthma attack, call 999 for an ambulance as usual, and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms. Carry on taking all your usual asthma medicines as normal.

Written with advice from Dr Vibhu Kaushal and asthma.org.uk

Even in the pandemic… ‘Medicine’ still carries on!

With all that is going on, we must not forget the other medical conditions that people suffer from and especially children. We have heard some disturbing reports from colleagues in paediatric emergency departments about parents presenting too late for life-threatening conditions such as asthma (for fear of contracting COVID-19).

While COVID-19 is definitely something to be very aware off and avoided as much as possible, chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes have not become less fatal when poorly managed.

I would strongly encourage parents to get in touch with us if they have any worries about their children’s health. I would also encourage you to seek help early for yourselves and your pre-existing health conditions.

The optimal management of chronic health conditions is one of the goals of the founders of The Mayfair GP. The current pandemic has further cemented our belief in the importance of managing your health.

The age-old advice still applies for emergency conditions such as heart attacks and strokes – you should call 999 if you get any symptoms of these.

We will spend the next few days feeding you more ‘bites’ on these conditions.

Vikas Mehta

Home care tips for looking after someone with Coronavirus.

 

Home Care Coronavirus Tips

Instructions on how to do your Coronavirus testing by courier sample in advance of it being collected.

 

Sample Collection Instructions - COVID-19 - courier samples

This graphic explains how Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for Coronavirus works.

Coronavirus Testing

Coronavirus Testing

Apologies for the recent chunky bites, there has been a lot of info to get to you and as always we try to find the most reputable sources with information in most easy-to-digest sizes.

Depending on the information, however, this is not always possible.

Regarding testing (as we get a lot of calls and enquiries about this), there are two tests available in the UK:

  • The ‘swab test’ that is a swab taken from the nose and/or throat
  • The antibody blood test (now one that gives results in 10 mins with a small amount of blood)

They are both used at different points in the illness and therefore it is worth speaking to our doctor to get a better idea of which test you should go for. If done through us, this will also involve a follow-up chat with the results to see what the next steps are.

Please call or email info@TheMayfairGP.com to find out more.

Government guide on how long people should be isolating after showing symptoms and for those they have come into contact.

 

Coronavirus Guide

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

How to wear a mask

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Coronavirus mask

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html