Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Breathe easy with Dr Pujan Parikh

On June 26, 2022, Seniors Today hosted its weekly Health Live webinar. This week the guest for the webinar was Dr Pujan Parikh​, a leading Pulmonologist​, who spoke on Asthma & Covid Care for Seniors. 

Dr Pujan Parikh is a consultant pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre. Dr Pujan has done MD in Pulmonary Medicine from the B J medical college, he has done Fellowship in sleep medicine and FCCS. He has many international and national publications. He has received training in Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy, Bronchoalveolar lavage, lung biopsy, Ebus guided TBNA. He has a special interest in sleep medicine.

The number of covid cases have gone up significantly in the last 1 month. Individuals who have received both doses of their vaccine, are not suffering from major respiratory disease and very few individuals are requiring oxygen support. The number of cases is high but the symptoms they are presenting with are mild symptoms. 

Reporting your case is important, it helps give the government an accurate idea of the severity of the wave and they can easily decide the next course of action. 

If on an RAT test for Covid-19 you see one line it indicates that your test has come negative. If you see two lines, it is a positive test. If you see a dark first line and a faint second line, it is still considered positive. 

Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways that can lead to wheezing or whistling sounds in the breathing, difficulty in breathing, cough, tightness of chest. It is mostly observed in the morning hours. 

It has certain triggers that cause inflammation and hyper activation of the airways that causes the cough and difficulty in breathing. Some common allergens include- dust, pollens, strong perfumes, cold air, pets or their fur, stress, certain drugs such as beta blockers and aspirin. 


Certain contributing factors for asthma: 

  • Genetic history or predisposition 
  • Allergy history 
  • Environment factors 
  • Obesity
  • Any respiratory infection


 Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory virus but can cause disease in the kidney, hearts, liver, etc. 

The most common symptoms include- fever, sore throat and cough 

It is transmitted by droplets and since droplets are heavy, it cannot travel for longer than 6 ft. And can be detected for over 72 hours on some surfaces. 

The incubation period of virus is from 5-6 days but ranges from 5-14 days depending on the immunity of the individual. 

One infected person can pass on the infection to 3 people. 

RTPCR is the gold standard test. You can also get a Rapid antigen test (RAT) but the only advantage it has is the immediate results. It has a high false negative rate and does not help differentiate between the different strains of the virus. 

Asthma and Covid do not have any form of study to show a correlation of the two. But Covid-19 can exacerbate an asthmatic attack. 

Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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