With so much focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be easy to forget about other health concerns.
But, according to Dr. Dan Allan, of Cleveland Clinic, it’s never a good idea for people with chronic health issues to put them on the back burner.
He said keeping in touch with a doctor is as important now as ever before.
“There’s a lot of things we can do virtually or through the telephone, whether it be monitoring high blood pressure, diabetes, various lab monitoring situations, talking about lifestyle, adjusting medications, or just making sure you’re getting set up for screenings once it’s safer to go out,” he said. “There’s a lot of health problems that don’t disappear, just because we have a new threat.”
In fact, a recent statement from the American College of Cardiology urges people to always call 9-1-1 in the event of a suspected heart attack or stroke.
This guidance was issued after a recent study showed fewer people seeking emergency care for these medical problems since the rise of COVID-19.
Allan said even if an issue is non-life threatening, people should always seek medical advice when a concern arises.
He recommends calling the doctor, who will be able to determine if an in-person visit is needed.
“We’re weighing the benefit of seeing them in person versus the risk of them being potentially exposed to the virus,” said Allan. “The office is cleaned, we keep social distancing in the office, the patient will be in an exam room by themselves, so we do what we can to minimize their risk of having to come in and be seen.”
Allan also urges people to keep taking their medications, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep to lessen the chance of having a chronic health issue flare-up.