"It's a chronic cough, it's not Covid"
Priya Gopaldas has given an insight into her “embarrassing” chronic health condition and reveals she has been forced to explain herself “a thousand times”.
The former Love Island star who suffers from non-CF bronchiectasis has detailed the difficulties of her long-time condition.
Non-CF bronchiectasis occurs when the lung’s airways are damaged and inflamed by large quantities of mucus.
The 24-year-old fifth-year medical student admitted how she often finds herself having to reassure her patients that her cough is “not Covid.”
Priya Gopaldas said:
“I’ve learned to explain, ‘It’s a chronic cough, it’s not Covid,’ and I’ve probably used that sentence a thousand times!”
The condition which causes chronic cough and excess mucus can also cause her to have regular chest infections.
Bronchiectasis is thought to be uncommon.
It’s estimated around 1 in every 100 adults in the UK have the condition.
Priya received her diagnosis when she was 14-years-old after she ended up in hospital for two weeks with pneumonia.
“When I got told I had bronchiectasis, it was sort of a relief finally knowing what I had and what I could do to treat it.”
The reality TV star added how her condition inspired her to take up a career in medicine due to all the time spent in the hospital with infections when she was younger.
On managing her condition, she explained that running helps to clear her lungs.
Priya is currently gearing up to take part in The Ultra Marathon World Series 250km race in Sri Lanka in March 2022.
“A lot of people are surprised by that because usually, you don’t think that if you’ve got a lung condition, running or doing any cardio exercise would make it better, but actually I found that it does.”
This comes as she admitted her lung condition makes dating and romantic relationships “complicated.”
In January 2022, she explained:
“I have to explain the cough which is constant and pretty uncontrollable.”
“Then there’s the fact I have to rush off and expel the gunk I’m coughing up which isn’t great in a romantic scenario.”
On her short stint on the ITV dating show, she added: “Being on Love Island has given me a platform and I want to use that constructively.
“I am very proactive about my illness and manage it really well, so it felt like my duty to help other people who were struggling with their breathing.”