Asthma can be very debilitating and many people suffer from it every year. However, there are also a lot of myths that fool people into believing things that just aren’t true. The time has come to clarify some of the most common asthma myths.
Myth: People only ever need asthma medication when they have an attack.
Truth: There are four different asthma categories: severe, moderate, mild or intermittent. Apart from the intermittent category, people do need to use a daily preventer, and then a reliever whenever it is necessary. The inhaled corticosteroids will help prevent attacks.
Myth: It’s easy to control asthma.
Truth: This will depend on how well people follow their doctor’s instructions. However, the attacks can also be triggered by environmental, physical and emotional factors, even if people use medications regularly.
Myth: Asthma can be outgrown.
Truth: Asthma can first be diagnosed as a child or adult. It is never outgrown, but it is a chronic disease that’s treatable. If a person is first diagnosed as an adult, they may have had undetectable symptoms as a child, even though it was most likely present back then as well.
Myth: Allergies have no relation to asthma.
Truth: People with asthma are generally more sensitive to allergens, which are common asthma triggers, so it’s a catch-22 situation. Statistics in the U.S. reveal that over 50% of people with asthma also have allergies.
Myth: Asthma can be cured in people who move to a drier climate.
Truth: While a change may improve asthma, it won’t cure it. If people live in a damp climate, a dehumidifier should be used. If it’s pollen season, they should shut windows as much as possible, to prevent the pollen from getting inside. Air conditioning and heating systems must be cleaned yearly, to ensure that dust is kept at bay.
Myth: People mustn’t exercise if they have asthma.
Truth: This is a definite fallacy. Regular exercise can help improve lung function and control weight, which makes it easier to breathe properly. However, people should check with their doctor before starting an exercise regime, to ensure it’s the best type of exercise for their specific health problems. Some people may have other issues apart from asthma.
Myth: Asthma is an “imagined” problem.
Truth: Asthma actually inflames the airways and makes it harder to breathe. Symptoms can become worse if people are overemotional. Crying, laughing or even getting angry, upset and stressed can all trigger asthma attacks, as they make a person breathe faster.
Myth: Medications used to control asthma can be addictive.
Truth: No, this isn’t the case. However, since asthma is a chronic disease, people do need to take medication on a regular basis, because managing the condition helps them avoid asthma attacks.
Asthma should be taken seriously, as untreated severe attacks can prove fatal in some situations. Anybody with asthma must discuss a treatment plan with their doctor and ensure they follow it, even if they feel well. Prevention is the key to controlling this disease, which can be properly managed by anyone that follows the rules.