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Suffering from asthma? Know 5 common myths surrounding this chronic respiratory condition

In this article, we aim to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding asthma, shedding light on the realities of this often misunderstood condition.

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Updated on: April 03, 2024 11:48 IST
Image Source : FREEPIK Common myths surrounding asthma.

Myths and misconceptions surrounding asthma, a chronic respiratory disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, are common. It's characterised by the constriction and enlargement of the airways, which increases mucus production and causes symptoms including coughing, dyspnea, wheezing (a sound made when one exhales), and dyspnea. Although asthma is the most prevalent chronic illness in children, it should be noted that people of all ages can be affected by it. 

Let's have a look at some common myths and facts related to asthma:


Myth: It's easy to get asthma

Fact: Asthma is a non-communicable disease, which means that people cannot contract it from one another. 

Asthma is not communicable and can strike at any age. The development of asthma is influenced by several factors, such as occupational exposures, allergies, childhood respiratory illnesses, and parental history. But asthma attacks can also be brought on by viral respiratory infections, which are communicable and include the flu and the common cold. It is essential to comprehend these risk factors to effectively manage asthma.

Myth: Medicine for asthma causes addiction 

Fact: Medications for asthma are safe and necessary for managing asthma. 

Due to the chronic nature of the illness, asthma frequently requires a set regimen of long-term pharmaceutical use. This could include inhaled corticosteroids for regular use or maintenance and bronchodilators for unexpected attacks. But none of these can lead to addiction. However, if they don't adhere to the therapy and schedule that their doctor has suggested, some people may come to feel dependent on their rescue inhaler. Having said that, the feeling of dependence can arise when an asthmatic fails to adhere to the treatment and regimen recommended by their physician, leading to frequent need for their rescue inhaler.

Myth: You should avoid exercising if you have asthma.

Fact: It's important to understand that exercise is safe and helpful for people with asthma when done under professional supervision. 

It's important to discuss your fitness goals with your doctor. If your asthma is under control, your physician probably will recommend exercise. They can also guide in handling possible symptoms when exercising. Frequent exercise promotes long-term asthma control in addition to helping to preserve general health. Don't allow this misconception to stop you from achieving your fitness goals; for people with asthma, exercise may be an important component of a healthy lifestyle when done appropriately.

Myth: Over time, asthma medicine loses its effectiveness.

Fact: The efficacy of asthma medicine is not compromised by frequent use.

In the treatment of asthma, two types of medications are used: controllers and relievers. Controllers act gradually over time to prevent attacks, while relievers offer immediate relief for severe symptoms. The cornerstone of treating asthma is inhalation therapy, which involves customizing the types and dosages of medications to each patient's needs and symptoms. However, because the illness is chronic, its triggers and symptoms may fluctuate over time, creating the appearance that therapy is not working. Working closely with your doctor to track and identify triggers is therefore encouraged to alter medication as needed. 

Myth: You only need to take medication during asthma attacks. 

Fact: Long-term symptom control for asthma requires the use of medication. 

Since asthma is a chronic condition, it lasts a lifetime. Symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, frequently recur. The illness is active and needs to be treated continuously, even in times when there are no symptoms. Ignoring appropriate treatment can result in an increase in the frequency of asthma episodes as well as a deterioration in health and life satisfaction. 

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