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ASTHMA – MYTHS AND FACTSBack to top
Fact: Asthma is a chronic condition. Even though asthma cannot be cured, it can be well controlled with the use of the correct medication. If your asthma is well controlled, you are able to live a long and healthy life.
Myth: Children can outgrow asthma
Fact: Exercise does not only provide you with the benefit of leading a healthy lifestyle, but also of taking better control of your asthma. There are exercises are that are better suited for asthmatics and will not exacerbate the symptoms i.e. walking, swimming. It is important to take the necessary precautions when exercising for example always carrying your inhaler with you, avoiding pollen/air pollution and be consistent with your exercising. This can lead to better management of asthma and its symptoms3
Myth: I can only be asthmatic if I experience shortness of breath
Fact: Asthmatics react to different asthma triggers, such as pollen, tobacco smoke, dust mites or air pollution, and there are different types of inhaler devices that can be used. The medication is also prescribed in different ways. Medication prescribed also depends on severity, age and what would be best suited to keep your asthma under control.
Based on all these factors your healthcare provider will set up a plan that is best suited for your needs. Medication used should be as prescribed by your healthcare professional3,5,6.
Myth: I only need to take my asthma medication when I have an asthma attack or when experiencing asthma symptoms
Fact: Smoke is harmful to the respiratory system. Asthmatics have sensitive airways and may react to certain triggers such as cigarette smoke, resulting in asthma symptoms or an asthma attack. It is also important to avoid second hand smoke when you are asthmatic, as this will worsen your asthma7,8.
Fact: Asthma medications differ in terms of them being preventers or relievers. Generally, relievers are used to give you a quick a relief when experiencing asthma symptoms. Preventer inhalers calm the airways by reducing inflammation and swelling, which is the underlying cause of the condition. It is always important to speak to your healthcare professional to review your asthma treatment, should you feel the need9.
Myth: I can’t be asthmatic and have allergic rhinitis at the same time
Fact: Asthma and allergic rhinitis are related conditions and people with allergic rhinitis have a higher chance of developing asthma. “United airways disease” means that the upper and lower airways form one organ and conditions of the upper and lower airways may occur concurrently3,10,11.
- Can Asthma be Cured? | University of Utah Health. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_mlxugne7.
- Asthma in Infants and Young Children | Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America New England Chapter. https://asthmaandallergies.org/asthma-allergies/asthma-in-infants-and-young-children/.
- Decker, R. GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR ASTHMA ASTHMA MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION for adults and children older than 5 years A POCKET GUIDE FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS GINA Executive Director. www.ginasthma.org. (2020).
- Symptoms of asthma | Asthma UK. https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/understanding-asthma/symptoms/.
- Understand Your Asthma Medication | American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma/living-with-asthma/managing-asthma/understand-your-medication.
- WHO | Causes of asthma. https://www.who.int/respiratory/asthma/causes/en/.
- The Effects Of Smoking With Asthma. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4584-smoking–asthma.
- Asthma and Secondhand Smoke | Overviews of Diseases/Conditions | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/secondhand-smoke-asthma.html.
- Asthma management – Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-management.
- Yii, A. C. A., Tay, T.-R., Choo, X. N., Koh, M. S. Y., Tee, A. K. H. & Wang, D.-Y. Precision medicine in united airways disease: A “treatable traits” approach. Allergy 73, 1964–1978 (2018).
- Hay fever allergic rhinitis and your asthma – National Asthma Council Australia. https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/living-with-asthma/resources/patients-carers/brochures/hay-fever-allergic-rhinitis-and-your-asthma.
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