Asthma Myths you need to stop believing

Asthma myths are very common because asthma is a condition that affects a lot of people. Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the lungs that manifest as difficulty in breathing, coughing and wheezing among other symptoms. It is a quite common condition. As usual, there are myths about asthma that people have taken as facts. We will look at different asthma myths and the truth! Some of them might surprise you!

If you want to read more about asthma, its symptoms and treatment, click here to see our previous blog post on this topic.

Image showing an inhaler used to treat asthma  on a short term basis
The typical Ventolin Inhaler is usually used for short term treatment of asthma

Asthma myth one:  People with Asthma should not do any exercise at all.

This is false. Some types of exercise can trigger asthma attacks however, doctors recommend medically supervised exercise for people with asthma.

In general, exercise strengthens the lungs and reduces inflammation at the same time.

  • Exercise increases your body’s endurance as well as its tolerance to physical activity. This will make it easier for the lungs to perform their activities.
  • Another effect of exercise is that it reduces the production of the proteins of inflammation which is very beneficial to the lungs.
  • Exercise increases lung capacity, strengthens your muscles and improves the cardiovascular function of the heart.

Breathing exercises also help with the management of asthma symptoms. Recommended exercises for asthmatics include swimming, walking and cycling. It is better to see your doctor before you commence any form of exercise.

Asthma myth two: Children can outgrow Asthma

image showing a child using an inhlaler

Unfortunately, Asthma is a chronic, lifelong disease that cannot be cured. Once a child has asthma, they will always have it. The good news is that you can successfully manage the symptoms with drugs and lifestyle modifications.

You must ensure that you avoid all the triggers and lifestyle habits that can cause another asthma attack. Habits like smoking, and drinking alcohol excessively should be avoided. You’ll also need to adopt other lifestyle modifications like avoiding cold areas and other triggers.

In a few cases, asthma may disappear when children get older. In cases like this, the children may have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma.

Asthma myth three: Asthma should only be treated when you have symptoms

image of a black man wearing a yellow shirt and using an inhaler

If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma and placed on some medications or inhalers, drug compliance is very important. It is not a good idea to stop your medication just because you feel better or because you no longer have any of the symptoms of asthma again. Stopping your tablets or inhalers just because you feel better will lead to more asthma attacks and a worse disease progression in the future.

Asthma affects the cells lining your airways by making them swell and tightening the muscles surrounding your airways. This is an inflammatory reaction to allergens and this occurs after a certain threshold of exposure has been reached. This means that you will react when sufficiently exposed to an allergen or a trigger even though you currently feel better.

Asthma is a chronic condition and requires regular contact with your doctor for proper management. It is important that you never stop taking your medication unless recommended by your doctor.

To know more about other complementary therapies that can help you manage asthma better, click here.

If you want to know what to do to help someone experiencing an asthma attack, click here to see our previous blog post on the topic.

To know more about asthma, its causes, symptoms and treatment, click here to see our blog post on the topic.

Questions, comments and other forms of feedback are very much welcome! I’ll be waiting to hear from you in the comment section!

Till my next post,

Dr Omotola Oke.