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5 Myths About Asthma

an ear, nose, & throat specialist is examining his patient's throat area

Asthma is a lung condition that causes breathing difficulties; it is known as a chronic respiratory disease. People with asthma will experience difficulty in breathing due to spasms in the bronchi of the lungs. 

The earliest recorded reference to asthma was in 2000 B.C.E when the Greek, Hippocrates, recorded a link between asthma symptoms and specific trades. 

The severity of the disease can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening, and while doctors have been studying the disease for many thousands of years, there is still a lot we have to learn. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that one in 13 people have asthma which equates to over 25 million Americans. 

There are some common misconceptions about the disease which, if overlooked, could cause more issues for anyone experiencing asthma. 

1. Allergies have nothing to do with asthma

Although asthma can be present in someone who has no known allergies, over 70% of asthmatics do have allergies. 

Lung inflammation can trigger wheezing and shortness of breath, it can also cause excessive coughing. Some of the leading causes of asthma include pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander. 

It is possible to improve asthma symptoms by treating the allergies so doctors will ask patients questions to try and highlight triggers. This will help those experiencing symptoms to live a better quality of life. 

2. Asthma medication is only used when a person is having an asthma attack 

Asthma is a chronic, long-term disease. One of the most critical tools in managing symptoms is medication. It can help to prevent people from getting very ill and ease breathing difficulties. 

Long-term controller medicines are different from drugs which help control an asthma attack. These can include inhaled corticosteroids which can reduce swelling and tightening in the airways. Other controller medicines are theophylline which can be taken in a pill and is useful for nighttime symptoms. Each patient is different, and their doctor will work through multiple options to help improve daily life. It is common for an asthmatic to have a combination of treatments which they will use for the rest of their life. They will also need to take these medications even if they aren’t symptomatic. 

3. Children can outgrow asthma

It is possible for symptoms of asthma to improve as a child grows into adulthood. The disease won’t ever go away, it is always present, and as such, it is essential that asthmatics are aware and maintain their management of asthma. 

It is true that symptoms that started in childhood can seem to disappear through adolescence, this is usually just temporary and it returns in adulthood. Children who have experienced severe symptoms may find their doctor can lower their medication, it is vital they stay aware of any returning symptoms such as a tight chest, wheezing or coughing at night. 

If a person has been diagnosed with asthma, then it is a chronic, life-long illness. 

4. If you have asthma, you shouldn’t exercise

Healthy living is vital to us all, regardless of any medical conditions we have. It promotes good heart health and circulation and helps to boost our immune system and our mental health. It can also play a significant role in improving lung function, which is particularly useful for asthmatics. 

Regular exercise also helps promote weight loss which can improve the symptoms of asthma. Although it is essential to be aware of any triggers which could cause symptoms to play up, this could include climate and exposure to pollen, dust or germs. 

With any medical condition, you should always seek advice from your doctor on the best forms of exercise for you. A doctor can ensure you have the correct medication and help monitor any improvements or changes to your symptoms. 

5. Asthma only involves the lungs

Most people focus on the respiratory effects of asthma; however, there is a systemic inflammatory component of asthma. Some research suggests that asthma starts as a systemic disease. 

There have been many studies into the relationship between fats in the blood, high blood sugar and heart disease. Recent evidence has emerged that a high-fat content in the blood and high blood sugar can be a contributory factor in asthma. 

It’s imperative to focus on the body as a whole, so asthmatics may be able to improve their symptoms by staying physically active and by eating a healthy diet and ensuring they stick to their medication plan. 

If you are looking to learn more about Allergy and Asthma Center, P.C. contact an asthma specialist at 920-969-1768.