Myths and Facts about Asthma

There are tens of thousands of people who are affected by asthma, whether they have it or a close family member. Because of the large number of people who are affected there are also a large number of myths and facts about asthma that are urban legends. Is it fact or is it fiction? You may be surprised by the answers.

Asthma myth number one: Asthma is all in your head. FALSE! Although asthma was once treated as a psychological illness, researchers and scientists have proven that asthma results in consistent physical changes in the bronchioles and alveoli of the lungs. Doctors were once slow to treat asthma. Unfortunately even mild asthma, left untreated, will result in pulmonary hypertension and heart damage.

Although asthma is exacerbated by psychological triggers, such as emotional stress, it is not caused by the emotional stress.

Asthma myth number two: Asthmatics outgrow their condition. FALSE! Asthma is a condition that is not outgrown and not cured. In fact there are adults who develop asthma after the age of 20. Asthma can be controlled but never really goes away.

Which leads to asthma myth number three: asthma can be cured. FALSE! Although some people’s asthma remains inactive for months or even years it can flare at any time. Asthma can be mild, moderate, severe or life threatening and it can be controlled with medications and preventative measures. But it cannot be cured.

Asthma myth number four: Asthma runs in the family. TRUE! If your parents don’t have asthma you have a 6% chance of having asthma. But if one of your parents is affected you have a 30% chance and if both parents suffer from asthma you have a 70% chance of developing asthma.

Asthma myth number five: Asthma is contagious. FALSE! Asthma cannot be caught. It isn’t contagious. You can’t get asthma from your friends, your relatives or others with whom you have contact. Because you are around people who suffer from asthma you won’t get it.

Asthma myth number six: Moving can improve your asthma. POSSIBLE! A new environment can temporarily improve asthma symptoms but it doesn’t cure the asthma. Asthma is never cured.

At the beginning the asthmatic attacks are often lessened but after a few years people may become sensitized to the new environment and the asthma symptoms may return with the same or greater intensity.

Asthma myth number seven: Asthmatics shouldn’t exercise. FALSE! People with asthma should exercise but avoid the cold weather and exercises that require much mouth breathing. Swimming is a good exercise for asthmatics because the air is often heated and humid while cold dry air may trigger an attack.

Asthma myth number eight: Asthma medications are habit forming and addictive. FALSE! Asthma medications are not addictive or habit forming. An asthmatic can’t provoke an attack at will either. Attacks are more likely to occur when the asthmatic is under severe emotional stress but they cannot be faked.

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