Asthma Myths Debunked!

Before we jump into debunking myths on asthma, let us understand about the disease. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lung's air passages that can make breathing difficult. There is no cure for asthma and it will not go away, but there are very good treatments to control it. A child with asthma can enjoy a normal healthy life and participate in normal activities.

During normal breathing air moves in and out of the lungs through air passages, bringing oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the body. During an asthma attack, or asthma flare up, muscle spasms constrict and tighten the airways and cause the air passages to become narrower, making it harder for air to get in and out. Air flow is also obstructed by inflammation (swelling), which thickens the airway walls and creates mucus and phlegm inside the airways. Both the spasms and the inflammation make it hard to breathe.

Symptoms of an asthma flare up include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness that makes it hard to breath, waking up at night coughing and you’d also notice extra phlegm and mucus.

Asthma flare-ups can be caused by many different triggers. They can com e on suddenly and progress rapidly. You must be ready to treat them quickly and correctly. If asthma is not treated well and kept under control, it can cause numerous problems, including:

  • Frequent visits to your healthcare provider or emergency room and even hospitalisation.
  • Inability to participate in sports and other physical activities.
  • Missed school days.
  • Lung damage and, in severe cases, death.
  • There are good medications that can help treat asthma spasms and inflammation caused by asthma and control asthma symptoms.

Myths VS Facts

Myth: You grow out of asthma or asthma gets better as your get older. 
Fact: Asthma is a life-long condition. A child's asthma can get better or worse over time and some very young children with asthma may get much better as they (and their lungs) grow, but for most people, asthma is present for the rest of their life.

Myth: Sports and physical activity make asthma worse.
Fact: Physical activity, and the conditioning that comes with it, should be part of every child's life, including those with asthma. Asthma should not interfere with physical activity; however, your child may need medication in order to participate fully. Always check with your healthcare provider first.

Myth: Everybody's asthma is the same.
Fact: Asthma severity can vary greatly from one person to another. Treatment for one person may not be the same for another. Talk with your doctor, and never share asthma medications with someone else.

Myth: Asthma is an emotional illness.
Fact: Asthma is caused by inflammation and constriction in the lungs. It is stressful to have an asthma attack, but emotions do not cause asthma.

Myth: It's better to 'tough it out' without taking asthma medication.
Fact: The lungs do not get stronger or better able to deal with asthma if a person tries to work through an attack without medication. In fact the lung inflammation that goes along with an attack can cause permanent damage to the lungs. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.

Myth: Steroids used in asthma are dangerous.
Fact: The corticosteroids used to control asthma are not the same as the often illegal steroids used by some athletes and have no effect on muscles or athletic performance. They are related to the steroids found in creams to reduce itch or inflammation of the skin. Many scientific studies have shown asthma medication to be safe over long periods of use.

Myth: Steroids used in asthma will stunt growth.
Fact: Large medical studies have shown that children using inhaled corticosteroids will eventually reach their normal height, although there maybe very small, temporary delays in growth initially. However, it has been clearly shown that untreated asthma and the resulting permanent damages to the lungs have a significant effect on reducing growth. Be sure to work with your doctor to treat your child's asthma in the best possible way.