Asthma is a disease that affects more than 25 million people only in the United States. However, there is still a lot of misinformation about it.
For that reason, many myths about this condition have spread.
So, let’s clarify them and help people understand what is behind those misconceptions.
Myth #1: People with asthma shouldn’t exercise or play sports.
Although many P.E teachers believe that their students with asthma cannot participate in gym classes, medicine says otherwise. Many people avoid exercising for fear of worsening their symptoms, and that’s ok.
However, studies have shown that regular exercise is very beneficial for people with asthma.
Doctors encourage people with asthma to lead an active lifestyle that includes participation in sports, if possible, to improve lung function.
Besides, your doctor can prescribe appropriate medication to control respiratory problems before exercising if physical activity is a trigger for asthma.
Myth #2: Asthma cannot be fatal. No one dies from asthma, as it is an easily controlled disease.
Deaths from asthma are not quite common, but they do happen.
In 2019, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.1 out of 100,000 people died from asthma in the United States.
That means there were 11 deaths for every million residents that year. So, although the death rate is much lower than in the past, asthma can be a deadly disease.
Myth #3: You can beat asthma. It is a disease people can outgrow.
Asthma is incurable and usually appears as a childhood disease that persists into adulthood. Actually, symptoms may begin for the first time in adults, in some cases.
It is said that asthma can improve as the lungs enlarge and the immune system strengthens. However, it is a chronic disease that leaves sensitivity to allergens.
In this sense, symptoms can return at any time.
Myth #4: Asthma is psychological. You can control it mentally.
Some psychological factors can exacerbate asthma symptoms and make them much more difficult to control, especially if the patient suffers from depression or anxiety.
However, it is not a mental illness.
Asthma has been shown to be characterized by inflammation of the airways, causing breathing problems that can become dangerous.
And all the symptoms that asthma produces are physical. Triggers can cause shortness of breath, severe coughing, wheezing, and even chest tightness.
Myth #5: All people experience the same symptoms with the same asthma triggers.
The symptoms of an asthma attack may be different for each patient and each episode. That means that a person can experience different ailments at different times.
While one patient may only have difficulty breathing, others may feel chest tightness and wheeze.
Also, not everyone reacts to the same triggers. Some may be allergic to pollen or strong odors, while others may have asthma attacks triggered by dust mites.
Being diagnosed with asthma can be a bit difficult to cope with. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that it is a controllable condition. Ask your doctor all the questions you have about it and avoid believing all the myths you hear!