Imagine this scenario:
You’re enjoying a leisurely evening working in your flower garden. As you’re planting seeds, you suddenly have difficulty breathing and start to wheeze and cough.
This is all too familiar for those who face the challenge of dealing with asthma.
This pulmonary (lung) disease affects 8.3 percent of Americans—which equates to roughly 26.5 million people. Of these, 6.1 million are children.
Asthma is a condition that can create chronic issues that can progress from childhood to adulthood. Knowing how to treat and manage your asthma is vital to your overall health and well-being.
Of course, you can’t do that effectively if you’re falling prey to these common asthma myths. We’ll take a look at these misconceptions, tell you the truth and provide additional details about this common disease.
8 Popular Asthma Myths
1. If you have asthma, you should avoid exercise.
This is not true. While exercise can trigger an asthma attack, a primary care doctor near you can help you or your child manage exercise by creating a strategy. In fact, exercise—when used as part of a treatment plan—can actually strengthen the lungs.
2. Asthma is “all in your head.”
Extreme stress and anxiety can trigger an asthma attack, but it’s inaccurate to say that this means it’s a psychological problem.
Asthma is a physical condition in which your airways swell. Often, these airways also produce extra mucus. As a result, it’s difficult to breathe, resulting in wheezing and coughing. It can range from a mild nuisance to a life-threatening condition.
3. All asthma is the same
There are actually several different kinds, including:
- Adult-onset asthma
- Allergic asthma
- Asthma overlapping with COPD
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, which can cause wheezing during exercise
- Non-allergic asthma
- Occupational asthma, where symptoms occur at work
4. If your child has asthma, they can outgrow it
This is a popular asthma myth. While symptoms may improve in adulthood, asthma is a chronic, lifelong condition. It’s likely that symptoms may even disappear entirely, however, it’s important to realize that they can still re-emerge at any point in your child’s life.
5. Asthma is only treatable during an attack
Actually, medication is the best treatment for this chronic illness. While rescue inhalers can help relieve symptoms, long-term treatment is needed in order to reduce severe and frequent attacks.
6. The medications used in treatment are habit-forming
False. Neither the continual medication nor the rescue inhalers contain addictive medication.
7. Asthma isn’t triggered by allergens
An allergen is anything that causes an allergic reaction. The most common ones are ragweed, pet dander and pollen. Sometimes these can trigger an attack. Airborne irritants, such as cigarette smoke or strong odors, can also cause issues.
8. If I am symptom-free, I no longer have asthma
This is another one of the popular asthma myths. As we mentioned earlier, asthma is a lifelong condition. Even if you are having no symptoms, it’s important to maintain your treatment plan and take your medication as directed by a primary care doctor near you.
Asthma Facts and Figures
Asthma remains one of the most common chronic issues/illnesses in the world. According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology:
- Those with asthma had 11 visits to physician’s offices and 1.7 million to hospitals’ outpatient treatment departments.
- The disease results in 439,000 hospitalizations and 1.3 million ER visits each year.
- It’s the most common chronic illness in children, with 13.8 missed school days annually.
- Each year, more than 3,500 people die from asthma.
- Half of those who die from asthma are 65 or older.
- Often, the disease is hereditary.
Your CMC Primary Care Doctor Near You Can Help
Primary care doctors and pulmonologists (doctors who specialize in treating lung diseases), are natural choices for those who have asthma. Through regular treatment, careful monitoring and medication, we can dramatically reduce the number of asthma attacks experienced.
See why we’ve been the provider of choice for the Horry County area since our inception in the early 1920s. With a century of experience and progress, we’ve coupled together the values of compassionate care with offering the latest technological innovations.
Contact one of our primary care providers near you to help manage and treat asthma.