May is national asthma and allergy awareness month, and it’s important to understand breathing problems. While many patients and their families have a firm understanding of the illness, we’ve found there are a lot of misconceptions about asthma. Let’s dispel some of the most common asthma myths.
#1: Asthmatics Should Avoid Exercise – False
While exercise is one of the most common asthma triggers, children with asthma aren’t relegated to the sidelines. Pediatricians can successfully help your child manage his asthma enough to participate in sports and other physical activities. In fact, exercise is now understood to strengthen lungs, helping improve asthma control.
#2: Asthma Is “All In The Head” – False
Ashtma is a physiological condition. During attacks, airways inflame and constrict, making it difficult for sufferers to draw a breath. Each patient has her own triggers that cause inflammation.
There is a kernel of truth to this rumor, however: stress and negative emotions can sometimes trigger asthma symptoms.
#3: Children Outgrow Asthma – False
Asthma is a chronic, lifelong condition, and anyone who suffers it may face a flare-up at any time in their life, from childhood to old age. Symptoms frequently improve – or disappear entirely – during adolescence or in adulthood, so it’s likely asthma won’t be a major factor in your child’s life forever. He will need to be aware of symptoms that may re-emerge at any point in life.
#4: Asthma Is Treatable Only When Symptoms Are Present – False
Because of its chronic nature, asthma is best treated with constant medication. Children diagnosed with asthma should take their medicine all the time – even when they’re feeling well. Rescue inhalers are a great tool for controlling and relieving symptoms, but long-term treatment reduces the severity and frequency of attacks.
#5: Medicines that Treat Asthma Are Habit-Forming – False
Inhalers and orally administered medications aren’t addictive. It’s always good practice to remain on medication even when symptoms aren’t present.
The Youth Clinic’s Healthy Lungs program helps children with asthma control their symptoms and lead active lives. Talk with your provider to receive a diagnosis or individualized treatment plans.