Word travels faster than light, making myths and misconceptions the second most dangerous things in the medical world after the diseases themselves. They do not only affect lifestyle but can prevent individuals from focusing on real issues. If not better, they can make the situation worse for patients.As we celebrate World Asthma Day on 2nd May, it becomes crucial for us to become more aware for our sake but also for those we care about. It’s time we focus on the facts rather than the myths and lies.
So, let this blog post bust the several myths surrounding Asthma, an illness that affects more than 339 million people all over the world.
Myth: Asthma only lasts till childhood
Fact: Asthma is a life-long disease
One of the most common myths surrounding asthma is that it only lasts till childhood. However, it is not true. Asthma is a life-long disease, it cannot be cured completely. However, its symptoms may ease with age as a child’s airways develop and mature. The development of the airway can ease asthma by enabling better handling of airway inflammation and irritants. Anyhow, asthma symptoms can still arise with seasonal changes or increased exposure to irritants.
Myth: Asthmatic patients cannot exercise
Fact: Exercise improves lung functions for some patients
It is widely assumed that asthma patients should not indulge in physically demanding activities such as running or swimming. However, it is not entirely true. Exercise-induced asthma and asthma have often been confused with one another, consequently giving rise to this myth.
Much to the disbelief of many, exercise can improve asthma instead of worsening it in some patients. As per research, exercising has been shown to enhance lung function, keeping the lungs healthy. In addition, as asthma can get worse with extra pounds, exercise can help manage the symptoms.
It is to be noted that in some severe asthma cases, some exercises might be prohibited. You must consult your physician beforehand to avoid any complications. They can let you know if a particular workout routine should not be performed by you.
Myth: Asthma medicines can become ineffective over time
Fact: Medicines are important to efficiently manage asthma symptoms
Certain lifestyle habits such as exercising, and staying away from pollution can ease asthma symptoms over time, but this doesn’t undermine the role of medicines used in treating asthma symptoms. These medications are formulated to relax the muscles around the airways and widen them. They are not habit-forming and are crucial for keeping asthma under control. They do not even become less effective for patients after their long-term usage.
Myth: Asthma is not fatal
Fact: Asthma can be fatal in rare cases
Although asthma symptoms are more than manageable, they can turn out to be fatal in rare cases. As the stats dictate, 10 people die of Asthma every day. The severity of asthma depends on the health condition, age and lifestyle habits of a patient. Hence, asthma symptoms should never be taken for granted. Poor management or neglect of these symptoms can turn out to be fatal or lead to critical illnesses such as pneumonia, lung collapse, respiratory failure, and miscarriage or early delivery.
Myth: Nebulizers are better than inhalers
Fact: Inhaler works just fine as nebulizers
Nebulizers and inhalers are two methods of treatment prescribed to asthma patients. An inhaler pushes the medicine into the lungs. A nebulizer on the other hand is a machine that sprays a fine mist of medicine through a mouthpiece or mask. Inhalers have often been regarded as better than nebulizers. However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence as such.
Research suggests that both inhalers and nebulizers work just fine. However, the techniques differ. A nebulizer may be easy to use and is therefore mostly prescribed to children. Inhalers, on the other hand, can be complex to use and require the right technique of usage; which is more suited for adults. Nebulizers can also be time-consuming, whereas inhalers are not.
Myth: Asthma should only be treated during asthma attacks
Fact: Medicines may be prescribed for long-term to control asthma
It is true that some medications provide quick relief and are prescribed only during asthma attacks. However, asthma is a chronic disease, for which long-term asthma control medicines may be suggested. The function of such medicines is to reduce airway inflammation every day and prevent the occurrence of an attack. The treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity and frequency of attacks. Please consult with your physician for an accurate treatment plan tailored to your medical condition.
There is a wide and transparent line between myths and facts that often gets blurred. However, with the right information and awareness about chronic diseases like Asthma, we can ensure that the right medical care is given to patients. We hope this blog post makes things clearer for you. So, this World Asthma Day, let’s come together and bust the myths that affect our lifestyle and those we care about.