Asthma: Myths and Facts

Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which the airways are inflamed, causing an inability to breathe normally. It is a condition which can be easily misunderstood, despite the extensiveness of the condition.

This is probably due to the very common symptoms such as cough, sneezing, wheezing, etc. These symptoms can apply to any disease or none at all hence making it easily disregarded and commonly misunderstood. The WHO states that 235 million people worldwide suffer from Asthma and as per recent statistics 1 in 6 people in the UAE suffer from the condition. Despite its wide prevalence, there a number of myths that surround the condition, a few of them being;

Myth: People with Asthma should avoid engaging in physical activities.

The goal for any person with or without Asthma is to lead a normal, healthy life – including regular exercise.

The ultimate goal of treating any health condition is ensuring that one leads a healthy and normal life. If your asthma is well managed with medications and kept under control there is no harm in exercising or engaging in sports. However, it is vital to control a person’s asthma and make sure they follow the instructions set by their doctor to take medications. Consult with a specialist to know what works for you as they will be able to advise you on the best possible practice.

Myths: Children can habitually outgrow their Asthma.

Asthma is a life-long disease. It is a known fact that asthma is more common in children than in adults. [1]Many parents may think that Asthma is a condition which will come and go, just like other common diseases like cold, flu, etc. Symptoms of asthma may tend to stop presenting thenselves after a point in a child, however parents and children need to be prepared and must understand that the symptoms may resurface at any point during adulthood.

Myth: Asthma medications will stop working over time.

 Fact Asthma medications do not become ineffective or stop working. Although it is a chronic lung condition, it can be effectively managed with treatment. Medications prescribed for asthma need to be used regularly and as directed by a physician. . Taking the right dose of medications can make sure that the medications do not lose their effectiveness. If a medicine does seem less effective, it could be because the condition may have progressed.

Myth: Pets are the main cause of Asthma.

Fact: The most common asthma triggers are cold air, colds and flu, dust, air pollution, perfume.

While this is partially true, animals can also be the cause of triggering Asthma attacks. Animals are known to be a common trigger for Asthma symptoms. If animals trigger asthmatic symptoms, you may have allergic asthma. However, on the other hand a research presented that early exposure to pets could actually prevent kids from developing asthma[2]. Pets can improve a person’s immunity, generating antibodies which protect against allergens, a common trigger for asthma.

Given the nature of the condition and symptoms it depicts, it is extremely important to be aware of the common symptoms of Asthma in order to aid early detection for effective treatment. It is more important to be aware of the condition overall so that it will be much easier to prevent yourself and other people from believing myths surrounding the condition.




Asthma myths and facts

Dr. Prasanth Kinnatipurayil

Specialist Internal Medicine

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai



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