Asthma is a common lung condition that affects millions, but how well do we really understand it? It affects millions of people, yet it’s often wrapped in a cloud of myths and misconceptions. From misguided notions about exercise and medication to misunderstandings about who it affects and how it’s managed, these myths can affect our understanding and approach to asthma care.
In this blog post, we aim to clarify some of the most common myths about the condition and provide reliable information to promote better asthma awareness.
Myth: You Should Not Exercise If You Have Asthma
This myth is based on the true belief that exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. However, with proper asthma management, exercise is not only safe but beneficial. It can strengthen respiratory muscles, improve lung function, and enhance your overall fitness. The key is to use asthma preventer inhalers as prescribed, and to engage in a warm-up routine before exercising. Participating in appropriate physical activities is also important. For example, swimming is often recommended due to the warm, moist air which is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms.
Myth: Asthma Medications Are Harmful In The Long Run
Many people worry about the long-term effects of asthma medications. However, these medications are crucial for preventing asthma attacks, and are completely safe and effective when used as directed by a doctor. Additionally, modern inhalers are designed to minimise side effects by delivering medication directly to the lungs. Although asthma medications are safe, it is still important that you have regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your asthma and adjust your medication if necessary. Asthma + Lung UK also offers a comprehensive guide on asthma medication.
Myth: Asthma is Only a Childhood Condition
Although Asthma is often considered a childhood illness, it can start at any age. In adults, it may be triggered by different factors such as stress, hormonal changes, or occupational hazards. Recognising these symptoms and getting a proper diagnosis are crucial as adult-onset asthma can be overlooked or misdiagnosed as other respiratory conditions. It’s also important for adults to be aware of potential asthma signs and seek medical advice if they experience persistent coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
Myth: Asthma Can Be Outgrown
It’s a common misconception that children with asthma ‘outgrow’ the condition as they get older. This ties into the above myth of asthma being an illness only seen in children. Although it is true that asthma symptoms may change or even improve over time, the underlying condition often remains. For some, asthma symptoms may become less frequent or severe in adulthood, but for others, they may persist or even worsen.
It’s important for parents and carers to understand that asthma is a long-term condition that requires ongoing management, even if symptoms appear to ease up. Regular check-ups and continued monitoring are essential. It’s also important for people who had asthma as children to be aware of potential symptoms re-emerging in adulthood.
Myth: Asthma Symptoms are the Same for Everyone
Asthma presents itself differently in everyone. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary in frequency and intensity. Some people may experience symptoms daily, whilst others may have symptoms during certain conditions. For essential asthma management, it’s important to understand personal triggers and symptoms. It’s also important to have a personalised plan, made with healthcare professionals, to manage your specific symptoms. For a thorough overview of symptoms, the NHS provides a comprehensive guide to the symptoms of asthma.
Myth: Moving to a Drier Climate Will Cure Asthma
The idea that relocating to a drier climate can cure asthma is a common misconception. Although environmental factors can influence asthma symptoms, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Individuals are triggered by different things, and what may be a relief for one person could worsen symptoms for another. It’s crucial to focus on a comprehensive asthma management plan, which includes identifying and avoiding triggers, using medications as prescribed, and regular monitoring.
Myth: Using an Inhaler Too Often Will Make It Less Effective
This myth comes from the concern about developing a tolerance to asthma medication, particularly fast-acting relief inhalers. In reality, these medications do not become less effective with regular use. However, if you find yourself needing to use this inhaler more frequently than usual it’s a sign that your asthma may not be well controlled. If this is the case, a consultation with your doctor is needed to reassess how to manage your asthma and possibly adjust your long-term medication. An over-reliance on a relief inhaler can be a serious red flag, indicating the need for better overall asthma management rather than reduced effectiveness of the relief inhaler itself.
Need Help? Contact Us
Managing asthma can often feel like navigating through a maze of information, some of it accurate and some not. That’s where e-Surgery steps in to offer expert guidance with our free ‘Ask-a-Pharmacist‘ service. Our service directly connects you with our pharmacists who can help you out, whether you have questions about asthma management, need advice on medication, or just want to talk through your symptoms.
It’s simple: complete a short form, and in minutes, you’ll be communicating with one of our licensed pharmacy professionals. Easy, efficient, and tailored to your needs – brought to you free of charge by e-Surgery.