We’ve highlighted some of the common misconceptions here together with a little information on the condition, the symptoms, triggers and treatments.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the airways (tubes) that carry air to and from the lungs.
Asthma isn’t the same for everyone and the symptoms and triggers are personal to each individual. Common symptoms include wheezing, coughing and breathlessness. Many triggers can irritate airways and set off symptoms and these include the following (not an exhaustive list)
What is an asthma attack?
Asthma can sometimes get worse for a short period and this is referred to as an asthma attack. It could occur suddenly or gradually across several days. Signs of a severe asthma attack include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and becoming too breathless to speak, eat or sleep.
How is asthma treated?
Currently, there is no cure for asthma so the condition requires management and control. Asthma treatment helps control the symptoms, improve lung function and prevent asthma attacks. Asthma inhalers are the most common treatment; preventer inhalers avert swelling and inflammation in the airways (so reduce symptoms should a trigger be present); reliever inhalers help ease symptoms such as coughing or a tight chest.
Severe asthma can be more challenging to manage and working with healthcare teams will help identify other forms of treatment to control symptoms. Some treatments include steroid tablets, biological therapy, bronchial therapy and using a nebuliser at home.
“Asthmatics should avoid exercise” – FALSE
Exercise can be a trigger for some asthmatics and working with healthcare teams will help manage asthma treatment so exercise can be enjoyed. It’s now understood that exercise can help strengthen lungs and improve control.
“You can outgrow asthma” – FALSE
Asthma symptoms differ over time or become intermittent due to changes in the body or environment and it may seem that a child outgrows the condition as their control improves. However, as a chronic condition, symptoms could resurface.
“You can treat asthma with dietary supplements” – FALSE
There is little evidence to support that any dietary or herbal supplements have any effect on asthma symptoms. They may, however, be recommended by a doctor or healthcare provider for overall health and/or a healthy lifestyle.
Further information can be found by visiting https://www.asthma.org.uk/