Asthma is a chronic lung disease that is often shrouded in misinformation. Even though almost 25 million Americans are afflicted with this condition, many myths persist about asthma and how it can be treated.
However, as with any condition, it is crucial to take asthma seriously, listen to physicians, and not fall into the trap of believing myths of any kind. This helps prevent further worsening of a person’s condition and ensures the proper care for them.
Read on for a thorough debunking of the most common asthma myths prevalent today:
Myth #1: Asthma Is in Your Head
Many asthma symptoms have been linked to depression and anxiety, but it definitely is not a psychological condition.
Asthma is caused by chronic inflammation in your lungs along with the swelling and narrowing of your airways. Genetics and exposure to allergens and pollutants can cause asthma. Other triggers include:
- Cold air
Because the cells in your lungs and airways overreact to these triggers, these symptoms can be observed:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Tightness in your chest
Studies have found that anxiety may actually make it more difficult to manage asthma. Still, professionals emphasize that it is a condition that affects the lungs and not the brain.
Myth #2: Most People Outgrow Asthma
There is still a common misconception that asthma is merely a childhood disease that eventually goes away.
Asthma indeed afflicts many children, and in the US, about 5.5 million people under 18 have the disease. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 54 percent of children have an asthma attack in a year, a much bigger percentage compared to only 43 percent of adults.
However, only the symptoms change or become less severe over time, but the condition itself remains. It is important to remember that asthma symptoms can be triggered and become serious even after a long period of not experiencing any. Some triggers of adult-onset asthma are:
- Exposure to irritants and toxins
Busting this myth can help people better manage their condition and avoid triggers that potentially result in severe symptoms.
Myth #3: Inhaled Steroids for Asthma Are Harmful
A 2012 analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies concluded that inhaled corticosteroids are essential in preventing serious complications from severe asthma symptoms.
Unfortunately, many people have come to associate “steroids” with anabolic steroids commonly used for building muscles. And there is a persistent myth that these “steroids” for asthma may also be harmful or stunt growth.
This misconception has long been debunked with a 2015 review that found little to no difference in the height of children who take inhaled corticosteroids. These treatments are especially beneficial since untreated asthma can delay growth or puberty.
Make sure to consult with your general doctor to determine the right amount of inhaled corticosteroids for you or your child.
Misinformation surrounding medical conditions such as asthma is incredibly dangerous and can harm the lives of people afflicted with it. This is why knowing the facts and debunking the myths are vital in successfully managing the condition.
If you need to consult a primary care doctor, turn to Garden State Medical Group. Our board-certified physicians and specialists practice multidisciplinary integrative and functional medicine with a focus on prevention, management, and education. Begin a telemedicine call through our website now!