4 Asthma Myths People Believe

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It is cold and flu season and with Covid-19 running rampant people are more aware of their respiratory health now more than ever. Plus, the month of May serves as Asthma Awareness Month!
We put our resident guest, Dr Sabir Khan, to the task and asked him to debunk a few common asthma myths. Dr Sabir is an Intensivist in Pulmonology and Palliative Care.

MYTH 1:

People with asthma can’t exercise.

FACT: For many asthma sufferers, physical exertion and vigorous exercise can
trigger asthma symptoms. But lack of exercise is not good for anyone, especially
patients with asthma who should avoid gaining weight and need the benefits of
exercise on breathing. With the right treatment, you can enjoy physical activity
while still controlling your asthma.

 

Myth 2:

Diagnosed people shouldn’t worry, because it isn’t fatal. Lots of people have asthma!

FACT: Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the respiratory system, primarily
the airways. It can cause symptoms that range from minor coughing and
wheezing to life-threatening attacks. Communication with your treating doctor is
key to planned managed care of one’s asthma.

Myth 3:

You can outgrow it.

FACT: Some people have mistaken the idea that you grow out of it. Asthma goes
into remission in some children around puberty, but it often comes back.
Sometimes, it returns when young adults start drinking alcohol.

 

Myth 4:

Asthmatics should avoid milk because it thickens mucus and worsens symptoms.

FACT: Dairy is thought to be linked to asthma. Drinking milk or eating dairy
products doesn’t cause asthma. However, if you have a dairy allergy, it may
trigger symptoms that are like asthma. Also, if you have asthma and a dairy
allergy, dairy may worsen your asthma symptoms. About 45 percent of children with asthma also have dairy and other food allergies. Children with food allergies are up to four times more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions than children without a food allergy.

For more information on Asthma and Covid-19 see the links below:
https://www.everydayhealth.com/asthma/coping-with-asthma.aspx
https://www.allergyfoundation.co.za/asthma-allergies-and-covid-19-what-are-the-
implications/
https://www.healthline.com/health/get-serious-about-severe-asthma/breathing-exercises-
severe-asthma

NOTE: This article does not supersede consulting your GP or specialist if
you are suffering with asthma.

 

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October 17, 2021
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