The number of Americans with asthma grows steadily each year; about 1 in 12 people (25 million) have asthma. Although it’s a relatively common condition, there are many misconceptions about asthma. Here are a few common asthma myths, and the reality behind those misconceptions:
- Save your asthma medication for when you are having an asthma attack
If you have mild persistent, moderate persistent, or severe persistent asthma, you will likely need to take a daily medication and have a fast-acting inhaler on hand for asthma attacks.
- Asthma symptoms improve in dry climates
This is true for some individuals with asthma, but others do better in a wetter climate. If moisture helps ease your symptoms, consider purchasing a humidifier for your home. Regularly replace your indoor air filters and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to improve indoor air quality and lessen your asthma symptoms.
- If you have asthma, you should avoid intense exercise
Believe it or not, there are quite a few professional athletes with asthma, and regular exercise can improve lung function. Your doctor can help you determine if you should take medication before working out. Check out this article on exercise-induced asthma for advice on how to safely exercise if you have asthma.
- Diet has little impact on asthma
Fatty foods, like fries or red meat, can cause increased inflammation in the airways that can worsen asthma symptoms. The Mediterranean diet is the go-to diet for gaining more control over your asthma symptoms. Healthier fats, like olive oil, are allowed in this diet and the Mediterranean diet also reduces the risk of heart disease.
- You can get addicted to your asthma medication
Asthma medication isn’t habit forming, but asthma is a chronic condition so long-term use of medication is to be expected. Your asthma treatment plan should explain which medications you should use regularly, and which ones you should use in the event of an asthma attack.
Are you being fooled by asthma myths? by Allergies & Asthma, Winter 2014/2015
Common Asthma Myths and Facts by remedy’s health.com communities