About Asthma
It is a chronic (long-term) condition of the lungs, in which the airways become swollen, inflamed and clogged with mucus and fluid. Muscles surrounding the airways tighten and contract as they try to keep the passageways open, which makes it hard to breathe. More than 80% children living in rural areas and above 50% urban kids with asthma are treated with oral medications alone, leading to harmful side-effects
Myth | Asthma can be cured
Fact | There is no cure, but with regular treatment, asthma can be controlled
Myth | You only have asthma when there is trouble breathing
Fact | Asthma is a chronic condition, meaning it is there all the time. People with asthma have airway inflammation even without symptoms
Myth | Asthma attacks are always sudden and severe
Fact | There is gradual increase in symptoms like chest tightening, breathlessness, coughing and wheezing (whistling sound). Recognizing symptoms early can help address these issues
Myth | Medication is used only when a person is having an asthma attack
Fact | Take medicines as prescribed every day even if no symptoms are experienced
Myth | Children can outgrow asthma
Fact | With appropriate treatment, symptoms can improve or resolve during adolescence and adulthood, but the disease remains
Myth | Moving to a dry climate can cure asthma
Fact | It may have a temporary impact on symptoms. Reducing asthma triggers in your environment may be more helpful than moving to a different climate
Myth | Allergies have nothing to do with asthma
Fact | Roughly 70% people with asthma also have allergies. Allergies increase lung inflammation and can trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. When allergies are effectively treated, asthma symptoms often improve
Myth | People with asthma shouldn’t exercise
Fact | Regular exercise helps improve lung function. Additionally, weight loss reduces the risk of asthma and helps breathe easier
Myth | Inhaler therapy is habit forming
Fact | Inhaler only delivers asthma drug to the lungs, hence the drug concentration reaching other parts of the body is negligible
EXPERT SPEAK
India has the 4th largest incidence of asthma in the world but globally it is number one in total deaths due to uncontrolled asthma. Despite the availability of effective inhaled therapies whose regular use can prevent deaths by reducing incidence of fatal asthma attacks, many patients in India have poor asthma control
Dr Dr Rajesh Swarnakar | pulmonologist

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