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Asthma: Myths Vs. Facts

Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. The most common chronic disease among children, it currently affects 235 million people. There is no exact cause for asthma and many doctors believe that there are a variety of reasons that actually cause the condition. There is not a cure for asthma although there are a variety of treatment options. Additionally, there are many different myths and facts which concerning asthma that should be dispelled for those suffering from the disease.

Here are some Myths and Fact about asthma you should know:

*Myths:

1. Asthma medicine is addictive. Not true. Asthma is a chronic long term condition, so patients with asthma may always need to take medication, but it is not because they are addicted to the medication.

2. Asthma is a psychological condition. Not true. Some people used to believe that asthma was caused by an emotional problem. It is not true, asthma is due to problems in the lungs and the immune system’s over-reaction to triggers in the environment that we breathe in.

3. Nebulizers are the best way to give asthma medicines to babies and children. Not true. Medicine given by metered dose inhaler with a spacer with face mask is just as effective.

4. Asthma is not a Serious Condition. Not true. Asthma is a serious condition. It is essential to recognise the signs and symptoms, and respond to them. Asthma attacks may last several minutes or go on for hours or even days. The longer the attack persists, the more dangerous it is.

5. Nobody dies from asthma anymore. Asthma is a life threatening condition. In the United States asthma causes 5,000 deaths annually. Deaths from asthma are increasing.

6. Asthma can be cured. There is no magical or miraculous product that can cure asthma. If you see an ad saying they can do this, they are just out for the money. A cure for asthma has not been discovered yet, but asthma can be controlled.

7. Asthma is all in the Mind. Asthma sufferers often have attacks when facing emotional stress. This has caused many people to think asthma is a psychosomatic condition. It is not. Asthma is real.

*Facts:

1. WHO estimates show that 235 million people currently suffer from asthma.

2. Asthma deaths will increase in the next 10 years if urgent action is not taken. Asthma cannot be cured, but proper diagnosis, treatment and patient education can result in good asthma control and management.

3. Asthma occurs in all countries regardless of level of development. Over 80% of asthma deaths occur in low and lower-middle income countries. For effective control, it is essential to make medications affordable and available, especially for low-income families.

4. Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person.

5. Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals. For some people the symptoms become worse during physical activity or at night. Failure to recognize and avoid triggers that lead to a tightened airway can be life threatening and may result in an asthma attack, respiratory distress and even death.

6. Through appropriate treatment such as using inhaled corticosteroids to ease bronchial inflammation, the number of asthma-related deaths can be reduced.

7. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. But it can be controlled through different prevention and treatment plans according to individual symptoms.

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