Asthma can affect anyone, regardless of age, but it often starts in childhood and can continue into adult life. As a long-term inflammatory disease, it usually cause periods of unpleasant symptoms, which can often develop into a full blown asthma attack if unmanaged.
Despite how common it is, there are lots of misconceptions about asthma that can keep people from getting the proper treatment they need. Here are four to get familiar with…
1. You only need to take your inhaler if you’re having symptoms
The main treatment of asthma is with inhalers. Most asthma sufferers will be given both a preventer and a reliever inhaler after a diagnosis. While the reliever inhaler is used to treat an asthma attack, the preventer inhaler stops the symptoms from coming on in the first place.
A GP will be able to advise how often you should be taking your preventer inhaler, but most people find they need to take it every day to manage their symptoms – even if they’re feeling well.
2. You grow out of asthma with age
The NHS says that asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it starts in your adult life. Parents might find that their child’s asthma disappears or improves during the teenage years, but it can often come back later in life.
3. You can’t go to the gym if you have asthma
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I have asthma. It will not be my excuse! . I’ve had asthma since I was little. Most my life it’s been only athletically induced. Most especially during intense cardio. Since having my son, I have attacks triggered at random times of the day, just like when I was a kid. So I’ve been on a daily inhaler, which works!! I really wanted to avoid the daily med, but the attacks were holding me back from doing what I wanted to do. They were becoming my excuse. No ok! Oxygen and being able to take a full breath is so worth it. . Today’s workout however I was LOW on oxygen. Since moving a year ago, my inhaler prescription has run out and I needed to find a new doc. Well my timing didn’t line up with my inhaler (#busymomproblems ) ... but I could not let that be an excuse. Instead I focused on deep slow breath and my form. I didn’t move as fast as usual...but I moved!! And it felt great! . We all have something whether it be physical or emotional that tries to hold us back. You are stronger and more powerful than your most persistent barriers! . . . #asthmaproblems #asthmafitness #asthma #myexcuse #noexcuse
While physical activity can be more of a challenge when you have asthma, experts say that incorporating regular exercise into your routine can actually improve your symptoms in the long run.
According to Asthma UK, working out can boost your lung power, reduce breathlessness and support your immune system.
It’s natural to worry that exercising may set off an asthma attack, so make sure you take your preventer inhaler and speak to your GP about breathing techniques. It’s always a good idea to start slowly with a gentle walk or bike ride, before you build up to anything more strenuous.
4. Pets are the cause of asthma
Asthma is caused by swelling to the sensitive airways that carry air in and out of the lungs. While animal fur can often trigger a reaction, the truth is, there’s a range of different things that could set your symptoms off.
As well as dogs, cats and other pets, common asthma triggers include dust mites, pollen, alcohol, cigarette smoke, cold air and infections like colds or flu.
If you’re concerned that you or your child may have asthma, you should speak to your GP. Several conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and the correct treatment.