Glossary On Myths and Facts

Myth – I have asthma only when I have trouble in breathing and the rest of the time I am free from asthma.

Fact -This sort of thinking is the single most important reason for poor patient compliance in asthmatics. It is important to understand that asthma has episodes of acute attack during which its symptoms of breathlessness, cough and wheezing are seen. In between those attacks, the body still retains its asthmatic tendencies though they are not expressed outwardly. Therefore, to treat asthma , it is not only important to take medications during the attack, but it’s also essential to take medication regularly in between the attacks to provide effective long term control of this disease.

Myth - Children tend to outgrow asthma and do not require long term medication.

Fact - While it is true that a small percentage of children do outgrow asthma, latest studies have shown that this is valid in a small percentage of cases. Many children show a reduction in their symptoms around the age of 5-7 years. However, a lot of these children report recurrence by the age of 13. On the other hand, there is significant percentage of children, who experience no reduction in their suffering with age. For such children, unless active medical intervention is done, asthma becomes very debilitating.

Myth - If you are suffering from asthma, exertion is strictly to be avoided.

Fact – If we carefully look around us, we will notice that there have been many famous athletes with asthma – people who have proven themselves in the area of sport, never letting their asthma to stop them from becoming the best. History is testimony to the fact that many professional basketball players, Olympic medalists, marathon runners, etc. have been asthmatic. If their asthma did not stop them from excelling in whatever they pursued, why should yours?

Myth - If you are asthmatic and pregnant, you can develop complications.

Fact- On the contrary 30% women experience reduction in their asthma symptoms during pregnancy. 30% report no change and 30% get slightly more breathless. Controlled asthma has no bearing on the development of baby in the mother's womb. However asthma is known to be hereditary. If a single parent has asthma, the child stands a 30% chance of developing it. If both parents have asthma, the risk goes up to 75%.