The fact that asthma, which causes a serious decrease in the quality of life, is not taken seriously affects the treatment of the disease negatively. Stating that this year’s concept of “World Asthma Day”, which is celebrated in the first week of May every year, is “Known Wrongs in Asthma”, Prof. Dr. Adile Berna Dursun gave information about the false beliefs that exist in society about this disease.Only dry cough can also be a symptom of asthma.
Complaints in asthma, which is a non-microbial inflammation of the bronchi, ie airways, can sometimes be very severe and sometimes very little. Fluctuations in the course of asthma is an important feature. In asthma, which usually shows symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and feeling of pressure in the chest, only a dry cough can be seen from time to time. So the symptoms do not have to be all together. The fact that these symptoms are repetitive, occur when triggers are encountered, wake up especially at night, and improve spontaneously or when medications are taken, suggest asthma.
Misinformation prevents the treatment of the disease
Mistakes about asthma, which is one of the most common diseases in the society, cause the disruption of the treatment that should be applied on the one hand, and on the other hand, negatively affect the work, school and social lives of the patients. The common mistakes about asthma are as follows:
FALSE 1: “Asthma only occurs in childhood: One of the well-known mistakes is that asthma is only seen in childhood and will not occur again. Asthma is a chronic disease that can occur and recur in childhood, infancy, school age, middle school, high school, university, young adult, middle age, advanced age and even geriatric age.
FALSE 2: “Every asthma is allergic asthma”: Allergy and asthma are the most confused ailments. Allergy is the immune response we create against some substances that do not belong to our body. Only some of the asthma patients are allergic. There is also non-allergic asthma. Four-thirds of childhood asthma suffer from allergic asthma. As the age progresses, the rate of allergic asthma decreases by half. On the other hand, if the individual is obese and smokes, such clear distinction may not be made.
3. FALSE: “Asthma is contagious”: Asthma is not a contagious disease, it is a non-microbial inflammatory condition. Asthma only affects the individual himself.
4. WRONG “Asthma is caused by environmental factors”: Asthma is a disease that also has a genetic feature. The presence of asthma in the family increases the likelihood of asthma in children. In other words, if there is one of the parents, 30-35 percent of the children can also have asthma. If both parents have asthma, this rate increases to 70 percent in their children. Genetic predisposition in asthma patients develops under the influence of environmental factors.
5. FALSE: “Asthma patients cannot exercise”: Asthma patients can do sports. In fact, asthma patients should be encouraged to do sports. Because sport is necessary for all bodily well-being and muscles. Only cold weather, deep diving and high jumping sports such as parachute are not recommended. Among these examples are people with asthma who have achieved very high sports achievements.
6. FALSE: “Asthma patients should stop their medication during pregnancy”: Asthma patients tend to stop their medication immediately during pregnancy. This is not a desired situation. On the contrary, asthma medications should never be stopped during pregnancy. Discontinuation of the drug may lead to worsening of asthma, breathing problems, thus lack of oxygen to the baby and some anomalies such as growth retardation in the baby, premature birth, low birth weight and non-development of the lungs. There are asthma medications that can be used safely during pregnancy. During this period, expectant mothers should definitely stay in contact with their physicians who follow their asthma disease.
7. WRONG: “Asthma patients cannot give birth normally”: Expectant mothers with asthma do not necessarily have to give birth by cesarean section. Pregnant women with asthma can deliver normally. The type of delivery is decided together with the physician who follows it.
8. FALSE: “Asthma medications should be discontinued during the coronavirus period”: Just as medications are not stopped during pregnancy, asthma medications should not be stopped during the Covid-19 period. Asthma patients should definitely take their treatments regularly. Although it is known that asthma is not a risk factor in terms of getting coronavirus, according to the one-year data accumulation of the pandemic; It should not be forgotten that asthma patients whose asthma is not under control and who do not take their medications regularly have a higher risk of having Covid-19 infection and dying.
9. FALSE: “Asthma medications containing cortisone show side effects”: There is a fear of cortisone among the public. Asthma treatment is started with a spray called inhaler device. Since drugs can be administered in very small doses with these devices, especially drugs containing cortisone are used in this way. When used properly and regularly, the effects of cortisone through inhalation such as weight gain, cataract, and appetite increase are not observed. Only improperly used inhaler drugs can cause hoarseness and thrush in the mouth.
10. FALSE: “Asthma drugs are addictive”: Since it is a chronic disease, asthma patients need to receive continuous treatment. If blood pressure patients are not dependent on how they take the medication, the drugs used by asthma patients are not addictive.