Yesterday was a kind of a slow day at work so I decided to brush up on my asthma education. I found several debunked myths about asthma that I thought were interesting.
Myth: Children usually outgrow asthma
Reality: How asthma effects a patient varies throughout their lifespan. Even if the symptoms go away, the tendency towards asthma is still there and can flare-up with stress and triggers.
Myth:Asthma treatments don't work.
Reality: Newer treatments are actually very effective. But in order to be so you have to have proper inhaler technique, take your medications as prescribed and be aware of environmental changes.
Myth: Mild asthma doesn't require treatment.
Reality: Asthma is a chronic disease without a cure that should be taken seriously. Even if you usually don't have symptoms right now, it is important to take care of yourself to prevent flare-ups.
Myth: The best time to give a child an inhaler is when they are crying, because they get more medicine in the lungs that way.
Reality: If you give a child an treatment while they are crying most of it stays in the upper airways, not deeper in the lungs where it is needed most. It is best to wait until they are done crying.
Myth: Steroids aren't safe.
Reality: Inhaled corticosteroids are actually very safe, even for very young children. They are great for helping to control asthma.
Myth: If you can tough it out and not use your inhaler you're better off.
Reality: Going without your inhaler when you really need it does microdamage to your lungs which decreases your lung strength and capacity over time.
If you have asthma or your child has asthma, it is important to stay on top of it. Don't wait until it gets out of hand to act. Be persistent when giving medications to your child. If they know that it is important to you, eventually they will stop resisting. Don't make your child feel like their condition makes them weird, it's just a problem that they have that can be overcome.
If your child's medication isn't helping, they're having a hard time breathing, they can not walk, talk or play, they're lips are blue and or their peak flow is less than half their personal best, take them to the emergency room. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to the ER. The only other direction is downhill.
For more information about asthma go to intermountainhealthcare.org/asthma. This site has lots of information and it can refer you to more resources.