Bronchial asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases. According to WHO reports, there are about 235 million people with asthma in the world, and about 300 thousand die from this disease every year. However, the high prevalence of the disease does not mean that we all know about it. Myths and rumors about bronchial asthma interfere with proper diagnosis and timely treatment. MedAboutMe publishes expert opinions. Find out whether bronchial asthma always means allergies, whether bronchitis and ARVI are necessary to lead to the development of the disease, and who most often suffer from asthma.
Myth One: Asthma – a disease of children.
It cannot be argued that this myth is completely fictional. In fact, bronchial asthma most often develops in children. A wave-like course of the disease is noted: with the onset of puberty, manifestations subside, and later, in adulthood, may recur due to respiratory infections of the lower respiratory tract, during stress, in women after childbirth and during menopause. The sharp onset of bronchial asthma in middle age usually indicates the primary episodes of the disease in childhood, possibly undiagnosed in time.
However, there are options for a later manifestation of the disease. So, in older people, asthma is observed, caused by the accumulation of changes in bronchial tissue under the influence of external conditions. Therefore, it is impossible to say that asthma is a purely children’s disease.
Myth two: bronchial asthma is always accompanied by allergies.
But the mandatory link asthma and allergies – a myth. Although most often disease and occurs on the background of allergic reactions, but doctors identify five forms of asthma, and only one of them allergy – Mandatory part of the symptom complex. For example, allergy has nothing to do with the occurrence of late asthma.
Myth three: the psychosomatic nature of the disease.
There are many reasons for asthma, but pulmonologists and allergists are engaged in the treatment of this disease. And although anxiety or stress may in some cases lead to an asthmatic attack, it is fundamentally wrong to call a heterogeneous psychosomatic illness, as well as trying to treat it with a neurologist, psychologist or psychiatrist.
Myth Four: Asthma – a consequence of undertreated bronchitis, acute respiratory infections, SARS
As in the case of allergies, the myth is true, but only partially. Not always bronchial asthma recovering from the background of frequent bronchitis or colds. Although in rare cases, in comparison with other causes of the disease, cases of frequent diseases of the respiratory organs can provoke a receptor reaction that triggers the onset of the so-called asthma of physical exertion: attacks of cough and difficult breathing during exercise.
Myth Five: hereditary predisposition
This, unfortunately, is not a myth, but the truth. The incidence of asthma is higher in children whose parents suffered from this disease. And if both parents are sick, the probability that asthma will develop in a child is very high. And the firstborn suffers most often : in subsequent children, for reasons that have not yet been identified, the chances of being healthy are much higher.
Myth Six: It is better not to take drugs for asthma, as they are addictive.
Common and very harmful myth. Although some patients can stop an attack with various respiratory techniques, it is absolutely impossible to rely only on self-help, especially during severe stages of the disease. Medicines do not cause the development of dependence, the active substance does not enter the bloodstream, but affects the walls of the bronchi.
The attachment of many patients to inhalers can be understood: the beginning attack or his presentiment (some attacks are accompanied by “aura”, preliminary signs) cause heightened anxiety and panic. The presence of an inhaler with an anti-asthma drug helps reduce anxiety, provides a sense of security, and the drug relieves symptoms. Medicines also help to control the development of the disease, reduce the likelihood of increasing symptoms in response to exposure to external factors.
To fear the use of drugs in asthma is not necessary. But only a specialist should deal with their selection and control of effectiveness; self-medication is unacceptable.
Myth Seven: the use of medicines means that the disease is under control
This is both true and myth. Experienced pulmonologists know that simply prescribing an effective agent for a given patient is not enough. It is also important to choose the right, suitable for a particular patient device and train it to use.
Among the various types of inhalers in the treatment of asthma, the most common nebulizer types and powder sprays. The use of nebulizers is justified in patients who find it difficult to take a deep breath or who, due to age or other features, cannot control the respiratory movements. So, most often nebulizers are used in the treatment of debilitated patients, the elderly and toddlers.
A solution of drugs is charged into the nebulizer, and when inhaling the air-droplet mixture gets into the bronchi. The use of powder inhalers requires control of the force of inhalation, so that the drug goes to the point of effective exposure, to the lower respiratory tract. With inadequate inhalation depth, the drug is deposited in the mouth and throat, which significantly reduces the effect of the use of the inhaler.
Myth Eight: bronchial asthma – an incurable disease
To understand how this myth corresponds to the truth or disproves it, it is necessary to separate the “everyday” meaning of the word “cure” and medical. So, most often, non-specialists understand healing as the complete recovery of the body from the disease, as, for example, with influenza or ARVI. In this sense, bronchial asthma is a chronic and incurable disease.
In a medical sense, an effective therapy for a chronic disease may mean that the patient is able to live a full life with a duration and conditions equal to the opportunities of a healthy person. If you choose the right drugs and methods of their introduction, to engage in the prevention of the development of the disease, then you can talk about long-term remission, which will be equivalent to the state of full health.