“Asthma is a recurring inflammatory disorder in the airways of breathing, which undergoes variable expiratory flow and reversible bronchoconstrictions. In people with asthma, the airways are chronically inflamed. Certain triggers can make the inflammation worse and cause a narrowing of the airways”, shares Dr. Melvin Pasay, a pulmonologist and Medical Affairs Manager of GSK.
Common symptoms include constant wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing – often late at night or early in the morning. Asthma can be triggered by dust, changes in weather (often cold weather), animals (pet hair in particular), exercise, tobacco smoke and stress.
If you have been reading up on asthma online, you should know that not everything on the Internet is true. Here are some myths that you should forget right away.
5 Asthma Myths that You Should Forget
5. Eating geckos cures asthma.
Some asthmatics dry and cook lizards or geckos and then eat them with hopes of curing their asthma because there are some claims that these animals have a powerful enzyme that can stop or cure tumor cells and treat asthma. There are no studies or medical research that supports this myth, though.
4. People can outgrow asthma.
Though there are many people who say that they outgrew asthama, this claim is actually false. Asthma symptoms merely improve during adolescence and adulthood.
Photo from Medscape.com
3. Allergies have nothing to do with asthma.
Inflamed airways in people who have asthma are more sensitive to allergens and allergens are common asthma triggers. According to recent studies, more than 50% of asthma cases in the USA are linked to allergies. Common allergens include cats, pollen, mold and dust mites.
Photo from peqtwp.org
2. People with asthma shouldn’t exercise.
Regular exercise can actually improve lung function, help maintain a healthy weight-reducing asthma risk and help breathe easier.
1. Asthma medicine should only be consumed during an attack.
People who have mild, moderate and severe persistent asthma need a daily long-term controller medicine, usually an inhaled corticosteroid, to control inflammation and minimize asthma attacks.
In celebration of World Asthma Day, an annual event organized by the “Global Initiative for Asthma” (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world, GSK Philippines unveils the “ASTHMAlaya Ka Ba Talaga?” campaign, a disease awareness initiative that also seeks to encourage asthma patients to be more proactive in consulting their doctors on how they can achieve asthma control.
So, how do you know if you need asthma control? It’s easy: if you are an asthma patient who experiences daytime asthma symptoms (coughing or wheezing) more than twice a week, wakes up at night due to asthma, uses an asthma reliever more than twice a week or has any activity limitations due to asthma, you may have uncontrolled asthma and need to immediately consult your doctor.
The celebration was joined by advocates from the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) and the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Inc. (PSAAI) who are one with the advocacy of furthering awareness and urgency among patients to consult their doctors for proper asthma control. As Dr. Pasay profoundly put it, “Our message is clear; “You don’t have to serve a life sentence of limitations because of Asthma, be in control and be ASTHMALAYA!”