Asthma Myths: Swallowing Live Fish Cures Asthma!

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BY DR. P.P. Gupta, Chest Specialist

Myth: Asthma is an infectious disease

Asthma is not an infectious disease.  It does not spread from person to person. It occurs due to inflammation of the air passages that result in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs leading to asthma symptoms.

Myth: Asthma medicines are Habit-Forming

Medications used to treat asthma are not addictive; however, because asthma is a chronic disease, long-term use of medicine is often needed to manage the condition and prevent asthma attacks. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment, even when symptoms are well controlled.

Myth: Asthma medicine is only needed to stop an Attack

That depends. There are four categories of asthma: intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent. People who have mild, moderate or severe persistent asthma need a daily long-term controller medicine, usually an inhaled corticosteroid, to control inflammation and minimize asthma attacks.

Myth: Children with asthma will always get better with age

Asthma is a chronic, treatable condition that develops in childhood. It’s no longer considered a disease that children outgrow.  However, symptoms may improve during adolescence and adulthood.

Myth: Swallowing live fish can cure asthma

This is an unscientific and bizarre practice in many parts of the country where patients are made to gulp down the fish stuffed with a yellow herbal paste, in the hope it will help them breathe more easily. Not only is it unscientific but also unhygienic and baseless with no medical evidence of cure.

Myth: People with asthma shouldn’t exercise

Exercise is as important for people with asthma as it is for anyone else. With care or pretreatment, people with asthma can exercise normally and often vigorously. Slow warm-up and cool-down periods with exercise also helps to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm

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