The Truth About Childhood Asthma

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Children with recurrent cough, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath may have one or more forms of asthma. There are many causes of childhood asthma, but regardless the cause, childhood asthma can be prevented once parents and children understand what specifically triggers an asthma attack. Parents can help children to implement a treatment plan, and help children understand what triggers they should avoid so as to protect themselves.

Here are some myths about asthma we want to correct!


1. ASTHMA IS CONTAGIOUS.

False. Asthma is not contagious. However, asthma can be caused by hereditary or environmental factors.’

 

2. ASTHMA JUST INVOLVES THE LUNGS

 

There is a systemic (body-wide) inflammatory component of asthma and it may even start as a systemic disease. There is new evidence that metabolic syndrome, a condition when kids have high triglycerides (fats in their blood) and other factors like high blood sugar, contributes not just to diabetes and heart disease, but to asthma. This is why it’s important not just to focus on treating the lungs and airways but to make sure your child stays physically active and eats a healthy diet.

3. If you relax and don’t over-react every time you feel shortness of breath, then you won’t have an asthma attack.

Facts: For many people afflicted with asthma, it can feel similar to drowning. The smooth muscles around bronchial tubes tighten up and become inflamed, thus causing a further narrowing of the tubes. At the same time, the lungs produce excess mucus, filling up the narrowed spaces where air should be flowing. In turn, oxygen levels decrease in the blood. This indicates a biological reaction that isn’t allowing proper breathing and oxygenation in the body

 

4. PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA SHOULD AVOID PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.

Untrue. Physical activity can help keep lungs resilient. Don’t overdo the exercise, but don’t skip it completely either. Kids who take their medication on time and understand what to stay away from in terms of specific triggers can help keep their asthma under control while they play.

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5. ASTHMA CAN BE PREVENTED

Both true and false. Although one cannot prevent getting Asthma, symptoms and flairs can be reduced by being aware of environment. Many people have allergy induced Asthma so it is important that they take their regular allergy medication and reduce allergens in their surroundings. People can also have reflux induced Asthma, so they should be taking their regular reflux medication to reduce any potential asthma attacks.