Asthma, which manifests itself with narrowing of the airways and progresses with attacks, is a very common disease in the world and in our country. If problems such as shortness of breath, dry cough, feeling of pressure in the chest, wheezing or wheezing that develop with attacks in asthma, which is a chronic disease, cannot be controlled, the quality of life can decrease seriously and the patient may die. So, what erroneous thoughts complicate the lives of asthma patients? Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu, Chest Specialist at Acıbadem International Hospital told about 10 incorrect information about asthma that is believed to be true in the society and made important suggestions and warnings.
About 4 million people in our country are struggling with asthma. Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu, Chest Specialist at Acıbadem International Hospital pointed out that asthma attacks, which can be seen at almost any age, can actually be kept under control with correct and regular treatment, and said, “Some erroneous information about asthma in the society can cause patients to delay their treatment. For this reason, it is very important for the patient to have information about the disease in order for the follow-up and treatment of asthma to be carried out properly.”
-Asthma is a progressive disease. WRONG!
The truth: Unlike COPD, asthma is less likely to progress over time. Asthma can be brought under full control, especially with the use of the right medication and regular follow-up of the physician. Emphasizing that a very small number of patients can have a negative course despite the correct use of inhaler drugs, Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu, Chest Specialist at Acıbadem International Hospital, said that these patients often have to use cortisone by mouth or in the form of injections.
-Asthma occurs only in people with an allergic constitution. WRONG!
The truth: Contrary to popular belief, not all asthmatics are allergic. In 30-40 percent of asthma patients, asthma develops due to non-allergic factors called ‘non-allergic asthma’. Due to factors such as frequent respiratory tract infections, exposure to occupational and environmental harmful factors, hypersensitivity in the airways occurs in these people, and asthma may develop as a result.
-Asthmatic patients cannot do sports. WRONG!
The truth: There is a widespread belief in society that patients with asthma cannot do sports and have to limit their activities. Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu, Chest Specialist stated that after the disease is taken under control, asthma patients can do all kinds of sports and continues as follows. “For example, swimming is a sport that is especially recommended for asthma because it works all the muscles in the body.”
-Asthma only makes you short of breath. WRONG!
The truth: Asthma can progress only with coughing, without shortness of breath in some patients. Underlining that cough variant asthma should come to mind in complaints of prolonged cough, Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu, Chest Specialist at Acıbadem International Hospital said, “In this type of asthma, cough complaints that usually wake up at night and increase with heavy odors such as exercise, cigarette smoke, perfume and the smell of food.”
-Asthma patients experience constant shortness of breath. WRONG!
The truth: Bülent Tutluoğlu, who gave the information that “the most important feature of asthma is that it causes variable airway obstruction”, said, “Therefore, the information that asthma patients constantly have shortness of breath is not correct. Sometimes, an asthma patient who has no complaints for weeks or even months may start to develop asthma symptoms, usually as a result of a viral infection or exposure to a large amount of allergen. Severe asthmatics, who make up 5% of all asthma patients, may experience problems such as constant shortness of breath and cough. In 95% of the patients, the symptoms are seen intermittently.”
-Asthma that occurs in childhood continues throughout life. WRONG!
The truth: Asthma is a disease that is more common in men in childhood and in women in adulthood. In asthma that occurs in childhood, the complaints can go away completely at certain age periods. For example, complaints may disappear in the age range of 6-7 years, when lung development matures. If the complaints continue after this period, it can be observed that asthma complaints completely improve after adolescence, especially in boys.
-Asthma is not seen in advanced ages. WRONG!
The truth: Asthma usually begins in childhood and adolescence. However, this does not mean that asthma will not develop later in life. Asthma can start in the middle age period, as well as in the population over the age of 60, as a result of triggering the hypersensitive bronchi for any reason.
-Asthma medication is not used during pregnancy. WRONG!
The truth: Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu pointed out that a significant portion of asthma medications can be used during pregnancy, and said, “The fact that pregnant women with asthma have shortness of breath due to not using medication can stress the baby and cause him to be without oxygen. As a result, serious consequences such as miscarriage, premature birth and insufficient development of the baby can occur. Emphasizing that there is no harm in using cortisone and bronchial expander drugs taken by inhalation in asthma as much as the patient needs during pregnancy, Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu said, “If a pregnant woman with asthma has nasal complaints, nasal spray cortisone and antihistamine drops do not cause any problems. In pregnant women with more severe asthma, tablets or injections can also be applied to cortisone if necessary.”
-The drugs used in the treatment of asthma are harmful. WRONG!
The truth: Cortisone sprays used in the treatment of asthma mix into the blood at normal doses and do not cause any permanent side effects. Stating that side effects such as hoarseness and sores in the mouth may occur, especially in cases where the patient cannot rinse their mouth with water after using the drug, Prof. Dr. Bülent Tutluoğlu said, “The other group that can be found in asthma sprays is bronchodilator drugs. Side effects of these drugs, such as palpitations, tremors and muscle cramps, can be seen rarely. However, these side effects can go away with a short break from the drugs, and if they are continued, they start to decrease after a while.
-Going to places with good climate will cure asthma. WRONG!
The truth: Asthma, which is a chronic disease, can progress more severely in certain climate and weather conditions. Especially in areas with excessive humidity, polluted air due to traffic and industry, constitute an important problem in terms of asthma. In some of the asthma patients, the complaints improve even when these environmental factors are removed. However, this state of well-being is valid only as long as the patients stay in that area. When patients return to the city with air pollution, their complaints return to their former state in a very short time.