Uncovering asthma misconceptions this World Asthma Day

Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions

World Asthma Day (WAD) (May 5, 2021) is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA) (www.ginasthma.org), a World Health Organization collaborative organization founded in 1993. WAD is held each May to raise awareness of Asthma worldwide.

WHO recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. According to WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had Asthma globally and there were 417,918 deaths due to asthma at the global level in 2016.

Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes or exacerbations.
This year’s World Asthma Day theme is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”. The theme provides a call to action to address common widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent persons with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of this condition. Common misconceptions surrounding asthma include:

  1. Asthma is a childhood disease; individuals will grow out of it as they age.
  2. Asthma is infectious.
  3. Asthma sufferers should not exercise.
  4. Asthma is only controllable with high dose steroids.

The Truth is:

  1. Asthma can occur at any age (in children, adolescents, adults and elderly).
  2. Asthma is not infectious. However, viral respiratory infections (such as common cold and the flu) can cause asthma exacerbations. In children asthma is frequently associated with allergy and worsening of symptoms are frequently associated with viral infections, however, asthma which starts adulthood is less often allergic and may be more difficult to control.
  3. When asthma is well controlled, asthma subjects are able to exercise and even perform top sport.
  4. Most asthmatics can attain control with low dose inhaled steroids.