Asthma is a long term illness of the lungs that causes the airways to become inflamed and produce lots of mucus. Viral infections, cold air, allergens, exercise, and smoke make the airways “twitchy”; they close easily causing asthma attacks with coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath (see what is asthma). Between attacks the airways are inflamed (see what is an allergy).
Although asthma can be controlled (see how to control asthma) by using regular controller medication, many patients continue to have poor control causing troublesome symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath, problems effecting daily life at school or work and visits to emergency rooms.
Most people’s problems with poor control are not because they’ve been prescribed the wrong medications, but because they are not taking them as often as they should, are not using them the best way possible, or are continuing to expose themselves to trigger factors. This is often because they have listened to “old wives tales” about asthma. Here are some of the facts to counter those myths.