5 Most Common Asthma Myths

Along with the wealth of facts you can find about asthma today, there are also many asthma myths in circulation, making it important to recognize the difference. Please review five of the most common asthma myths and get the correct information you’ll need to protect your health every day. 

Asthma Myth 1:  Asthma is a psychological condition, not a physical disease.

Truth: Asthma is a chronic medical condition that occurs when your airways narrow and fill with excess mucus, making it difficult to move air and out of your lungs.  This can be caused by a variety of triggers, including allergies, illness and environmental factors, among other things.

If you already have asthma, then experiencing strong emotions, including laughing, crying and yelling, can also certainly make your symptoms worse, but keep in mind that these emotions didn’t actually cause the asthma in the first place. They just may help to trigger a condition that already exists.

Asthma Myth 2: I only need to use my asthma medications when I’m experiencing severe symptoms.

Truth: An effective strategy to successfully control your asthma often begins with taking your medication proactively to head off any complications before they begin. To this end, your doctor can help you to determine what you need to take and when. Many people take control medicines on a daily basis, along with a fast-acting relief inhaler to respond once the symptoms kick in.

Asthma Myth 3: People with asthma should avoid milk and other dairy products.

Truth: Many people believe that milk and other dairy products can cause increased mucus to form in your airways, thereby worsening your asthma symptoms. The fact is that some of the latest studies looking at the connection haven’t been able to confirm this link. Therefore, unless you have an allergy to cow’s milk, you should continue to include dairy products as part of your daily diet, since this is essential to your health and nutrition. Further, eliminating this food group can lead to a number of serious health problems.

Asthma Myth 4: Asthmatics shouldn’t engage in sports and other strenuous activities.

Truth: The reality is that exercise can actually help to improve your health and your wellbeing. Therefore, when your asthma is under control, you should be able to participate regularly in your favorite sports and activities. Further, many professional athletes have asthma and find that with proper care, this condition doesn’t stop them from reaching their goals and performing to their full ability. If you do  find that your symptoms are stopping you from the things you enjoy, you may need to work with your doctor to change your treatment plan.

Asthma Myth 5: Steroid medications used to treat asthma are the same as those used by body builders.

Truth: The corticosteroids using to manage asthma aren’t the same type of steroids that you see in the news that are illegally used by some athletes to bulk up and improve their performance. Asthma medications containing corticosteroids have been proven safe for long-term use and can make a significant difference in controlling symptoms and making you feel much better.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

National Asthma Council Australia

Sutter Health