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Myths about asthma (May 5, World Asthma Day)


Due to the 5th May World Asthma Day, the Turkish TORAKS Association made a statement and made important statements within the scope of the theme “Known Wrongs in Asthma”.

While the continuity and regular progress of the treatment is important in asthma disease, false beliefs such as that drugs cause addiction and weight gain reduce the success of the treatment. Within the scope of GARD (Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases) Turkey, with the cooperation of the Turkish Ministry of Health General Directorate of Public Health, Turkish Thoracic Society and the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association, the society and health While organizing training and awareness meetings for its employees, a different theme specific to that year is determined. This year, events are organized with the theme of “Known Wrongs in Asthma” due to the World Asthma Day.

While the continuity and regular progress of the treatment is important in asthma disease, false beliefs such as that drugs cause addiction and weight gain reduce the success of the treatment.

The common misconceptions and correct information about asthma in our society are as follows;

• Asthma is a childhood illness; The idea that it will disappear over time is wrong and asthma can occur at any age (in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly). Although some of the children with asthma grow up, they continue without complaints, but not all of them recover.

• Asthma can be thought of as a contagious infection, but asthma is not a contagious infection. Especially viral respiratory infections (eg cold and flu) can cause asthma attacks.

• It is wrong to think that all asthmatics have allergies, and about half of asthmatics have allergies. While asthma in children is usually associated with allergies, adult onset asthma is less frequently associated with allergies.

• If the thought that asthmatics should not exercise is not correct and the disease is well controlled, asthmatics can exercise and even do heavy sports.

• The thought that asthma can only be controlled with high dose cortisone is not true, asthma can usually be controlled with low-medium dose inhaled cortisone.

• The idea that asthma medicines are addictive is wrong, and none of the medicines used in the treatment of asthma have an addictive effect. In other words, withdrawal symptoms do not occur when the medicines are stopped. Even if the patient has no complaints, asthma is a chronic disease, so it may be necessary to use asthma medicines for a long time under the supervision of the physician.

As a result, asthma is a disease that can be controlled with treatment. Informing patients and society is important for the control of the disease in order to eliminate false information that may affect or reduce the patient’s compliance with the treatment, in other words, to eliminate the wrong known mistakes.

“WRONG INFORMATION PREVENT THE TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE”

In the statement, which pointed out that asthma is a disease that can be controlled with treatment, “It is important to inform patients and society in order to eliminate false information that may affect and reduce the patient’s compliance with treatment, in other words, in terms of disease control.”

ATTENTION TO USE UNNECESSARY DISINFECTANT!

It was stated that the risk of severe Covid-19 infection and death does not increase in patients with asthma under control, while drawing attention to the danger of using disinfectants, “In patients with asthma under control, the risk of severe infection and death has not increased. However, the risk of severe Covid-19 infection is increased in those whose asthma is not under control and who have a history of hospitalization due to a recent asthma attack.

It is important to use the treatments recommended for asthma correctly and regularly. As in the whole society, patients with asthma should follow the infection control recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey on hygiene strategies and the use of personal protective equipment. It should be kept in mind that excessive use of disinfectants may increase asthma complaints and care should be taken at this point. Hand washing may be preferred instead of frequent use of disinfectants ”.

WHAT IS ASTHMA DISEASE AND WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that occurs as a result of narrowing of the airway wall due to a non-microbial type of inflammation in the intrapulmonary airways. Asthma manifests itself with symptoms such as recurrent and episodic shortness of breath, wheezing / wheezing / whistling sound when breathing, feeling of pressure in the chest and cough.

CAN ASTHMA BE TREATED?

There is no drug treatment anywhere in the world that can completely eliminate asthma. The aim of asthma treatment is to control the complaints of the disease and to continue the patient’s life as close to normal. With appropriate medication, asthma symptoms can be controlled.

Asthma treatment is carried out according to the recommendations in the guideline, which is prepared with the participation of national and international experts and renewed every year. The most important innovation in the international and national asthma guideline is the recommendation that rescue drugs should be taken together with inhaled cortisone, which is the main therapeutic drug, instead of using them alone in the treatment of asthma attacks. All kinds of drugs and materials recommended to be used for the treatment and follow-up of asthma in the world are available in our country. With appropriate medication, most of the asthmatics can continue their daily life, including work and school, without any restrictions related to the cause of the illness.

Most of the asthma medications are the drugs used by inhalation, and in this way they produce the desired therapeutic effect directly in the airways with fewer side effects. There are many different types of inhalation devices used for asthma treatment. The correct use of these devices is very important for effective treatment. When starting treatment, the way of using these devices should be shown to the patients.

WHAT SHOULD ASTHMA PATIENTS DO TO KEEP ASTHMA UNDER CONTROL?

Factors that make asthma control difficult include not using drugs with the correct technique and regularly, as well as exposure to specific or general triggers such as allergens, infection, cigarette smoke and chemicals. Studies have shown that patients’ use of their medications as recommended by their physicians, quitting smoking and losing weight of obese patients, healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise, keeping the breathing air clean facilitates the control of asthma.

Unfortunately, sometimes difficulties are experienced in controlling asthma due to some wrong opinions of patients and society.

This year, on World Asthma Day, it is aimed to explain the “Mistakes in Asthma”. This theme is a call to identify common rumors and misconceptions about asthma that prevent asthmatic patients from enjoying the advances in the treatment of this disease with peace of mind.

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