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2 Asthma Myths Debunked

 House Call Doctor takes on 2 popular myths about asthma.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD
1-minute read

The 2 most popular “facts” about asthma are: 

1. Asthma is only developed in childhood

2. The only symptom of asthma is wheezing 

Both of these statements are false. Here’s why:

While it’s true that most people nowadays get diagnosed with asthma in childhood, adults can develop similar forms of it later in life, especially if they are smokers or have been exposed to certain chemicals in the air through their work or environment. 

Secondly, while asthma does cause wheezing, there are many people with asthma who will cough instead of wheeze.  When there are irritants in the air that people are sensitive to, like dog or cat hair, or simply during exercise for some, the upper lung airways become inflamed and tighten. This in turn can cause a cough. 

Diagnosing asthma is easily done with a special breathing test that your doctor can order, called a “pulmonary function test.”  An asthma inhaler can be prescribed to see if your cough goes away.

Inhaler image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

 

Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.