Facts and Fables of Asthma to take your Breath Away!

While May is typically known for Worker’s Day and Mother’s Day, a lesser-known day of significance in May is World Asthma Day. For those who don’t know, World Asthma Day falls on the 4th of May, which all the Sci-Fi fans out there know more commonly as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!). Perhaps that’s why Darth Vader’s breathing was so heavy.

World Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to help raise asthma awareness, treatment, and care worldwide. Since asthma hugely impacts people’s lives, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are very keen to jump on board with the GINA initiative by discussing the facts and fiction of the condition.

First things first, what is asthma? Asthma is a condition in which someone’s airways become inflamed, narrow, and swell, producing more mucus. These make breathing difficult, triggers coughing, shortness of breath, and/or wheezing.

Asthma is included in the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMB) regulations, which means that all Medical Schemes can cover this condition subject to the approval of the diagnostic treatment and Chronic Disease List as per the Medical Aid plan type that you are covered.

Moving onto the facts and fiction of this condition, below are a few True and False questions to help improve asthma awareness and knowledge:

1. Asthma is only a childhood disease.

False. Asthma symptoms can appear at any age. Asthma that develops in later life is called adult-onset asthma.

2. Smoking affects asthma.

True. Smoking is a serious trigger for people with asthma. This includes not only direct smoking but also second-hand and third-hand smoke.

3. Asthma is infectious.

False. Asthma is not infectious. However, certain viral respiratory infections that are infectious, such as the common cold and flu, can trigger an asthmatic attack.

4. People with asthma cannot exercise.

False. Research suggests that regular physical activity can improve lung function and the overall fitness of people with asthma. Exercise can only trigger an asthma attack if the physical activity is too strenuous or if the individual does not control or monitor their asthma properly.

  1. Asthma is often hereditary.

True. A person’s inherited genes predisposes them to having asthma.

  1. People can stop their medication once their symptoms subside.

False. There is no cure for asthma. People with asthma typically have an underlying inflammation. Therefore, medication needs to be continued to avoid exacerbation. In other words, people with asthma need to remain on their medications to reduce the possibility of increasing the severity of asthma triggers and symptoms.

It is important to note that the information provided in this article is purely for educational purposes and is, therefore, not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or require any health advice, you will need to consult a healthcare professional. However, if it is assistance with any Medical Insurance/ Medical Aid that you are looking for, we can help you! Contact a PBA broker today.

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