Asthma Facts and Myths

General Asthma Facts and False Truths/Myths

  • Fact: Most cases of asthma can be controlled if you follow your asthma treatment plan, avoid asthma triggers and treat allergies.
  • Fact: Coughing can be a sign of poor asthma control. Tell your doctor if you have a daily cough. Your doctor can help fix it.
  • Fact: Realistic asthma goals are: No coughing/wheezing. No shortness of breath. No night symptoms. Normal activity. No work absences.
  • False Truth/Myth: Asthma is all in your mind. Fact: Asthma is real. It takes place in the airways and lungs, not in the mind. Emotions, such as stress, crying, yelling or laughing hard, can act as asthma triggers causing already existing asthma to flare up or become worse.
  • False Truth/Myth: Asthma symptoms are the same for everyone. Fact: Asthma can affect each person differently. One person may show a lot of symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, and fatigue, while someone else may only cough. You should know what your asthma symptoms are so you can get help quickly.
  • False Truth/Myth: I will always have asthma symptoms. Fact: The goals of treatment includes preventing daily symptoms and asthma flares. If you take your medicine as prescribed and avoid common asthma trigger, many people have little to no symptoms.
  • False Truth/Myth: When I feel fine and have no symptoms it’s because my asthma has gone away. Fact: Not true. You still have asthma even when you feel fine and have no symptoms.
  • Myth: People with asthma can’t get the flu shot. Fact: We recommend a yearly flu shot for all people with asthma.


Allergies & Triggers

  • Fact: Regular treatment of allergies and sinus disease can help prevent asthma attacks.
  • Fact: Treating allergies and heart burn can help you feel better. Talk to your doctor if you have allergy symptoms or heart burn.
  • Fact: Strategies to control allergies and asthma triggers are…
    • Dust covers on mattress and pillows
    • Wash bedding weekly in hot water
    • Vacuum weekly
    • Control pests
    • Stop smoking
    • Do not let others smoke around you
    • Nasal steroids- (Flonase, Nasacort, Nasonex, etc.)
    • Allergy pills (Singulair, Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, etc.)
    • Nasal irrigation (Netty pot, Neil Sinus Rinse)
    • Allergy shots


Exercise & Activity

  • False Truth/Myth: People with asthma shouldn’t exercise. Fact: Regular exercise can improve lung function and help you breathe easier.
  • Fact: People with asthma can exercise if they follow their treatment plan set by their doctor, take their daily controller medicines and take rescue medicine before being active.



  • Fact: Only 2 out of 100 people can quit smoking on their own! Ask your doctor for help quitting because smoking can worsen asthma.



  • How long does it take for steroid inhalers to start working? Daily steroid inhalers can take up to 4 weeks to start working? That’s why we recommend that you take it EVERY DAY.
  • What are signs that you may need a stronger inhaler? You are using your rescue inhaler (albuterol)  2 or more times a week; you have night time symptoms 2 or more times a month.; or you have asthma attacks 2 times a year.
  • False Truth/Myth: Asthma medicines are addictive. Fact: Asthma medicines are NOT addictive but asthma is a chronic disease so long-term use of medicine is common.
  • False Truth/Myth: The steroids used to treat asthma are the same as the steroids used by athletes to get bigger and stronger. Fact: Not true
  • Myth: Nebulizers are the best way to take asthma medicines. Fact: Not true. Medicine given by inhaler with a spacer is just as effective.
  • False Truth/Myth:  Steroids used in asthma are dangerous. Fact: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) as the preferred treatment for persistent asthma. When used at recommended doses for most patients, the benefits of ICS outweigh the risks. These steroids are NOT the same as the anabolic steroids some athletes use to build muscle.
  • False Truth/Myth: I can stop taking my medicine when I feel good and don’t have any problems breathing. Fact: You are feeling well because your daily asthma medication is working. You should only stop quick relief medicine (albuterol) when you are feeling well.
  • What are signs that you may need less asthma medicine? You use your rescue inhaler a few times a month and you have little to no asthma symptoms.
  • False Truth/Myth: If I take my asthma medicine every day, it will stop working. Fact: Some medicines only work when you take them every day and others should be taken when you have symptoms.


Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

    For the latest information see:

COVID-19 Risk in Asthma

    • People with asthma may have a higher risk of getting very sick from the new coronavirus also called COVID-19.
    • COVID-19 can affect your nose, throat and lungs. It can cause an asthma attack. You can develop pneumonia and be admitted to the hospital.

COVID-19 Treatment

    • There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
    • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Preparing for COVID-19

    • Stock up on supplies such as food, cold medicine, and household items.
    • Avoid crowds and people who are sick. We recommend 6 feet away.
    • Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk.
    • If someone is sick in your home, have them stay away from the rest of the household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in your home. Avoid sharing personal items such as cups and towels.

Asthma Action Plan for COVID-19

    • Take your asthma medication as prescribed.
    • Talk to your health care provider, insurance company, and pharmacist about getting an emergency supply of prescription medications. Ask for a 90 day supply.
    • Avoid asthma triggers such as smoke, pollen, mold, dust, harsh fumes, animal dander and pests.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Avoid disinfectants that have harsh smells that can trigger your asthma.
    • As more cases of COVID-19 are discovered, it is natural for some people to feel concerned or stressed. Strong emotions can trigger an asthma attack. Take steps to cope with stress and anxiety.

Sick with COVID-19

    • If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Coping with Disaster

    • How to cope with disaster?
    • Take care of your body
    • Connect with others
    • Take breaks
    • Stay informed
    • Avoid too much exposure to news
    • Seek help when needed- talk to clergy, counselor, doctor, or call 1-800-985-5990.