A US News & World Report contributor writes about the common myths surrounding asthma, such as the disease can be “outgrown,” and chihuahuas can help cure childhood asthma (something that appeared in medical journals as recently as the 1950s, according to the article).
1. MYTH: People will “outgrow” asthma.
This is a disturbing myth. Since many people with asthma believe it will go away on its own, they fail to control their condition with proper treatment. It’s not uncommon for children with asthma to improve during adolescence and young adulthood but then re-develop symptoms as they get older. Over 7 percent of the adult population in the US 65 years of age and older have asthma.
2. MYTH: Nobody dies from asthma.
This myth also causes people with asthma to go without treatment and allow their symptoms to get worse. Unfortunately, asthma can kill. The good news is that research from last year showed that the rate of death from asthma fell from 2.1 to 1.2 per 100,000 people between 1999 and 2015. But those statistics mean more than 3,000 Americans died from asthma in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 18 million emergency department visits and almost 350,000 hospitalizations due to this condition that same year.