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You Can't Exercise if You Have Asthma – And Other Myths You Should Know

ACAAI busts five myths for those with asthma

You Can’t Exercise if You Have Asthma – And Other Myths You Should Know

If you haveAsthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes where the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers." rel="tooltip">asthma, you may have heard some myths over the years about what it means to have your asthma controlled. But not everything you hear is necessarily true.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), asthma is a serious condition that affects more than 26 million Americans – more than 8 percent of the population. One of the biggest dangers with asthma is that so many people who have asthma think it’s well-controlled, when in reality, it is not. When people have good solid information about how to control their asthma and reduce symptoms, they are better able to live the kind of active lives they want

Below are five myths from ACAAI, along with the facts you need to know.

  1. You can “outgrow” your asthma– The truth is, there’s no cure for asthma. That said, there are ways to control your asthma and participate in all the activities you enjoy. Asthma doesn’t go away on its own, but your allergist will work with you to identify the things that trigger your asthma and then build a plan to help you avoid and manage those triggers. They may also prescribemedicationor, in some cases,过敏免疫疗法.
  2. If you have asthma, you shouldn’t exercise– If you’ve heard of David Beckham, Jackie Joyner Kersee or Jerome Bettis, you know there are elite athletes with asthma. They were all able to compete at either a professional or Olympic level because their asthma was controlled. Exercise makes your heart and lungs stronger and improves yourThe immune system is a collection of cells and proteins that works to protect the body from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms (microscopic life-forms), such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The immune system plays a role in the control of cancer and other diseases, but also is the culprit in the phenomena of allergies, hypersensitivity and the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues and medical implants." rel="tooltip">immune system. Some exercises that work particularly well for people with asthma are swimming, walking, hiking, and indoor and outdoor biking.
  3. Steroids used to treat asthma are the same ones athletes use to bulk up– Inhaled steroids used for asthma are not the same as anabolic steroids used to build muscle. The steroids used for the treatment of asthma areAnti-inflammatory drugs reduce the symptoms and signs of inflammation. Although not a drug, immunotherapy ("allergy shots") reduces inflammation in both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma." rel="tooltip">anti-inflammatory drugs, not hormones. Nasal steroid sprays are extremely effective, relatively inexpensive and don’t have many side effects. They are available in over-the-counter and prescription forms.
  4. Asthma medications are habit-forming and dangerous– There are many different asthma medications. Some are used regularly to prevent symptoms and others only when you have an asthma flare-up. As with all medications, you must consider the risks and benefits. None of the asthma medications used in the U.S. are habit-forming or addicting. They are not controlled substances. There may be concern with long-term use in children, as these medications can affect how fast a child grows. Available data doesn’t suggest an effect on final adult height, but children whose asthma is not well-controlled need their medications even if they may have decreased growth and be shorter than their peers.
  5. You can stop taking your medications if you feel good– Work with your allergist to determine what medications you should be on, and the dosage. It’s possible you’re feeling well because your controller medications are working. You should not be using quick-relief medications if your asthma is under control. Those should only be used in urgent situations when you’re having trouble breathing or as preparation before you exercise.

To find an allergist near you who can help create a personal plan to deal with your allergies and asthma, use theACAAI allergist locator.


The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administerImmunotherapy is a form of preventive and anti-inflammatory treatment of allergy to substances such as pollens, house dust mites, fungi, and stinging insect venom. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance, or allergen, to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, perhaps by causing production of a particular "blocking" antibody, which reduces the symptoms of allergy when the substance is encountered in the future." rel="tooltip">immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, Join us onFacebook,Pinterest,InstagramandTwitter.

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