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If you have asthma, you should avoid leading an active lifestyle – this is FALSE and a common myth! Having asthma or being asthmatic should not be an excuse to stop leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

Much of asthma treatment is grounded on prevention. With proper management and compliance to treatment, asthma can be well controlled, allowing those with the condition to lead a quality life.

This was advice provided the Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Asthma: How it affects the airway

Asthma can be well controlled and may even go into remission with proper management and treatment. The goal lies in understanding how your airway is affected by asthma (see diagram below).

How asthma affects the airway.There are many professional athletes who are asthmatic, but that has not deterred them from participating and winning in national and international sporting events. A study by the University of Western Australia has shown that asthma is the most common chronic condition in Olympic athletes with eight per cent of them suffering from it.

If you would like to start exercising, check with your doctor which are the activities that would suit you; for example, low-impact activities such as walking or swimming. Maintaining an active lifestyle is also beneficial to those with asthma. And always bring your medications along with you!

Apart from being unable to exercise, here are other common myths and misconceptions about asthma.

Common myths about asthma

 Asthma myth 1Myth 1: Asthma goes away. You can grow out of it.

Fact: Asthma goes into remission in some children around puberty, but it often comes back. Sometimes, it returns when young adults start drinking alcohol. It is important to continue taking maintenance medications until your doctor tells you otherwise.

 Asthma myth 2Myth 2: Inhaled steroids are dangerous and affect the growth of children.

Fact: There is no proof that inhaled steroid impairs growth; in fact, children with poorly controlled asthma are shorter compared to those whose asthma is well controlled.

 Asthma myth 3Myth 3: People with asthma cannot exercise.

Fact: It is important to maintain an active lifestyle even if you have asthma. Start with low-impact activities, such as walking or swimming. Check with your doctor on the types of activities that would suit you. 

Looking for tips to better manage your asthma? Just click on the link!

Ref: N18