With the prevalence of conditions like asthma or diabetes, there is a lot of misinformation about these common ailments. Then the question is posed, “How much do you really know about asthma?” Some of the facts may surprise you. Here are just as few things that the pop culture and the media leave out whenever they depict this common lung condition.

Not Always Huffing and Puffing

Some people have what’s known as cough-variant asthma, and it causes dry, persistent coughs instead of the traditional wheezing and shortness of breath. Ask your doctor about cough-variant asthma if you suspect that the tickle in your throat is from more than just a cold or if it has lasted for longer than 2 weeks. This type of asthma is sometimes brought on by allergens or cold air. Even some types of drugs can aggravate this type of condition.

Caused by Environmental Factors

Many people think of asthma as a genetic condition, and while it can have roots in your family tree, it can also develop from things like swimming pool chlorine, repeated exposure to traffic pollution or general poor air quality. Parents, be careful with your children and their exposure to environmental hazards and make sure that your neighborhood is observing safe air best practices.

Multiple Types of Medication

There’s more to managing asthma than whipping out an inhaler whenever you’re feeling light-headed. For example, there’s a difference between “rescue” medication that acts quickly and “controller” medication that works in a slower, more preventative way. You’ll need to talk to your doctor to figure out which is right for you.

Doesn’t End Physical Activity

A common misconception about asthma sufferers is that they shouldn’t be allowed to play sports or exert themselves for fear of triggering their asthma. The truth, however, is that many people with asthma enjoy all of the things they did before. They just have to moderate their activity and adjust their medication as necessary.

Treatment Plans Need to be Re-evaluated Regularly

Your environment can improve. Your medication can stop working. There are many reasons why yesterday’s treatment plan might not be right for you today, so it’s important to get yourself evaluated 1–2 times a year. You can consult with a doctor, allergist or anyone who has received a bachelors in respiratory therapy online.

Unrelated Conditions can Affect You

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with eczema or hay fever, you could be at an increased risk for asthma. Many people are surprised to learn this because eczema and hay fever aren’t respiratory conditions, but they have a proven link to asthmatic reactions and allergies. It’s just one of those things.

If you have any questions or concerns about the information listed here, talk to a licensed medical professional.