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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Asthma Management

Contact the Florida Asthma Program

  • You can manage your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma episode, avoiding your triggers, and taking your medicine exactly the way, your doctor has prescribed. Monitoring your breathing and taking your medications every day will help you control asthma over the long term. You may still need emergency medications during an asthma flare. When you control your asthma: You can decrease symptoms such as wheezing or coughing
  • You can reduce your hospital and emergency department visits
  • You can lessen absences to school or work
  • You can participate in physical activities

Ten Asthma Myths and Facts

  1. Myth: No one dies from asthma.                                                        Fact:  Asthma accounts for more than 3,500 deaths in the U.S. every year. Daily, 10 people die due to asthma.
  2. Myth: Asthma is a rare disease.                                                              Fact:  Asthma is a very common illness, affecting 19 million adults and more than 6 million children in the U.S.
  3. Myth: The inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) that are taken for asthma can be dangerous and can cause permanent damage.                          Fact:  There is no evidence of any permanent damage from ICS. The most common side effects seen with ICS use are hoarse voice or the development of thrush, which can be prevented by rinsing your mouth right after using the medication.
  4. Myth: If you have asthma, you should only take medicine when you do not feel well.                                                                                     Fact: Patients should take long-term control medicine daily, even when there are no symptoms. These long-term medications (ICS) decrease inflammation, reduce the frequency and severity of asthma flares, and minimize the use of quick-relief medicines.
  5. Myth: There is nothing you can do to make your asthma better.            Fact:  There are different ways to control asthma control, such as reducing exposure to triggers, take medications as prescribed, and communicate with your healthcare provider.
  6. Myth: Most asthma episodes occur suddenly, without warning.      Fact: There are usually early warning signs before an asthma episode. Carefully monitor your symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, waking up at night coughing, or wheezing.
  7. Myth: People with asthma must stay indoors and not exercise.        Fact:  Everyone benefits from exercising, including people with asthma. However, cold air and exercise can induce an asthma episode in some people. You could prevent this by following your doctor’s recommendations taking your prescribed medication before exercising.
  8. Myth: It’s not asthma, it’s just allergies.                                            Fact: It’s true that asthma is very often caused by reaction to environmental triggers, buy it is dangerous to ignore asthma symptoms as “just allergies.”. Someone experiencing chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing, probably has asthma and not allergies.
  9. Myth: Asthma is an emotional problem, and you can make up your mind not to have it.                                                                           Fact:  Asthma involves changes to the airways in your lungs, which may be irreversible if the condition is not treated. Emotional triggers, like stress and strong emotions, can aggravate your asthma.
  10. Myth: You will outgrow asthma.                                                           Fact:  Asthma episodes are acute (short-term), but the disease itself is a chronic (long-term) condition. Some people go days, weeks or years without an asthma flare. However, asthma can may have created changes in the airways, therefore there is always a risk for future asthma episodes, especially if you have developed a new allergy to a trigger that did not caused any reactions in the past.