Major Myths about Asthma and Allergies

By William E. Berger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Part of Asthma For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You encounter a lot of myths and misinformation about asthma and allergies. The untruths and misconceptions about asthma spread like pollen in springtime. The following list includes incorrect statements you should never fall for:

Moving to Arizona will cure my asthma and allergies. My friends and family say that my asthma is all in my
head.
I’ll try to drop by my doctor’s office for allergy shots when
it’s convenient for me. I don’t need to stick to a regular schedule
for immunotherapy.
A cat or dog with short hair is safer for my asthma than a
long-haired pet.
The only medication I’ll ever need for my asthma is a
quick-relief, over-the-counter (OTC) rescue inhaler such as
albuterol, Proventil, or Ventolin.
I don’t need to check with my doctor. I can just give my child
half an adult dose of my asthma or allergy medication.
Asthma is contagious. I get stomach cramps and diarrhea every time I drink milk, so I
must be allergic to it.
Nothing’s going to happen during the flight, so why bother
packing my asthma and allergy medications in my carry-on bag?
I can’t exercise because I have asthma. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is just a minor annoyance and
won’t cause any serious problems.
I’ll figure out how to use an epinephrine kit (for example,
EpiPen) when I need it.
I just have a recurring chest cold. I don’t need to check for
asthma.
I can take as many OTC medications as I want, because if I
don’t need a prescription for them, these products probably don’t
cause any side effects. Besides, my doctor didn’t prescribe them,
so it’s none of his or her business if I’m taking them.
I can’t do much to improve my asthma, so I’ll have to settle
for less and just live with my condition.
My children don’t need to be evaluated or treated for asthma
because they’ll outgrow it anyway.
I should stop taking all my allergy and asthma medication while
I’m pregnant.