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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Five myths about inhalers you should know

Fact: Inhalers have medication which not only relieves but also controls asthma in the long run.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
January 12, 2022 9:40:15 pm
inhaler, myths and facts about inhalers, asthma, asthma condition, asthma and inhaler, asthma treatments, myths vs facts about inhaler, lung inhaler, indian express newsAsthma is a long-term (chronic) condition that cannot be completely cured, be it by using inhalers or other recommended medications. (Photo: Pixabay)

In India, there are various stigmas attached to the use of inhalers, even though asthma is a chronic lung condition with prevalence of about 3 per cent (30 million patients) — 2.4 per cent in adults aged above 15 years, and between 4 per cent and 20 per cent in children.

Dr Vikas Mittal, associate director, pulmonology and sleep, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, says it is essential to help build awareness about inhalers as they form the most important way by which asthma is treated.

He debunks the following five inhaler myths; read on.

MYTH: Regular use of inhalers can be addictive

FACT: Asthma is a long-term disease which can be controlled with prescribed treatment in the form of inhalers. Asthma has no cure and so inhalers act as a lifeline for most asthmatic patients. Inhalers relieve patients for a short as well for long term; it is sometimes given as needed only for short term and sometimes given regularly to help you cope with your condition. It is like continuing medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or like needing spectacles for eyes throughout your life.

MYTH: Inhalers have steroids that can harm you

FACT: Many people link steroids to its harmful effects like stunted growth and weak bones etc. Inhalers have steroids in microgram doses (µg) i.e. 1,000 times less than milligram (mg) doses in oral steroids.

Also, inhalers are given directly into airways and not directly absorbed in the body so have minimal side effects rather than when they are given in the form of tablets. Steroids are integral in subsiding asthmatic symptoms, as asthma is an inflammatory disease. On the contrary, if steroids are not used to prevent asthma from worsening, it can affect the growth of children and lead to long-term problems.

MYTH: Oral medications are more effective than inhalers

FACT: Various studies and research show that oral medications are less effective since they take longer time to act during an asthma attack, while inhalers give medications directly to airways, thus providing immediate relief. In this way, we need less dose of medications and have less side effects. For example, a 2 mg tablet of asthalin is equivalent to 20 puffs of asthalin inhaler as each puff contains only 100 µg.

MYTH: Inhalers should only be used for severe cases of asthma

FACT: Inhalers have medication which not only relieves but also controls asthma in the long run. Asthma is a long-lasting chronic but a fully-controllable disease, which has no cure, and if not treated, it can become severe and uncontrollable. So inhalers, which are mainstay treatment for asthma, should be used regularly so that it does not turn into severe asthma.

MYTH: Asthma is curable

FACT: Asthma is a long-term (chronic) condition that cannot be completely cured, be it by using inhalers or other recommended medications. But, it is fully controllable and patients can live an absolutely normal life. The symptoms caused due to asthma may subside over a period of time and the medicines required can eventually reduce or stop, but it does not mean it has been cured. For patients whose asthma gets triggered after a long time of no medication intake, the next asthma attack can turn fatal. This is why it is advisable to continue taking or stopping medications (inhalers) per your doctor’s advice only.

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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