Myths An Asthmatic Person Should Avoid During Flu Season

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Myths An Asthmatic Person Should Avoid During Flu Season
Myths An Asthmatic Person Should Avoid During Flu Season

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Video: How do chest infections make asthma symptoms worse? | Asthma UK 2023, February
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Myths an asthmatic person should avoid during flu season

Anyone can get the flu or cold. But the cold season is especially dangerous for asthma patients. Despite the fact that the flu is extremely common, asthmatics often do not know how dangerous it is for them. Several persistent myths often prevent people from effectively protecting themselves. Let's figure out what is true and what is not.

Myths an asthmatic person should avoid during flu season
Myths an asthmatic person should avoid during flu season

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Anyone can get the flu or cold. But the cold season is especially dangerous for asthma patients. Despite the fact that the flu is extremely common, asthmatics often do not know how dangerous it is for them. Several persistent myths often prevent people from effectively protecting themselves.

Myth 1. Only allergens can cause asthma aggravation

The reason for this myth may be that a lot of attention is paid to the issue of combating allergens. While they really need to beware, they are not responsible for most of the flare-ups of asthma. Colds, including the flu, are more likely to worsen asthma. Cold and influenza viruses are among the leading causes of deterioration and death in asthma. Until recently, their role was underestimated, but now we know that respiratory infections provoke 85% of asthma attacks in children and at least 44% in adults.

Myth 2. With adequate treatment, the flu is not terrible for asthma

Strict adherence to the doctor's instructions really allows people with asthma to lead normal lives. People with asthma do not get the flu more often, but they are at risk of developing serious complications of the disease, including severe pneumonia. Asthma is the most common concomitant illness in hospitalized patients with influenza, and asthmatics with this infection are more likely to end up in intensive care. This happens, unfortunately, regardless of how effective asthma treatment has been in the past.

Myth 3. Vaccination against influenza can exacerbate the disease

This is a myth based on the fear that vaccination may intensify any allergic disease. In addition, some people still fear that they might get the flu when vaccinated. Asthma patients do not usually rush to get vaccinated. For example, according to American data, two-thirds of asthmatics do not get vaccinated.

A recent review by the Cochrane Fellowship, which is recognized as the best source of information, argues that influenza vaccination does not increase the risk of worsening asthma. Another large study of 12,000 people showed that getting the flu shot did not worsen the course of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Several studies have shown that the influenza vaccine did not exacerbate asthma, even in people who are allergic to egg white (a component of the vaccine).

Myth 4. Vaccination still won't help

Many have heard that influenza vaccination does not provide 100% protection against illness. This can lead to the expectation that the vaccine will not have any effect on asthma symptoms either. Science says it isn't. After vaccination, you can really get sick. But a recent study found that those vaccinated with flu are 59-78% less likely to go to the doctor and go to the hospital for an exacerbation of asthma.

There is also debate as to whether vaccination relieves asthma symptoms in those who do not get the flu. Despite the fact that many studies support this, the question remains open.

What else?

Other ways to prevent influenza should not be forgotten. You can learn about them, for example, from our material. You also need to ask your doctor if vaccination against pneumococcal infection is required. Prevention of pneumonia is extremely important in asthma, and many professional organizations recommend vaccination.

If you get the flu:

See your doctor if your asthma symptoms get worse. Early treatment can improve the prognosis of the disease.

  • Follow your asthma treatment plan and adjust your medication dosage to suit your condition. If you do not have a treatment plan, check with your doctor.
  • Remain calm and watch yourself.
  • Monitor the air flow rate in the lungs, use a peak flow meter. If performance deteriorates, change the dose of medication or seek medical advice.
  • Seek help immediately for severe symptoms.

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