(NC) Asthma is a common disease, affecting 2.4 million Canadians. But it’s also a disease that’s surrounded by stigma, misconceptions and misinformation.

Chances are you might know someone who has asthma, so it’s a good idea to learn more about the disease to support your loved ones.

  1. Asthma and exercise do mix. The misconception that they don’t can lead people with asthma to have an unnecessarily sedentary lifestyle. But people who have their asthma under control can lead active lives. The key is control and prevention of triggers — for example, if pollen is your trigger, avoid jogging in a field. Always keep a blue rescue inhaler at the ready should exercise trigger an asthma attack.
  2. Asthma isn’t just in your head. Nearly one in four people with asthma recall being told that their disease can be overcome with a good attitude. And while mental well-being is certainly a positive thing, asthma is a lung disease that needs treatment. A positive attitude is not enough to eliminate asthma attacks.
  3. Asthma can affect adults. Asthma can affect children, but it is not strictly a kids’ disease. Some children “outgrow” their asthma and some adults develop asthma later on in life.
  4. Asthma doesn’t equal allergies. Not everyone who has asthma has allergies and vice versa. However, many people with allergic asthma do have triggers that are allergies.
  5. An inhaler isn’t for calming nerves. Some movies would lead us to believe that inhalers can be used to calm nerves in a stressful situation. However, this is not true. Inhalers contain medication and are used to treat asthma or other lung diseases.

Find more information at lung.ca.