Take the Asthma Quiz (cont.)
Girish Sharma, MD
Richard F Lockey, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Zab Mosenifar, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
1. Answer to Question #1: FALSE. Asthma is not an emotional or psychological disease, although strong emotions and reactions such as laughing can sometimes make asthma worse.
2. Answer to Question #2: FALSE. Allergies are one of the many factors that can trigger asthma attacks. Not all asthmatics have allergies. Many people have allergies but do not have asthma.
3. Answer to Question #3: TRUE. Exercise is good for most people regardless of whether they have asthma. Exercise can precipitate an asthma episode in some people with the condition. When asthma is under good control, people with exercise-induced asthma are able to play most sports and live active lives. They can also take medicines before exercising to help avoid an episode.
4. Answer to Question #4. FALSE. No cure for asthma exists. However, people can control or manage their asthma by: (1) Working with a physician or other health care professional to develop an individualized asthma management plan. (2) Learning to notice early signs of an asthma episode and to start treatment. (3) Avoiding things that can cause asthma episodes. (4) Knowing when to get medical help for a severe episode.
5. Answer to Question #5. TRUE. In general, asthma is a chronic state of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Some children have asthma symptoms that improve during adolescence, while the symptoms worsen in others. The tendency to have overly sensitive airways remains throughout life. However, some children with viral-induced asthma during their first years of life "outgrow" asthma.
6. Answer to Question #6. C. 2 MILLION! A double bed mattress can easily harbor 2 million dust mites, with each mite producing 10 to 20 waste particles (feces) a day.
7. Answer to Question #7. FALSE. It is the protein found in the pet's saliva, dander, hair, and urine that causes allergies in some individuals. All pets with fur or feathers have dander and urine. Saliva can also cause reactions. Therefore, no particular breeds are better for people with asthma and allergies. Pets without fur or feathers, such as fish, may be better for people with asthma who are allergic to cats and dogs.
8. Answer to Question #8: FALSE. After a pet is removed, pet allergens can remain in the room 6 months or longer. To remove pet allergens, clean all walls, floors, and other surfaces thoroughly with soap and water.
9. Answer to Question #9: TRUE. According to the National Academy of Sciences study, released in January 2000, evidence suggests that secondhand smoke may be a contributing factor for asthma in preschool-aged children.
10. Answer to Question #10. FALSE. Given the wide range of asthma triggers, avoiding all known asthma triggers can be extremely difficult or costly. Identifying which are your asthma triggers and seeking to reduce your exposure to those triggers are important. Talk to your doctor about identifying your asthma triggers and keep a journal to help you track the activities that may trigger your asthma episodes.
11. Answer to Question #11. TRUE. Asthma is the most common chronic disease of children. It is the leading cause of school absences. Asthma affects nearly 5 million children.
12. Answer to Question #12. TRUE. Asthma is a major cause of work and school absence and lost productivity. Asthma is one of the most common reasons for emergency department visits and hospitalization. Approximately 5,000 people die of asthma each year in the United States.
13. Answer to Question #14. FALSE. A blood test cannot confirm if someone has asthma. In the case of an asthma episode, the doctor may check the person’s blood for signs of infection that may be contributing to the episode. In the case of a severe attack, the doctor may check the blood from an artery to determine how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are present in the blood. The doctor may use a spirometer or peak flow meter to measure how forcefully the person can breathe out. A pulse oximeter may be placed on the fingertip to measure the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.
14. Answer to Question #14. FALSE. Actually, the symptoms usually peak about 5-10 minutes after stopping exercise and then gradually diminish. The symptoms often disappear within an hour after exercise, but they may last longer. Symptoms usually begin about 5-20 minutes after beginning to exercise.
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