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reviewed 12/1/2018

Asthma: True or false?

As many as 26 million Americans have asthma—an inflammation of the airways that can make it hard to breathe. Test your knowledge of asthma by taking this quiz.

True or false: Asthma is only a childhood disease.

False. Although it's very common in kids, asthma can appear at any age. In some cases, symptoms in very young children disappear as their lungs develop—only to reappear later in life.

True or false: Getting bronchitis a lot might be a sign that you have asthma.

True. Besides, the swollen, inflamed airways of asthma make you more vulnerable to complications from respiratory infections. Other signs of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and a tightness in the chest.

True or false: Cockroaches leave behind allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms.

True. Allergies often trigger asthma symptoms, and cockroach dropping are an allergen. Other common allergic triggers include dust mites, pet dander, molds and pollen.

True or false: People with asthma should avoid exercise.

False. People with asthma should not avoid fitness and its health benefits, even if exercise triggers their symptoms. However, they should work with a doctor to develop a management plan for when they work out.

True or false: Rescue medications should be taken daily to better control asthma.

False: Rescue medications, also called quick-relief medications, should be taken only as needed. They temporarily open up airways and relieve symptoms of an attack. Different controller medications are meant to be taken daily and can help bring asthma under control.

Do you have an asthma action plan? When your symptoms worsen, it lets you know what steps you should take. Often, the plan includes using a peak flow meter to monitor how well your lungs are working.

How to use a peak flow meter

Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Lung Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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