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Weirdest advice/conspiracies you have heard about asthma

EmmaF91
EmmaF91
55 Replies

So no doubt you’ve all heard something weird or wacky at some point about asthma. A cure, a suggestion for improvement, what causes it and just general conspiracies.

Time for use to share what we’ve heard (and if you think they’re true/helpful). Maybe someone has something that’s been suggested which honestly did help, maybe it’ll help those grasping at straws as to what is legitimate and what is an old wives tale, otherwise it’s just time for a bit of a laugh 😅😂😂

Here’s my first few; ‘you have severe asthma because you have a low self esteem’ (erm... I know people with very high self esteem who also have severe asthma so... thanks 🤨🙄😒)

‘Salt caves will help cure/calm asthma’ (not true. For some people they may help, but anyone triggered by cold or damp AVOID!) (friend has a 5yo grandson with severe asthma... someone told family this so they took him down one for a couple hours... he was then in hospital for 10 days afterwards. She told me about it/his asthma then regretted not telling me before the trip cause I actually gave risk/benefit and explained why people believe it. Next ‘suggestion’ was ran past me by her 😅)

‘ENT doctors have been hiding the cure for asthma for 50+ years’ ( 😂😂😂😂 if they had the answer they would share so they could become gods to the resp department and earn all the moolah)

What have you heard?

55 Replies
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Js706

That you can cure asthma with your mind. You’re just not thinking hard enough 😉😂

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EmmaF91
EmmaF91
in reply to Js706

I think, therefore I am not? 😂😂😂

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Lysistrata
Lysistrata
in reply to Js706

I"m thinking really hard about winning the lottery....

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Junglechicken

“Don’t stay in a dark room on your own. It will trigger your asthma” ????????? I have no idea.

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EmmaF91

😂😂😂

Maybe they mixed up nighttime issues with just general darkness? 😂😂😂

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Lysistrata
Lysistrata
in reply to EmmaF91

Darth Vader turned to the dark side...maybe there is something in it 😉

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Junglechicken

Don’t think he sat in a dark room though or maybe he did when they weren’t filming🤔

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Lysistrata

Maybe it's abstract darkness...a warning to anyone tempted by Death Stars etc.

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Junglechicken

Just thinking, that death star didn't have many windows and it's dark out in space. I don't think he had many friends to sit with him either.

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Junglechicken

Oh yes that could be an explanation. Darkness equals asthma. I wonder why having somebody with you would prevent symptoms though. 🤔 Great excuse if you have someone in your room who shouldn't be there during the night and you get caught “he’s preventing my asthma symptoms, honestly”

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Lysistrata

LOL nice one.

We could test this out: prevalence of night time asthma in the Arctic Circle during summer.

1 like
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Wheezycat

That reminds me - in Sweden farmstead beds of old were very short, because they allegedly thought it was dangerous to lie down flat. If you did that you would be ‘ridden by the nightmare’. Perhaps all of them had chest conditions?

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Junglechicken

“Feather pillows aren’t going to upset your lungs as they are natural” Okay so why have I been wheezing all night?

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Lysistrata

Asthma is a childhood neurosis and wheeze is the cry of the child for their mother.

A 1930s theory which some drs still seem to believe...

Guessing the non-wheezers among us are those who don't have an Oedipus complex? 😉🤔

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Elspe
Elspe
in reply to Lysistrata

"You only wheeze because you want attention" - I got this as a child. Also "Why are you so scared of going up and downstairs?" (Because I couldn't breathe perhaps?)

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Junglechicken

One from when I was a hatchling back in rotahaler days-"if you suck too hard on an inhaler your head explodes" (this was from five year olds in the 80's)

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Js706

Actually yes I’ve been told my asthma is due to a repressed traumatic childhood! (Apparently all of my family have repressed this because I’m pretty sure my childhood was ok!)

1 like
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Lysistrata
Lysistrata
in reply to Js706

Oh I've had similar! 'You say it's these environmental triggers setting you up but I think we should look at your childhood for the cause'. From a counsellor I was trying to get to help me with not turning into an idiot in cons appts and freezing like a rabbit in headlights (because I have had some nasty experiences with them).

Ok so 1) triggers and cause are not the same 2) I have a variety of more plausible scientific causes for asthma than fishing for events in my non-traumatic childhood (eg genes, swine flu etc) 3) knowing the cause doesn't actually help a massive amount 4) please don't try to solve my asthma, you're a counsellor not s doctor and your lack of knowledge about it is scary for someone who says you have it yourself and 5) I specifically said when contacting you what I wanted to focus on and what I didn't. This was in the 'not' because you are actually making everything worse by implying it's all in my head, after me telling you the doctors tried that on me!!!

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Mogget

Someone once told me they’d read that parasitic worms could cure asthma... sounds ridiculous but there is actually some science behind it if you Google it!

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Junglechicken

Thanks but I think I’ll stick to the inhaler 😂

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Mogget

I’m willing to try anything at this point! Let me know if you change your mind and we’ll go on a trip to the less developed world and roll around in mud together 😆

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Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk
in reply to Mogget

I've heard this too apparently it's a specific type of parasitic worm and they release something to help them stay undiscovered that contains a powerful anti inflamatory

1 like
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Mogget
Mogget
in reply to Chip_y2kuk

Perhaps they’ll be able to turn the substance into a viable inhaled/oral treatment one day

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Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk
in reply to Mogget

I saw it years ago and thought oh that might be interesting If they can harness whatever it is that works so well however it's been years now so maybe not.... but it could also be a work in progress

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twinkly29

That having a nice holiday could start the road to recovery (ie get rid of the asthma).

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KatieJ28
KatieJ28
in reply to twinkly29

Similar one-

Called resp team for advice as having issues and about to go away on holiday-told to relax and enjoy the holiday and that may make things better...(ended up being admitted while away🙄😅)

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Lysistrata

'Smoke these cigarettes, they'll help your asthma'.

Old remedy for asthma - sounds crazy but may actually have worked some of the time! The cigarettes weren't normal ones, they were medicated and usually contained stramonium which is related to ipratropium and tiotropium in modern inhalers/nebs - so they probably did actually help get some relief, if you could get past the whole burning smoke thing.

pharmacytimes.com/contribut...

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

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Junglechicken

Yes, I’d heard of cigarettes being used to treat all sorts of respiratory illnesses back in the day. It was billed as a “miracle cure”.

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Lysistrata

I was quite surprised to find out these ones might actually have worked! Though I still prefer Spiriva Respimat and ipratropium nebs lol.

I keep hoping to find one of the tins. I'd find it very amusing to own an asthma cigarette tin.

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Junglechicken

Yes, I think Respimat has fewer dangerous chemicals in it and is a better choice. My mum says that she remembers people knocking on the door to tell her mum where the council were working on the road. My gran would take her down so she could breathe in the tar fumes to “help” her chest. Seems that was excepted medical advice in the 50’s and 60’s. Have to say my mum employed technique on me when I was poorly that her mum used to use on her. She was tapping on my back which helped with the gunk once my breathing was stabilised. I think it’s recommended for patients with COPD.

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Lysistrata

err not sure that would have helped me much! I believe another 'home remedy' was to create a steamy environment, which does help some people but my lungs hate steam and humidity.

I believe Spiriva etc are a bit safer yes, though in a 1980 paper I read they said asthma cigarettes were still being used and it could be very hard to prise them away from some people. Ipratropium inhalers may be safer, but apparently it's much harder to get a nice high from them :p

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Junglechicken

My lungs don’t like steam either.

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Lysistrata

A GP told me to inhale with Vicks/steam once for my 'cold' (spoiler: not a cold, a brewing attack following a cold) and got annoyed with me when I said I couldn't. (Steam: bad; eucalyptus: worse). Since I didn't have a congested nose, 'just' asthma symptoms, I don't know if it would have done much anyway.

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Junglechicken

That’s me too. I love the smell of Vicks from a distance but I once tried it in steamy water and ended up with a bad wheeze (not quite an attack but it wasn’t pleasant)

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Wheezycat

I have an asthmatic friend who does it and loves it! She swears by it and has suggested it to me many times. But I have memories of damp towels from childhood so I never have.

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Wheezycat

Interesting! Our daughter collapsed a lobe of a lung due to asthma gunk when she was about seven. The tapping technique was what we were shown to do by the physio in the hospital A&E, and it helped. Our daughter hated it!

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Blue-Breeze

My nan used to take my mum to the tar pot. She was a bad asthmatic.

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strongmouse

Ah that was back in the day when 'consumption' was the catch all name for respiratory disease. My dad's father died of TB and I had a lot of colds as a child. He used to put tar pots under my bed as it was believed the fumes kept away TB germs... don't think it did my lungs much good, but I didn't get TB!

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Blue-Breeze

My mum had bad asthma. Nan couldn't afford to send her to Switzerland the other known cure! So tar pot it was. It never worked

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Chip_y2kuk

"Asthmatics are lazy coughers"... that was from an asthma nurse in the 90's needless to say we fell out

Every time I scheduled an asthma review it got cancelled for a few years then she left and the next asthma nurse was amazing

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Chip_y2kuk

"Your weight will be affecting your asthma".... funny that it all started as i was losing weight(2 stone later infact) shall I gain 2 stone and it will go away?.... respiratory consultant didn't see the funny side but did get the point

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Jsc3

Was told many years ago by doctor during asthma attack just breathe .latter on that night was admitted to hospital .

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Geogeor

Great selection. Inspired by this to do an “odd things to do for Asthma that actually work”.

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Marydoll589

Sterimar congestion spray DOES work for me to stop a cold in its tracks and to stop sinus congestion and infection when used on a daily basis. The trace amount of copper in it keeps infection at bay. Please try at first sign of cold or sneezing and use regularly if like me you have a huge sinus connection/allergies connected to your asthma!

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Offcut

Asthma even back in the 1980's was thought by some doctors to be a nervous condition best treated by Valium?

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Ayeup
Ayeup
in reply to Offcut

Grew up in the 60's and they thought it was a nervous condition then and allergies were all in the mind 😟

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tegels
tegels
in reply to Ayeup

Grew up in the 60s too, and got the same said to my mum who was also happy to blame me. Never mind that there was a brickworks across town and I suspect it triggered many an asthma attack when the wind blew our way!

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Ayeup
Ayeup
in reply to tegels

It was awful wasnt it? Just thinking of my chain smoking paternal grandparents who insisted on smoking whenever we visited. When I started coughing and wheezing they told my mother I was just attention seeking and was best ignored 😫 - happy days? I don't think so!

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Denny1968

At my primary school I was struggling with my breathing and said my asthma was bad, they told me to still do my clarinet lesson “it will help you to breath better and your asthma will be ok” they reckoned.... an hour later I was rushed to hospital, had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated... this was in the early 70’s when I think I was the only asthmatic in the school..... needless to say they listened to me and mum after that and the slightest issue my mum was called

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Lysistrata

Ugh! I mean playing a wind instrument can help asthma...but long term, definitely NOT when you're struggling to breathe and they need to do something, when you certainly aren't going to be able to do much with a clarinet!!

My mum aged 10 knew more about asthma than any of the staff at her school and if my uncle had an attack they would wake her up (boarding school) and ask her what to do. I think he was one of 2 asthmatics in a school of 500. Sadly many schools more recently aren't always better even when they should be as there is knowledge and training available (Samuel Linton wasn't that long ago...).

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Elspe
Elspe
in reply to Lysistrata

My father believed learning a wind instrument would do that for me. Fortunately the only instrument available was a violin. :P

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hilary39

I once saw a book about asthma and the entire thing was devoted to the premise that you can cure asthma by drinking more water :-)

When I first met my friend's boyfriend (now husband) my allergies came up in conversation and he told me a long story about how his friend was deathly allergic to peanuts until he realized it was all in his head (eye roll!).

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Js706

That I should stop meds because they have too many side effects and get a hobby to take my mind off of my asthma 😂

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Autie1

I was told that natural honey would help asthma and hayfever(by a gp who i no longer see ).. never got around to trying this one as what they failed to realise is im severely allergic to honey in any form ..

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