Asthma is a serious condition and it requires serious treatment. Out of control asthma can do a lot of harm, some of it permanent. Here are some of the things that can happen if your asthma isn’t under control.
Sleep Disruption: There are two ways asthma can disrupt sleep. The first is difficulty breathing. You may be asleep but if your body isn’t getting enough oxygen it might not be a restful sleep. The second is asthma related coughing. That doesn’t just keep you awake. An asthma cough can keep an entire household awake.
Exercise: When you’re out of breath just sitting still it makes cardiovascular exercise nearly impossible. This can lead to obesity, which could make asthma worse. There is a link between the two, though not all obese people have asthma.
The Cost: Asthma costs our economy around $56 billion a year according to a study done between 2002 and 2007. This cost includes loss of productivity, work time and education time. 13 million school days will be missed and over ten million work days.
Changes in Airways: Airway remodeling is permanent changes in the lungs of an asthma patient. It occurs when the disease isn’t well controlled. The inflammation from asthma makes the body want to repair it. Scientists aren’t clear yet how or when it happens, but they do know it does. These changes include a thickening of the passage walls, an increase in mucus glands (and mucus), and increased blood flow to the area. These changes are permanent and result in decreased lung function.
Emergency Room: 1.7 million emergency room visits occur every year for severe asthma attacks. The emergency room is never a pleasant place to be. The length of time in the hospital, on average, is 4 days. It is the third ranking reason for an emergency room visits for children.
Death: Every day 9 people die from asthma. Over the course of the year over 3000 people die from asthma. These statistics are just for the U.S.
In most cases asthma can be controlled. Medications and maintenance inhalers can prevent attacks. Rescue inhalers and allergy medications, as prescribed by a doctor, can help stop an attack. If you have an asthma attack it’s best to treat it right away. Letting it go could put you into the statistics and conditions above.