Untreated Asthma Dangers
Dangers of Untreated Asthma
Are You At Risk for Untreated Asthma Dangers?
The dangers of untreated asthma can be very costly from both a health and a financial perspective.
Poorly controlled or untreated asthma can lead to missed days of work, unscheduled doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. In the City of New York, the overall cost of asthma hospitalizations was $284 million. Children with poorly controlled asthma miss more days of school, and their academic performance suffers. They may also be restricted in their activities. A child should not be missing out on gym, sports or other activities because of difficulty breathing. Children need to be physically active and alert in order to develop properly.
The Dangers of Untreated Asthma Over Time
Over time, untreated asthma can also lead to lung scarring and loss of the surface layer of the lungs. The tubes of the lungs become thicker and less air is able to pass through. The airway muscles become enlarged and less able to relax. This lung damage may be permanent and irreversible. Treating asthma with a daily controller medication will prevent long term lung dysfunction and reduce the dangers of untreated asthma.
In severe cases, untreated asthma can lead to death, when the airways close and the rescue medications don’t work fast enough to open them up. In New York City alone, about 150 people each year die of asthma (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene). Is your asthma under control?
As the director of one of the largest asthma programs in the United States, pulmonologist Dr. Mayank Shukla pioneered the Morbidity Directed Asthma Program, which focuses on reducing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and missed school or work days due to asthma. We have data going back 10 years that shows how well-controlled asthma saves millions of dollars for the healthcare system by preventing many of the problems caused by asthma exacerbations. We also focus on treating environmental allergies and other triggers of asthma to reduce the risk of untreated asthma dangers.
A child who breathes better will feel better, learn better, grow better and live longer. – Dr. Mayank Shukla
Is Your Asthma Under Control?
Many patients with asthma do not realize that their symptoms are getting worse until they end up in the emergency room. Some patients think they are “fine” as long as they keep their rescue inhaler (albuterol) on them at all times. They may not realize that even during times when their asthma is “quiet,” with no coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing, the lung inflammation is still there. They may have gotten so used to not being able to breathe well that they can’t remember life any other way. But there is no need to suffer with untreated asthma! Taking a daily controller medication such as Flovent or QVAR will heal the lungs and take away the inflammation and excess mucus. This will help open the airways so you don’t get shortness of breath, cough or wheezing. Using your asthma pump takes only 60 seconds per day, for asthma relief that lasts for hours and day.
Signs that your asthma is poorly controlled include:
- Use of albuterol (rescue medication) more than twice a month.
- Coughing at night that wakes you up from sleep.
- Shortness of breath during exercise, sports, or routine activities.
- Any emergency room visit or hospitalization for asthma in the past year.
- Coughing from a common cold that lasts more than 1 week.
Find out if your or your child’s asthma is under control now by taking this short test.
Awards and Recognition
Reduce the Dangers of Untreated Asthma
At the New York Asthma Allergy and Sleep Center, we work closely with patients, families and caregivers to keep asthma under control. We understand the barriers that families face in ensuring that their children have access to good care and the medications they need. Our team will work with you and follow up closely to ensure that your child is breathing better and is less at risk for serious exacerbation. Dr. Shukla and his staff aim to achieve the highest level of control at the lowest possible dose of medication.