How Dangerous Is Asthma? Experts Warns Of Severe Complications That Asthma Can Cause

How Dangerous Is Asthma? Experts Warns Of Severe Complications That Asthma Can Cause
They can have cough symptoms with breathlessness like an asthma attack and can worsen to life-threatening anaphylaxis. However, prompt diagnosis, trigger identification and immediate management will abort the asthma attack in most cases.

Here are some preventive steps asthma patients need to take to reduce the risk of experiencing asthma attacks in summer.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Published : May 4, 2023 3:20 PM IST

Asthma is categorized as a major noncommunicable disease (NCD) impacting children and adults. It is a common chronic disease seen in children. It causes inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in the lungs, which lead to symptoms like cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Asthma triggers are different from one person to another, but they can include viral infections (colds), dust, smoke, fumes, weather changes, pollen, pet dander, air pollution, strong soaps, and perfume. Asthma can cause difficulties in performing daily activities and impact one's quality of life. How dangerous is asthma?

"Asthma is a serious disease," warns Dr Ajay Mathur, HOD, Medicine, SMS Hospital, Jaipur.

"Unmanaged asthma could be life-threatening. Timely intervention is essential to tackle asthma," he adds.

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Asthma can cause serious complications

Dr Mathur expresses concerns that cases of asthma are increasing at an alarming rate in India. Yet, there are many people who are suffering in silence owing to the lack of awareness regarding this condition. Apart from that, there are also some myths regarding this condition that prevent one from seeking timely treatment.

Talking about the severe complications that asthma can cause, he says, "If not treated, asthma can lead to permanent structural changes in the airways or airway remodeling, resulting in lung function loss, airway wall thickening, and increased blood supply in the airways. Those with asthma will need recurrent hospitalizations, asthma attacks can also invite respiratory failure. One with asthma will be prone to respiratory infections. This condition can ultimately lead to death as well."

If you have asthma, it is better to speak to the doctor and take medication to deal with the symptoms of asthma.

Asthma management in summer

As the temperature goes up and heat waves gripped many parts of the country, health experts are advising asthma patients to be cautious.

Stay protected, heat waves can trigger asthma symptoms, says Dr. Ambarish Joshi, Senior Consultant, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, Primus Super Speciality Hospital.

To reduce the risk of experiencing asthma attacks during hot summer months, Dr. Joshi advises people with asthma take these preventive steps:

  • As far as possible try to avoid exposure to extreme heat and humidity
  • Stay hydrated
  • Always keep your asthma inhaler with you
  • Keep abreast of your asthma management plan and regularly check in with your doctor

Many factors can make asthma worse and symptoms more prominent during the summer. For example, increase in pollen counts, higher humidity and heat.

It is recommended to stay away from pollens, and avoid exercising outdoors in summer or do it late in the day.

If you smoke, it can also aggravate asthma symptoms when combined with high temperatures or pollen and lead to asthma attacks.