Dangers of Untreated Asthma

Updated at: Jun 30, 2018
Dangers of Untreated Asthma

Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions. While there is no cure for it, treatment can make it easy to manage.

Meenakshi Chaudhary
AsthmaWritten by: Meenakshi ChaudharyPublished at: Jun 30, 2018

Asthma, a chronic lung disease related to inflammation and narrowing of airways, causes wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. The condition affects people of all ages, but it usually starts during childhood. Although asthma has no cure, it can be easily managed with modern treatment and medicines.

Sometimes, asthma symptoms are mild and go away on their own or after minimal treatment. It is best to get asthma treated at an early stage or the symptoms can get worse and may even lead to fatal asthma attacks, which require emergency care. Here are some of the common dangers of untreated asthma.

Sleep Loss

Asthma patients tend to experience most of its symptoms, especially coughing, during the night. Over time, this can lead to serious sleep deprivation. Chronic lack of sleep impedes the ability to function properly at work or school. It can be especially dangerous while driving or working with machinery.

Physical Activity

Asthma may keep some people from participating in cardiovascular exercise or sports. A lack of exercise poses risks for health conditions such as depression and psychological distress and weight gain.


Severe asthma flare-ups can cause excessive absences from work or school. Asthma is one of the most common reasons why children take sick leaves from school.

Airway Remodeling

For some people, asthma causes ongoing chronic inflammation of the airway. If not treated properly, this can lead to permanent structural changes in the airways, known as airway remodeling. The condition includes alterations in structural cells and tissues in the airway. These changes can result in permanent loss of lung function and sometimes, chronic cough.


Severe asthma attacks constrict the airway. This can lead to complete respiratory failure and death if not treated immediately.

Read more articles on Understand Asthma.

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