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Asthma Complications

With the correct medication and proper adherence, asthma can be well-controlled. To avoid complications, it is always important to monitor your own symptoms in order to determine if your medication is working as it should.


Many of the complications associated with asthma can disrupt a person’s lifestyle. The following are complications:

  • Sleep disturbance- When symptoms are experienced at night there can be disturbances of sleep which may lead to sleep deprivation.

  • Lack of exercise- Uncontrolled asthma can keep you from exercising or participating in sports. As a result, it can increase the risk for other comorbidities.

  • Permanent structural changes in the airway- This is how the body adapts to the chronic inflammation. It can lead to loss of lung function and a chronic cough amongst other things, if left untreated.

  • Asthma attacks and respiratory failure- Severe asthma can increase the risk of respiratory failure when not enough oxygen travels from the lungs to the blood. Ultimately asthma can be fatal when not properly treated, so always carry your inhaler with you.


It is important to see your doctor when you have symptoms with little to no exertion. The medication might need to be adjusted thereafter. Another reason to consult your doctor is if the frequency of your symptoms increases and you end up using your inhaler more often .

An inhaler usually improves your symptoms, when you are asthmatic. However, if symptoms persist or get worse after using the inhaler, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.

The following are signs that you need to seek emergency care:

  • Extreme difficulty breathing

  • Severe chest pain

  • Difficulty talking or walking

  • A blueish tint to your skin


Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Khurana S, Jarjour NN. Systematic Approach to Asthma of Varying Severity. Clin Chest Med. 2019 Mar;40(1):59-70.

March 4, 2021 |  Categories: Health WindowAsthma

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