The dangers of undiagnosed asthma

accreditation
Undiagnosed asthma can lead to other illnesses later in life.
Undiagnosed asthma can lead to other illnesses later in life.

Doctors don't have one specific test to diagnosed asthma in children or adults.

Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness can be confused with other respiratory illnesses, and as a result asthma may go untreated. Asthma symptoms may also overlap with other health and respiratory illnesses.

Another problem with diagnosing asthma is that symptoms may not be present at the time of diagnosis. Asthma symptoms may lie dormant for weeks and sometimes for months, making diagnosis a real challenge.

Lack of treatment

The main problem with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed asthma is that the condition remains untreated, which means that it can get worse over time. A severe asthma attack can sometimes lead to death.

Undiagnosed and untreated asthma may also lead to an increased risk of lung scarring and permanent damage.

Research has shown that undiagnosed asthma can lead to the following complications in both children and adults:

asthma,health,undiagnosed asthma,asthma treatment,

What are the early warning signs of asthma?

The severity of symptoms may vary from person to person, but early symptoms include:

  • Cough – often worse at night or early in the morning
  • Wheezing – a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath – the feeling of being out of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping – coughing at night makes it hard to sleep

Symptoms may become severe over time if not detected and treated at an early stage. The best way to diagnose asthma is by taking a family history, and conducting a lung function test and physical examination.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1543 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
54% - 8543 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
33% - 5213 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 501 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.63
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.59
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE