The High Cost Of Severe Asthma Is More Than Just Financial

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This post about severe asthma was sponsored by Break the Cycle as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

 

Over the years, I have known a lot of people affected by asthma. Family members, friends, and my children’s playmates have lived their lives with their inhalers attached at the hip, just so they can be prepared in the event that an asthma attack hits. And the number of patients who struggle with asthma that I have met as a pharmacy technician is staggering.

I always felt bad watching asthma sufferers have to sit on the sidelines during events that might trigger an attack, but it wasn’t until I started working in the pharmacy that I truly understood the financial and personal impact an asthma diagnosis really caused. 

I have seen firsthand how working with your pharmacist can help you learn to manage your asthma more effectively. While an asthma specialist is your number one source of personal medical advice, don’t forget that your local pharmacist can also be a great resource. Seeing longtime patients improve their quality of life thanks to advice from their pharmacist made my job incredibly satisfying.

While there is currently no cure for asthma, wouldn’t it be nice to help break the cycle of overuse or constant reliance on rescue inhalers so that patients have more freedom to do the things they love, and help stop the roller coaster of triggers, inhalers, and trips to the hospital…?

woman sitting on bench looking at asthma inhaler

How Common Is An Asthma Diagnosis?

Severe uncontrolled asthma affects ~1.3 million people in the US. Many of them use a rescue inhaler multiple times per day, and plan their life around their asthma. No one is immune from an asthma diagnosis. However, not everyone’s triggers are the same, and for some, asthma can be incredibly difficult to control.

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While severe asthma can be difficult to control, managing it can be a life-changing improvement for many people. Controlling your asthma means having more freedom to live life to its fullest without worrying as much about an asthma attack.

Why is asthma so common? No one is 100% certain. One theory is that increases in airborne pollen, air pollution, or the overuse of antibiotics might play a part.   But, whatever the cause, the results suggest that more and more people are ending up with an asthma diagnosis.

asthma inhaler in hand in front of flowers with text overlay 'know your asthma triggers'

The Cost of Uncontrolled Asthma

According to the American Lung Association, uncontrolled asthma is usually defined by how often you have symptoms. Ask yourself these questions, and if you answer yes to one or more, you may want to speak to an asthma specialist:

  • Do you have asthma symptoms or use your rescue inhaler more than two times per week?
  • Do you wake up at night with symptoms more than two times per month?
  • Do you refill your rescue inhaler more than two times per year?

In addition to the above, think about the other burdens that your asthma may cause. How many activities do you skip for fear of triggering an attack?  A walk in the park when flowers are blooming?  Or going for a run on a cold winter day?

Frequent trips to the pharmacy for inhaler refills can be both annoying AND costly. From loss of sleep at night to sitting on the sidelines during outdoor activities, asthma can have a tremendous effect on your daily life. Anyone who has had their sleep interrupted knows it can impact your energy and focus the next day.

Break the Cycle Of Severe Asthma Symptoms

I have worked in a pharmacy for over 15 years. I have seen many asthmatics who have struggled to gain adequate control of their asthma, and whose asthma is not being managed appropriately. That takes a toll on them in many different aspects of their lives.

If you or someone you know lives with severe asthma, there are steps you can take to make it more manageable. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Learn what triggers your severe asthma symptoms and educate yourself about treatment options. There are even tools to help track your rescue inhaler usage and help you learn more about your triggers!

Imagine living a life where asthma doesn’t control your day-to-day life, and you start to notice that you haven’t needed your rescue inhaler as much as you used to. BreakTheCycle.com and the AIRQ questionnaire are great places to start better understanding your level of control and getting a handle on your asthma.  

I would love to hear your asthma story if you want to join the conversation. Leave me a comment below and follow @BreakTheAsthmaCycle on Facebook and Instagram!

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