It’s not “Just Asthma”: Asthma and its Impact on Quality of Life
We conducted a large survey of people living with asthma where we
asked questions about their diagnosis, medications, and treatments, and how asthma impacts one’s quality of life. The survey revealed to us that asthma is not just about taking your inhaler and is a complex condition where major aspects of one’s life are impacted by it.
For many people, asthma symptoms can be ever-present. While some asthma symptoms can be invisible like fatigue and exhaustion from constantly trying to breathe easier, other symptoms like shortness of breath can be straight-up be scary. And so many of our community members have shared with us experiencing chronic cough which those who don’t live with asthma mistake as the contagious kind of cough.
Asthma symptoms are not only annoying but impact one’s day to day life too. Those living with asthma report that various aspects of their lives are impacted by it, including, but not limited to their physical and emotional well-being. Many people who don’t live with asthma are unaware of the profound impact asthma can have on one’s quality of life, including sleep.
It is not only difficult to identify asthma triggers, but also very tough and sometimes simply impossible for people to change their living situation or environment to control the triggers that cause their symptoms to exacerbate.
There is a common misconception among those who don’t live with asthma that it is “easy to manage”. People think one just has to “take the inhaler” and it’s done. But managing control medications, rescue inhalers, avoiding triggers, dealing with asthma attacks and exacerbations, dealing with hospitalization due to asthma episodes, growing old with asthma and what that entails, are only some of the things that put a significant burden of disease management for those who live with this condition.
All in all, living with asthma impacts all aspects of one’s life. Awareness about this aspect of asthma is key in order to fully support those who grapple with this diagnosis and management.