There are millions of children with asthma in the United States. Unfortunately, a good number of these asthma cases are poorly monitored and treated. This lack of attention may not be intentional, but it can impair some important functions. One study looked into the effects of untreated asthma on sleep quality and school performance. While it is easy to see how one could affect the other, the results helped identify issues that were previously unclear.

The study also helped identify certain social factors that can potentially contribute to respiratory health. A recently concluded study followed 170 children aged 7 to 9, all from urban areas. Their symptoms were assessed and monitored. Parents and schools also aided researchers by providing information regarding changes and care in regard to the asthmatic condition each child had. In this way, quality of care could be determined. Certain patterns were noticed in those children who received less care for their asthma.

First of all, there was a decrease in sleep. As a result, those with less sleep found themselves tired at school. With difficulty staying awake, those children also found it hard to adequately complete schoolwork and other tasks, directly affecting schoolwork and performance. Researchers noticed that those who came from lower-income families were at greater risk as well. With high costs of medical care, a child’s asthma was less likely to be tended to. This social factor has moved the medical community to endeavor to educate parents and caregivers on the matter. When the family is involved and knows the facts, a child can be helped to suffer less, sleep better and perform better in class. Schools can help, too, by being able to identify those who do have asthma and need intervention. By working together it is hoped that children in urban areas with asthma can receive the care they need and get the most out of their education.