Knowing intellectually that people can die of asthma is a bit scary. Reading that a friend of a friend died of an asthma attack is another.
Death from asthma is a relatively uncommon event, and most asthma deaths are preventable. It is very rare for a person who is receiving proper treatment to die of asthma.
However, even when it is not life threatening, asthma can be debilitating and frightening. Asthma that is not properly controlled can interfere with school and work, as well as daily activities.
— From “Asthma in Adults” at the University of Maryland Medical Center
Also: some don’t believe they have asthma. For decades I didn’t believe I had asthma, despite having allergies, because I was fat — I was supposed to breathe hard, right? Shortness of breath means “obese”, right? Wrong. (Misdiagnosis occurs, too.) But getting properly diagnosed means medical practitioners need to look at the symptoms and not the body weight — and having affordable practitioners and treatments available in the first place.
I live in a country with treatments available, and they’re affordable for me because I have a computer science degree. Other people aren’t so lucky.