An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of symptoms that can be caused by certain allergens, illnesses, or strenuous exercise. In 2017, around 3.8 percent of people in the U.S. reported experiencing an asthma attack within the last 12 months. However, around 55 percent of boys and 53 percent of girls aged 0 to 17 years with asthma had at least one asthma attack within the past year. Although asthma can be controlled, it was still the underlying cause of death in one out of 100,000 of the population in 2016. Just as asthma rates are higher among females, rates of death from asthma are also higher among females than males.
Medications for asthma include those that treat acute symptoms, as well as medicines which prevent further exacerbation, with some of the most common medications including fluticasone and montelukast. In extreme cases, hospitalization may be necessary to treat asthma symptoms. From 2011 to 2016, around 10.5 percent of asthmatic working adults aged 18 to 24 years visited an emergency department within the past 12 months due to their asthma. Among asthmatic children aged 0 to 4 years, around 31 percent had visited an emergency department or urgent care within the past year due to their asthma, as of 2016.