In medicine, a disease is asymptomatic if a patient carries a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. A condition might be asymptomatic if it fails to show the noticeable symptoms with which it is usually associated. Asymptomatic infections are also called subclinical infections. The term clinically silent is also used.
Knowing that a condition is asymptomatic is important since
- It may develop symptoms later so require watch and wait or early treatment
- Reassurance that it might resolve itself or is benign.
- Requiring that a person takes treatment so it does not cause later clinical problem such as with high blood pressure and hyperlipidaemia.
- Be alert to possible problems: asymptomatic hypothyroidism makes a person vulnerable toWernicke-Korsakoff syndrome or beri-beri following intravenous glucose.