If you’ve been living with symptoms of asthma even for a short period of time, it’s still important to seek asthma help. You can get asthma help from experts such as your doctor or an asthma specialist and from other people who have asthma.
The repeated bouts of congestion, wheezing, and gasping for breath can cause anyone to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and even defeated. Living with asthma symptoms can result in tremendous stress. Likewise, added stress can trigger asthma symptoms. So where do you turn for asthma support and help?
You can live a full and active life even when you have allergic asthma.
Joanna Thomas has had severe allergic asthma since she was 2 years old. Her asthma is triggered, she says, by "just about everything." But today at 72, she travels, volunteers, exercises, and generally enjoys life.
You can, too.
We can give you some asthma help so that living with asthma is easier and you are able to have an active life, doing the things you enjoy, including exercising with asthma. Here are some health topics for living with asthma.
Stress and Asthma
Although stress does not cause asthma, stress and asthma are definitely linked. Asthma causes stress, and stress makes it more difficult to control asthma. Even daily stress can make your asthma symptoms worsen. Learning to change your stress response to decrease your asthma symptoms is important. Equally important is prioritizing your daily schedule so you allow enough time to accomplish what you need to do without feeling pressured or overwhelmed.
The longer breathing problems go uncontrolled, the more likely you’ll notice the signs caused by stress. This can make it more difficult to breathe and create even further problems, including:
Difficulty sleeping or nocturnal asthma, leading to constant fatigue
Inability to exercise or exercise-induced asthma, leading to poor aerobic and physical fitness
Difficulty concentrating, leading to poor performance
Increased irritability from lack of sleep or asthma drug side effects
Withdrawal from favorite activities because of lack of energy or inability to do them
Changes in appetite because of medications
Feelings of depression
There’s a better way to live with asthma and prevent asthma symptoms. Learn all about stress and your stress response. Set goals to manage your stress in a way that’s healthy and not detrimental to your breathing.
When stress creeps upward, you will notice an increase in anxiety and asthma symptoms. As the symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and coughing worsen, you become more anxious, and then your asthma symptoms worsen. Asthma and anxiety make for a vicious cycle and one that can spiral downward quickly. Learn about the connection between anxiety and asthma, and talk to your doctor or a professional counselor about ways to reduce your anxiety to better control your asthma.
Finding Support With Asthma
Finding support with asthma is important. The people around you -- family members, friends, co-workers -- can all give you support with asthma. These people should not only know what to do in case you have a severe asthma emergency, but they should also know that asthma can be controlled and managed. You can also find support with asthma through online organizations, such as the WebMD asthma message boards, support groups in your community, and by staying in touch with others who have asthma. Finding support with asthma can help alleviate some of the stress you might feel.