We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.
Asthma is a major disease that affects both children and adults. It is estimated to affect about 262 million people per year, and can negatively affect the quality of life. If you are an asthmatic reading this, you know about the sleep disturbances, poor concentration in school or work, and the financial impact of asthma.
Apart from the physical and financial burden, asthma can also affect a person psychologically. Since it is a chronic illness, you can develop depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. All these conditions can aggravate difficulty in breathing, which is a prominent symptom of asthma.
But do not worry – this article will give you practical tips on how to cope with the anxiety induced by asthma so that you can live a better quality life.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition wherein your airways are “hyperreactive.” This means that the lining of your airways is particularly reactive to certain triggers.
When triggered, the airway not only constricts but also produces more mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of asthma. For some people, these attacks might be a nuisance at most; however, some people can experience debilitating symptoms that can prove to be life-threatening.
While there is no cure for asthma, medications are available to control the symptoms. Collaborating closely with your doctor will definitely help in not only managing your symptoms but also improving your day-to-day life.
Here are the most common asthma symptoms1:
These are the symptoms that you most commonly encounter. Be on the lookout for signs that your condition may be worsening, such as asthma attacks that happen more frequently, increased difficulty of breathing, and using quick-relief medication more often. Keep track of these and definitely share them with your doctor.
Numerous elements have been linked to asthma, but its exact cause is unknown. Factors such as the following greatly increase the risk of developing asthma:
While you cannot change certain risk factors, such as your genes and allergies, you can address some of these risk factors.
Engage in a healthy lifestyle by eating a varied and nutritious diet with regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke whenever possible. Maintain a clean and dust-free environment. Wear protective equipment, when needed, to lessen exposure to occupational hazards. All these will not only greatly reduce your risk of asthma, but other diseases as well.
Since there is no cure, it is important to have a plan that will effectively manage your symptoms and allow you to enjoy life. Here are steps you can take to live harmoniously with asthma as well as prevent recurrent attacks:
This can be a lot to take in, especially for those who are newly diagnosed with asthma. It can trigger a lot of feelings, among them anxiety. This can make your asthma symptoms worse and may even trigger a flare-up. It may initially be difficult, but there are some things you can do to help cope with the anxiety associated with asthma.
Asthma can be upsetting. For some people, it could just be a nuisance in your day-to-day life but for others, it can be a constant threat to life. Worry and stress add an additional emotional burden to the physical symptoms of asthma. The relationship between asthma and anxiety is complex Here are the ways that anxiety could affect your asthma:
Dealing with the physical and emotional burden of asthma can be difficult and overwhelming. While anxiety is a different condition altogether, it cannot be denied there are some symptoms that overlap. As such, here are some of the things you can do to ease your anxiety about asthma:
While these tips do not replace medical advice, they will hopefully aid in lessening the burden of asthma.
Symptoms can change over time. The only way to assess your condition is to monitor your symptoms. Share any concerns you might have with your doctor if you notice your symptoms worsening.
Mikaela is a dentistry clinician at the University of the Philippines.