Overview of Anxiety Induced Asthma
Anxiety, or stress, induced asthma has the same symptoms of asthma. These symptoms are brought on by periods of stress. Symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, or rapid breathing. Stress-induced asthma may also feel like a panic attack in many cases.
Causes of Anxiety Induced Asthma
Anxiety induced asthma can be caused by any stressful situation. Situations that may trigger these symptoms include any big changes, moves, financial problems, relationships, school, or work. In some cases, there may not be just one cause, but can be a mixture of any of these. People with asthma may often feel anxious that their asthma is preventing them from living a “normal life” or their asthma attacks may lead to a time of panic. Since avoiding stressful situations is nearly impossible, it is imperative to learn the best ways to manage stress.
During these periods of intense stress, people are more prone to forget to take their medication as well. When medication is forgotten, then there is a greater chance for an attack.
Your body is not able to fight off colds or other diseases during times of stress either, which may lead to more attacks. It is important to be conscious of how much sleep you are getting and to eat and drink for proper nutrients.
Treatment of Anxiety Induced Asthma
There is no cure for asthma, but you can treat the cause and symptoms. The first step is to decide what the symptoms are caused by. Once the causes are decided, find a way to make this situation as stress-free as possible. If possible, take small steps in reducing stress, such as spending time meditating. Your physician may also recommend medication to aid in controlling anxiety, stress-management, or therapy.
The second step is to treat the asthma. Medication may also be prescribed to control your asthma. There are two types of medications for asthma, including long-term and rescue inhalers. You will need to treat the asthma and the anxiety in order to feel better.
Symptoms of Exercise Induced Asthma
During exercise, the bands in the airways narrow which cause asthma symptoms. These symptoms include: coughing with asthma, tightening of the chest, fatigue, shortness of breath and wheezing. Symptoms usually begin between 5-10 minutes of beginning the exercise.
Causes of Exercise Induced Asthma
Physically induced asthma is caused by physical exertion, such as a strenuous workout. Most people that are diagnosed with chronic asthma show symptoms during their workout, but people that do not have asthma can also experience the same symptoms too. This happens because during normal breathing, the air is inhaled through the nose, which warms and moistens the air. During strenuous exercise, the air is typically inhaled through the mouth, leaving the air cold and dry. The cold and dry air makes the muscle bands around the airways contract making it difficult to breathe.
Treatment of Exercise Induced Asthma
If you experience exercise induced asthma, you should not stop exercising. Speak with your physician about the proper plan. Typically, asthma inhalers should be used prior to exercise to control these symptoms. When you have control of your asthma symptoms, then you will be able to exercise with no problems.
In addition to taking the correct medications, you will want to properly warm up and cool down. Some exercises are better tolerated by people with asthma than others too. You may want to choose activities such as walking or volleyball, because they only involve short bursts of exertion, if any at all. You may want to avoid activities such as soccer for the same reason. Even though these activities are harder to participate it, it does not mean that it is completely off limits. If you want to participate, just take the proper steps before. Swimming is a great option since the air is typically warm and moist. Find which level you would like to participate in and find out which level you are able to participate at, and go from there. If you are participating in an outdoor exercise, check the pollen counts. If pollen counts are high, then you will want to move your workout to the indoors.
Symptoms of Temperature Induced Asthma
Temperature induced asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing. These symptoms will be more prevalent in times when the weather is either humid or cold. To know if your asthma is temperature induced, watch the weather and your symptoms so you know the cause and can treat it accordingly.
Causes of Temperature Induced Asthma
The weather is a big factor in asthma symptoms. The two most common cause of temperature related asthma is cold weather and humid weather. Anything above 60% humidity is considered humid and the air is very difficult to breath. On the other hand, the cold weather has a big effect on asthma too.
Humidity can encourage the growth of mold, dust mites, and pollen counts are typically high. In the cold weather, your airways become dry and irritated. The cold leads to an increase in mucus, which makes you more likely to get sick. When the weather is cold, you are more likely to stay indoors, which puts you at a greater exposure to dust, pet dander, or mold. Even though temperature induced asthma is technically outdoors, the indoors play a huge role in asthma symptoms as well.
Treatment of Temperature Induced Asthma
There are three steps to treatment in temperature induced asthma. The first step is to avoid triggers. If you are more sensitive to the humidity, bring a dehumidifier indoors and avoid humid days outside. If it is the cold weather that affects you, then you will need to spend winters indoors as much as possible. The triggers that come with the temperatures, such as mold, pollen, or being exposed to more dander, should be treated appropriately.
The next step is to take the proper long-term medications, as prescribed by your physician. These medications should be taken daily to keep your asthma symptoms under control.
Lastly, rescue medications can help treat symptoms once they have already started. If you are having problems with controlling your asthma, then speak with your physician about updating your medications and come up with an asthma action plan.