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Living With Asthma: Strategies For Coping With Anxiety And Stress

Studies have shown that asthma patients are at a greater risk of developing anxiety disorders. Here are some coping strategies.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: May 18, 2023 17:37 IST
Living With Asthma: Strategies For Coping With Anxiety And Stress

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Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects people of all ages and can lead to severe breathing difficulties. Asthma is a condition that requires long-term management, and raising public awareness about its symptoms, causes, and management is critical for improving the quality of life for asthma patients. Not many people know that asthmatics are prone to anxiety and chronic stress which affects the quality of life. A study published in the Respiratory Medicine journal also mentions that uncontrolled asthma increases the risk of lifetime anxiety disorders. To understand the triggers and learn some strategies that may help asthmatics cope with stress and anxiety disorders, we spoke to Dr. Usha Chenneru, Director - Medical Services at Cipla Health Limited who shared some substantial information on the topic.

Anxiety and stress can exacerbate asthma symptoms, making it more challenging to manage the condition. It is not uncommon to experience anxiety and panic attacks during an asthma episode, which can worsen the symptoms and make it harder to breathe. Additionally, the fear of having an asthma attack can cause people to avoid certain situations and activities, leading to social isolation and compromised quality of life. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the link between anxiety and asthma and learn strategies to cope with these issues while living with asthma.

How to manage anxiety with asthma

Dr. Usha Chenneru lists out some practical strategies to help manage anxiety and stress while living with asthma.

Learn about your condition

The more you know about your asthma, the better equipped you will be to manage it. Educate yourself about the triggers that can exacerbate your symptoms, the medications you are taking, and the steps you can take to prevent asthma attacks. This knowledge will help you feel more in control of your condition and reduce anxiety.

Also Read: Is There Any Link Between Asthma and Lung Cancer?

Develop an asthma action plan

coping strategies for Asthma patients

An asthma action plan is a written document that outlines the steps you need to take to manage your asthma, including what medications to take, when to take them, and when to seek medical help. Having an asthma action plan in place can help reduce anxiety and provide a clear roadmap for managing your condition.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindful meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. These techniques can be particularly helpful when you are feeling anxious or having difficulty breathing.

Stay physically active

Regular exercise can help improve lung function and reduce the risk of asthma symptoms. However, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, as certain activities may trigger asthma symptoms.

Also Read: Managing Asthma With Exercise: Here's What You Need To Do

Seek support

Living with asthma can be challenging, and it is important to seek support from family, friends, and healthcare providers. Joining a support group or talking to a mental health professional can also be helpful in managing stress and anxiety.

Sleep well

Living With Asthma

Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health, especially if you have asthma. Poor sleep quality can negatively impact your asthma and cause next-day symptoms such as fatigue, lack of concentration, and irritability, which can affect your performance. Additionally, poor sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, which can worsen asthma symptoms. Keeping a sleep journal can be helpful in identifying if next-day symptoms are related to poor sleep, allowing for targeted interventions to improve sleep and overall health.

Final Word

In conclusion, living with asthma can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, but there are strategies that can help reduce these feelings and improve overall well-being. By learning about your condition, developing an asthma action plan, practising relaxation techniques, staying physically active, seeking support, and getting enough sleep, you can take control of your asthma and improve your quality of life.