The root causes of asthma remain unknown. What is known is that asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways and that different people may have other causes. But there is one constant: exposure to a trigger causes airways to become irritated, constricted and clogged with mucus. Common triggers include, but are not limited to, certain foods, smoking, the weather, depression, stress and strong emotions.
What Happens During an Asthma Attack?
Asthma attacks restrict airways, making breathing difficult. This can be caused by airway muscle spasms, mucosal membrane irritation or excessive mucus. You may wheeze, cough or gasp as your body expels mucus.
How Can Stress and Strong Emotions Trigger Asthma?
Understanding asthma triggers is crucial. You can take preventive measures to reduce asthma attacks considering this knowledge.
Stress and asthma often coexist. For example, asthma attacks may result from crying, yelling or extreme laughing. The following are some examples of intense feelings that may bring on asthma attacks:
- Anger (rage)
Emotions themselves do not trigger asthma attacks. When you are feeling very emotional, however, you could find that your breathing patterns shift. This results in tense muscles or rapid respiration.
Try thinking of ways to express yourself that do not involve raising your voice. Remember to take several slow, deep breaths when you sense emotions like stress, anger or even sadness. Stress management can reduce your chances of experiencing an asthma attack caused by emotional distress. Mindful practices like meditation are beneficial for many in this situation.
Primary Care for Asthma
Although avoiding asthma triggers is helpful, taking drugs and following treatments in an asthma action plan as suggested by your doctor is far more effective. Seek medical assistance for optimal asthma management.
Symptoms not to be ignored include wheezing, chest tightness or pain, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath and a cough that worsens. If you do not already have rescue inhaler medication, visit Rapid Immediate Care as soon as possible. If you have one but use it and still feel like you cannot breathe, call 911 or come to our urgent care clinic immediately.
Asthma symptoms require an immediate diagnosis. They can be a red flag for various conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, proper diagnosis is essential in selecting the most effective treatment for restoring healthy breathing and general well-being. Please call us today for more information about our Illinois clinics or to make an appointment to talk about asthma care and management.