Watch Out for Negative Emotions

Published Online: Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Stress, anxiety, and depression can trigger asthma attacks. Furthermore, these emotions can prevent people from taking the necessary actions to treat the attack, according to Paul Enright, MD, an asthma expert. He offers the following 5 suggestions to prevent negative emotions from worsening asthma:

  1. Have a written asthma action plan. If patients know what to do when they fall into the yellow or red zone, they will feel calm and in control.
  2. Take asthma controller medications faithfully when under stress.
  3. Breathe through the nose. The nose warms and humidifies the inhaled air and removes allergens and dust particles.
  4. Try wearing nasal strips at night.
  5. Learn a relaxation technique, such as yoga or meditation, to help reduce anxiety and the tendency to hyperventilate during an asthma exacerbation.

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