Can Panic Attacks Lead to an Asthma Attack?
When you are having a panic attack, your body undergoes physical and emotional symptoms caused by a release of hormones in response to you going into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Panic attacks can be situational, meaning you get one as the result of a stressful situation, or they can come on with seemingly no cause at all. Panic attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Even if you get them often, they can be a very upsetting and scary experience.Panic Attack Symptoms
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing troubles or breathing too fast
Is it Anxiety or an Asthma Attack?
Some panic attack symptoms are similar to those of asthma attacks, especially when it comes to dizziness and difficulty breathing. If your asthma is the result of something like a pollen allergy or because you have exercised too hard, you should be able to tell whether you are suffering from asthma or anxiety.
However, it is possible for a panic attack to trigger your asthma. When you struggle to breathe during a panic attack your airways constrict, making it even harder to breathe and triggering an asthma attack. Since not being able to catch your breath is a stressful situation, this can make the panic attack worse and you can get stuck in a vicious cycle.
Ways to Soothe Panic Attacks
To help prevent yourself from getting into the asthma-anxiety cycle, there are a few things you can try to ease your panic attack symptoms.
- Breathing exercises: Breathe in deep and slow through your nose then blow out through your mouth.
- Exercise lightly: Channel that adrenaline into a walk or a light form of exercise, but don’t overdo it as you might exacerbate your symptoms.
- Find a distraction: Focus on something like a mindless television show, cuddle with your furry best friend, or call someone to have a calming chat.
If you are having an asthma attack, it’s important to treat your symptoms so you can breathe normally again. Most people do this with asthma medication in the form of an inhaler. Inhalers are devices that spray medication right into your airways, making it easier for you to breathe.