Asthma Risk Factors. Psychological Factors May Play A Role In Triggering Asthma

The role of psychological factors in asthma is often overlooked. Though asthma is a physical illness, most specialist asthma doctors agree that psychological factors can play a major role in triggering asthma in most patients. In one research it was found that Children with a genetic predisposition to asthma might be more likely to develop the disease by age 3 if their families show certain psychological difficulties. The study found that several measures of family functioning and psychological health when a baby was 3 weeks old were linked to the child’s risk of developing asthma by age 3


Asthma sufferers should understand that emotions like crying and laughing, may be triggers for asthma.. Asthma is often trig­gered by simple hyperventilation. Severe asthma may induce stress and emotional disturbance, which in turn set up a vicious cycle of worsening asthma. It is also found that if emotional issues worsen asthma, they may also interfere with compliance or appropriate use of asthma medications. Some patients deny asthma symptoms and knowingly expose themselves to known asthma triggers.

Several studies have shown that adults and children with severe asthma are more likely to have serious psychological prob­lems, and a profile for asthma risk factor has been developed. Patients at high risk have severe psychological dysfunction with chronic depression, are unable to interact with medical providers or peers, and exhibit significant withdrawal symptoms.


Behavioral approaches such as relaxation techniques can improve relaxation of bronchial tract and improve respiratory functions. Biofeedback mechanisms have been shown to enhance asthma therapy. Additional therapy that has been studied in asthma in­cludes cognitive therapy and hypnosis. The most important form of therapy in the management of moderate to severe asthma where psychological factors are playing a role is in involving the family of the person. The aim of involving  and self-help programs is to fully teach  the family and patient about  asthma mechanisms, triggers, warning signs, and drug management.



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