When Asthma Gets Scary: Meditation and Relaxation Practices


Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN    

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Asthma touches so many people—if you don’t have it yourself, there’s a good chance you know at least one person who does. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 25 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma—and there are likely many who endure its symptoms (wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath) but haven’t been diagnosed.

Managing the Attacks

Asthma is a chronic respiratory, or lung disease caused by inflammation of the small airways. Symptoms usually begin in childhood, but adults can develop asthma later on in life. It can’t be cured, but you can usually manage asthma with medications—most often inhalers (or “puffers”). However, people with asthma may be able to reduce how often they have an attack (called exacerbations) with some simple lifestyle changes. These won’t eliminate the attacks completely, but they can make a difference.

Getting a diagnosis of asthma can be scary and intimidating. But with a little understanding and the right treatment plan, you can learn to control your asthma and keep it from slowing you down.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jan 19, 2016

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