Stress and anxiety observed in teenagers suffering from asthma

Stress and anxiety observed in teenagers suffering from asthma

Asthma, a condition caused by inflammation in the airways, can be a cause of great discomfort for those who suffer from this problem. It has been found that at times, the problem can also trigger other complications in the patient, including mental health issues.

While studying the symptoms exhibited by asthma patients, researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital recently found that asthma patients suffer from higher levels of anxiety and stress when compared to those not suffering from the lung disease.

Waking up at odd hours due to shortness of breath can trigger stress

Some of the symptoms observed in asthmatics, such as breathlessness and waking up at odd hours due to shortness of breath, are linked to higher levels of stress and anxiety in teens. The findings of the research were presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting. To understand the possible link between the manifestations of asthma and perceived stress and anxiety, the scientists observed 335 teenagers, 38 of whom were afflicted with asthma at the time of the research.

The stress that patients of asthma face due to occasional wheezing and coughing was evaluated with the help of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Four asthma symptoms were linked to perceived stress, which included waking up with elevated symptoms, waking up in the middle of the night, restriction on work and shortness of breath.

Commenting on the links between asthma symptoms and perceived stress that remained high even after making necessary adjustments, senior author of the study Dr. Cathryn J. Luria of Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, said, “Because these patients may be particularly vulnerable to stress and anxiety, this information can be helpful to physicians as they counsel their patients about the importance of managing their asthma.”

While researchers found an association between asthma and increased levels of anxiety, they were not able to comment on which came first. Lyria added, “While we found a link between asthma symptoms and stress and anxiety, it’s not clear which came first – the symptoms or the stress and anxiety. More study is needed to determine that.”

Distressing figures

The findings of the study shed light on probabilities of anxiety in people suffering from asthma and would help in understanding anxiety problems faced by young asthma patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma affects nearly 25.7 million people, including 7 million children equal to or less than 18 years of age.

Asthma patients are given medications to alleviate their symptoms, however, the latest study focuses on the need to screen such patients for possible symptoms of anxiety and provide necessary treatment. Aggravated levels of anxiety affect an estimated 18 percent of the American population. Anxiety disorders when allowed to grow out of control can cause mental and physical health problems, debilitating the overall growth and development of a person.

Seeking treatment

Feeling nervous prior to participating in a new act or any unknown situation is normal. But persistent worries can render someone incapable of leading a normal life. The researchers said that there are many factors that may contribute to anxiety disorders. These include hormonal imbalances, changes in the chemical structure of the brain, or even a respiratory disease like asthma.

Lately, many changes have been witnessed in the way anxiety disorders are perceived and treated by medical practitioners. Doctors may resort to medication or a combination of psychotherapy along with necessary behavioral therapies, apart from advising changes in diet and lifestyle as means of therapeutic intervention.

If you or your loved one is battling anxiety and has been looking for effective treatment options, you may get in touch with the Florida Helpline for Anxiety for inputs about one of the best anxiety treatment centers in Florida. You may contact us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-920-9834 or chat online for further expert advice.