Asthma UK community forum

What causes me to have a severe attack after Yawning?


I'm new to the forums so I don't know if this is the best place to post.

I have had very severe asthma for 23 years, it is very hard to pin point what my triggers are and even then my triggers come and go. I am very athletic and can play up to 90 mins of football without the need for my inhalor.

My main concern started 18 months ago, quite frequently when I yawn I begin to get wheezy and occasionally my symptoms become so sever I feel I may have to call an ambulance.

Any ideas on this one? After my latest attack this morning I am begining to panic when I feel a yawn coming on.


8 Replies

maybe yawning is an early warning sign that asthma is deteriorating and not a trigger at all...I know that it is a very early sign for me that things are going downhill with lungs.


You may be right I notice yawns before attacks and during I thought it was a sign of exhaustion.



i was told at one point that you yawn when you are lacking oxygen. So maybe that is why? Please do not quote me on it though because i am not a medical expert so not sure how accurate it is.


I have also always been of the opinion that yawning was a lack of oxygen. Definitely one of my signs that things going down. Also not the most helpful thing as the last thing you need when you are trying to get control is for your body to decide to take big gulping breaths (and do you find because your asthma is bad you can never finish the yawn which becomes beyond frustrating!)


Thanks for the responces,

I never have persistant yawning it tends to be a one off followed by an episode. It's interesting that you suggest that it could be a sign of deteriorating asthma as my condition has been at its worse than ever before.

Has anyone experienced my condition? It am worried that it is signs of something more serious.



Hi James,

Welcome to the forum first of all :)

As the others have said our asthma is all different and we all experience attacks different ways. The best thing to do anytime you have symptoms which are new for you or that you are in any way concerned about is to seek medical advice.

I would go and talk to your GP or asthma nurse about the yawning. You say the sympoms started 18 months ago - the recommendation is that every asthmatic should have an annual review so if you haven't had one yet I should ring up and book one.

We don't give medical advice on the forum even though a number of members are nurses/doctors as it would be very dangerous to do so....please go and ask for a review if you are at all concerned.

Take care and again....welcome :)



The cause I think when you yawn the musles in throat are tightened and then relax so think can cause bronchspasm's


yawnings link to large increases in breathing volume is likely trigger

Sounds like your asthma is not under control with your medication. Have a review with your GP/asthma team.

Some better breathing tips that work with yawning below:

yawning increases your breathing and can set off an asthma episode.(similar to laughter - or prolonged talking - known triggers for asthmatics particularly those with a cough).

when asthma is worse, you're more sensitive to changes in volume of your breathing.

Try yawning with little breaths (we actually do not need to breathe while yawning but little breaths are better than big ones). When we struggle to get a yawn out

sensible regular breathing means avoiding taking these large triggering breaths.

if you can manage to breathe through your nose, breathing in and out through it filters, warms and moistens the air while regulating the volume that you breathe. When your nose starts to block it can be an indicator that your breathing volume has subtly increased, when you reduce it again your nose should unblock itself (within a few breaths - mild discomfort at most). With mouth breathing, there is no such warning on increased breathing rate or regulation of volume (nostrils stay same, mouth can open more to breathe more).


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