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Asthma or a panic attack?

Hi, I have just signed up to Asthma uks site, as a result of some long discussions with friends. I have had asthma moderately for about twenty years, and I am lucky in that I can participate in sports as long as I take my inhaler along. Some of my close friends who dont have asthma have started comparing asthma to panic attacks, and wonder if I actually need to keep my inhaler on me, or even take it at all. Its frustrating, I know panic attacks can be just as crippling but I dont suffer from them, just asthma. I would be really interested to know if anyone else has had this comparison made, and how people feel about this. Any advice on how I can educate my friends as well would be appreciated. i have sent off for some of the asthma uk's booklets.



7 Replies

Hello Silversnow

That sounds frustrating. Perhaps you could point out to your friends that the symptoms of panic attack and the symptoms of asthma differ quite markedly (particularly the psychological symptoms).

Do your friends perhaps mean that you panic because you think you might have an asthma attack? Or that you might not have your inhaler on you?

People are strange when it comes to asthma, myths and confusions abound! I think people particularly tend to overplay the ""emotional"" element of asthma. (I have had asthma for many years, and have never responded to a traumatic situation by having an asthma attack......).

Anyway, you know your asthma, you know when you need your inhaler,and I think you should just keep on doing what you know is the best thing for you. Anyway, the truth is - when it comes to our health - we don't actually need to justify ourselves to anyone.




Hi Maz,

Thanks for your response. I think the implication is that Asthma is an emotional problem, triggered by emotion rather like a panic attack can be. That asthma could be cured but that somehow asthmatics like the attention. i should point out that my asthma is not severe and that I am discreet when I take my imhaler but i do keep it on me, which is how the discussion started.I pointed out that I can have an attack when i am feeling happy, just like when Im dancing or running as it is exercise induced and that I keep my inhaler close becasue i dont want to waste time by trying to find it. The response was that I should try to do without my inhalers.

i think your idea of talking about the diferent symptoms is good. I will try that.

Appreciate it,



And if that doesn't work, just hit them about the head with your inhaler. That'll teach them.


A peak flow meter or spacer is a better shape for hitting irritating people round the head with ;)


I put spikes on my old aerochamber. well-they are thumb tacks. useful....


VICKYYYYY!!!!!! And who were you hitting ith it? ;P


I suffer both Asthma attacks and Panic Atticks - although sometimes the Panic can set in during my Asthma and affects my control of it and occassionally if i am panicing the asthma is affected by me hyperventilating. However they are both really different - require different treatment and need handled in different ways.

I know a lot of people who get confused about this and occassioanally when taking an asthma attack at work have been left alone when people think it is asthma (and i've actually needed help)

Maybe if you explain the differences in symptoms etc your friends will understand more?


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