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Panic or asthma?

I'm in the middle of GCSE exam season (I'm 16 btw) and even before exam season started my asthma wasn't controlled due to an asthma attack back in January 24/25th and medication been changed many times these last few months and I'm on my 4th batch of steroids since January and I'm still having breathless issues since the asthma attack I no longer wheeze I only get breathless, mum thinks it might be stress / panicking without me knowing it but I try to drag it out and control it myself before inhalers but I get achy after a while and I kinda want to breathe normally again so I ended up taking inhalers

My question I guess is how can you tell whether it's asthma/panic or both??

Sorry about this rant is there anyone who can give me info or reassurance


7 Replies

Hi Erin001,

Sorry to hear you're having issues since your asthma attack. Exams can be a stressful time. Speak to your GP or asthma nurse if you feel that stress is making your asthma worse. You can also speak to one of our asthma nurse specialists on our Helpline on 0300 222 5800, 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri. There's some information on our website about stress and asthma:

Take care,



Hi. Your story sounds so familiar to mine except our ages as I'm 50! But I have been slightly breathless for years and it ended up with me having two asthma attacks in Nov. I have been on so many different combinations of inhalers since then that I've lost count. I am convinced that I have mild asthma and panic/stress which makes the asthma feel much worse. So I think your mum has a very valid point. I am currently seeing a respiratory physiotherapist to help with my breathing techniques. Apparently my breathing rate is currently twice what it should be. It's amazing how you don't realise that you are not breathing correctly until somebody points it out! I've only had one appointment so far but it is very helpful. I'm not saying that it will cure my asthma but it will hopefully help with all the background stuff that is going on and I feel that that will make the asthma more manageable. Maybe see if your doctor can refer you to one and see if it helps. Good luck with your exams.


I have an asthma specialist team currently


I think your mum is right - if you weren't worried about exams, you'd be most unusual. Try to fix a time in the morning where you devote an hour or even half an hour to relaxation and breathing exercises. Go to bed early and get up & dressed early as the best time to do it is 1st thing. Relaxation is not going back to sleep! it is about settling your mind. Quiet music can help. If you can start your day without panic, if you are organised about revising and so on, you will work much better. Incidently, never work in the hour or preferably two hours before you go to bed as your brain takes an hour or so to switch off.

Good luck!


I don't feel too worried though and I don't revise after dinner anyway and I do try to control my breathing before I go to inhalers when I'm breathless but I get achy and if it goes on for too long I turn to my inhalers


We have same situation since I'm 10year.. it is acquired asthma. ..every time I'm under pressure my asthma it stress asthma..I can mastered not to breath for 20min if I run out of inhaler which is ventolin..I tried to relax myself to survive ..I'm on my 50s now tried to keep myself busy and ignore my wheezing ..if I gain weight another factor of my asthma attack..better not think or worried and I don't have my attack..I always think positive to survive 😊


Hello, stress is like catching a cold or getting the sore throat, asthma triggers. Best breathing pattern dozen times helped to me so far: . Do you exercise time to time?


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