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Asthma or Panic Attacks?

I am 32 and I never have been diagnosed with asthma, but it has been feeling hard to breath lately. Now I do have panic attacks, but it can feel hard to breath even when I am calm. How can one tell the difference between genuine asthma and panic attacks?

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I find an asthma attack gives me notice, and a panic attack instant.

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Could you elaborate?

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Please?

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An asthma attack may be more slow building for example you might have symptoms days, or hours beforehand. A panic attack may me much more instantaneous

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If you have panic attacks daily....would that make it harder to tell the difference?

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Thanks carriejen

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I would probably say yes but I’m not sure. If your reliever inhaler isn’t making any difference than it’s unlikely to be an asthma attack

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I don't have an inhaler. I am just wondering if I have asthma, and how to tell the difference. Never been diagnosed in order to get inhaler.

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Well if you suspect you have asthma you should go to a doctor and get the ball rolling for tests 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Yeah; I just sent my doctor a question. Hopefully he doesn't just write my question off as just more anxiety or OCD.

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I think if you’re having a panic attack or an asthma attack there’s a difference you can feel. Speak to your doctor about getting a reliever inhaler in a trial for a bit if you’re worried about breathing. If it’s not asthma it’s unlikely to help

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Yeah; I asked if I can get tested for it. I know for a while I randomly cough up whitish/green phlegm. I have been told I have Post Nasal Drip too....so it's kinda up in the air unless he agrees to test me.

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No harm in asking 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Agreed

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To add post nasal drip will irritate your airways it does mine. I am sure that your doctor will listen to your concerns. I was wondering about the difference between the two. See asthma UK for the definitive answer for the difference between them.

I hope and pray you get your answers and it settles your mind.

Remember we aren't doctors just others with asthma.

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What is post nasal drip please?

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Post nasal drip is caused by an allergen which can be all year round ie. Dust mite or at different times of year ie. Hay fever. webmd.boots.com/asthma/guid...

I have been diagnosis with dust mite allergy so mine is an all around year allergy.

If you haven't been properly diagnosis then I suggest that you talk to your Doctor about it. Mine allergy was found when my respiratory consultant did an Ige blood test. This shows what you may be allergic too. This I had done at an out patience appointment so again I don't know if it can be done at a GP surgery.

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I have asthma and I have the occasional panic attack. I find that they are very different experiences. When I have an asthma flare up I feel it all in my lungs. There's the coughing and wheezing and feeling tight in my back and chest. With a panic attack my breathing becomes shallow but my heart races, my palms sweat and I feel like I can't sit still.

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I have asthma and have also had the occasional panic attack. It can be difficult to tell the difference but as others have said if inhaler doesn't work then it's likely to be a panic attack. However as you don't have an inhaler as you have not been properly diagnosed with asthma then I would strongly recommend that you ask your doctor to refer you to a respiratory physiotherapist as they can go through the various checks with you to see if it is a panic attack.

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As an asthma sufferer who has also being suffering with anxiety over other medical symptoms, may I suggest you try mindfulness techniques there’s a simple free ap called headspace. If your breathlessness subsides when you you introduce mindfulness then I would suggest your symptoms are anxiety based rather than asthma. Asthma is generally triggered by an allergen which causes airway inflammation, most common being cold air, exercise, dust and pet hair, grass pollen etc. If in doubt see your GP.

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I had mild asthma for quite a while before it was diagnosed. I was even sent for an angiogram because of chest pain / tightness and finding it hard to breathe! (My heart was fine). Fortunately I went to the doctor when it was tight and he did a peak flow measurement (simple breathe test) which showed that my breathing was the problem and it was remedied by ventolin to open the bronchials and clenil to prevent attacks. Initially they were brought on by high pollen levels (tree, grass and weeds) and air pollution. Unfortunately now happens anyway.

I would suggest as it is happening daily you make a note of when it happens, how often and go and see your GP and ask for further investigation. You can have anxiety, panic attacks and asthma. It is important to know so that you find the best treatment at the right time.

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