The word ‘asthma’ is derived from the Greek aazein, meaning “sharp breath.”
Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system often caused by one or more triggers. These episodes may be triggered by allergens, cold air, exertion or even emotional stress.
In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold. The narrowing airways cause symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Usually, between episodes most patients generally feel OK, although they may feel slightly out of breath for longer periods of time.
Symptoms of asthma can range from mild to life- threatening.
Symptoms of asthma
Asthma is often characterised by chronic respiratory difficulties. For some it it is an intermittent illness with symptoms in episodes that may result from a number of triggering events, which can include upper respiratory infection, stress, airborne allergens, air pollutants, cigarette or cigar smoke, or exercise.
An asthma attack is the acute exacerbation of asthma. Indicators of an attack are shortness of breath (known as dyspnoea) and wheezing which is a high pitched sound from the upper airways.
Signs of asthmatic episodes include wheezing, rapid breathing, a rapid heart rate (tachycardia), rhonchus lung sounds and over-inflation of the chest.
During very severe attacks, an asthma sufferer can turn blue from lack of oxygen, and can experience chest pain or even loss of consciousness.
Before we can consider psychotherapy it is essential that you visit your GP. We can then conduct a thorough a full initial consultation to decide the best course of treatment for the individual. Helping to deal with stressful situations can greatly alleviate the symptoms.