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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources > Ask the Allergist

Asthma and Stress

Q: Can asthma be caused by emotions, or stress?

A: Asthma  is not an emotional or psychological disease, although strong emotions such as laughter or crying, and psychological stressors can definitely trigger asthma or make symptoms worse.  People with asthma have very sensitive lungs that may react to numerous triggers, causing the airways to tighten, swell and fill with mucus.  These factors can then lead to symptoms of difficulty breathing - shortness of breath, a sensation of chest tightness, coughing and wheezing.  Regarding stress, a previous study showed that college students with asthma had reductions in lung function the week prior to final exams! 

Allergy and Asthma Relief Test

If you have allergies or asthma, use the Allergy and Asthma Relief Self-Test to review your symptoms and see if you need to find relief.

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Allergists are specialists at treating both allergies and asthma. They can explain how your allergies can affect your asthma and steps you need to take to keep both conditions under control. Find an allergist in your zip code and find relief.

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