There is a type of bronchial asthma, the development of which is provoked by the psychoemotional state of a person. She is called nervous.

Nervous asthma is exacerbated during the period of strong feelings. Diagnosis and treatment of the disease are for the most part the same as in ordinary asthma, but differ in emphasis on the psycho-emotional state of the patient.

Causes of bronchial asthma

It is not known for certain what exactly causes the development of the disease. It is believed that these are various internal and external factors. Often a patient has asthma associated with several of them.

People who are at risk:

  • obese;
  • having a tendency to develop allergic reactions;
  • women (for them, the risk doubles);
  • those who had asthmatics in their family.

Smoking (even passive), frequent colds, poor nutrition and environmental conditions can increase the risk of bronchial asthma . Pathology often develops in people who live in large cities and in concrete houses (due to dampness and insufficient ventilation).  

But the main reason is still psychological factors: stress, anxiety.

Therapy of the disease directly depends on the reasons for its development. Eliminating these factors helps to reduce the number of attacks and ease them.

Asthma and stress

By itself, bronchial asthma does not belong to the pathologies of the nervous system, but regular stress can provoke it. The disease is a chronic inflammatory reaction in the bronchi, caused by a malfunction of the immune system.

The patient’s experiences can lead to an attack of suffocation. The increased load on the nervous system of asthmatics stimulates the release of histamine, which causes spasm of the bronchial muscles, the symptoms of which are shortness of breath, coughing and choking. 

There are other conditions that are accompanied by similar symptoms. These include:

  • heart failure;
  • panic attacks;
  • VSD.

In heart failure, stress causes the heart to malfunction, causing blood to stagnate in the lungs and coughing.

If an attack is triggered by vegetative-vascular dystonia, it is accompanied by increased bowel contractions, increased sweat and saliva production, facial flushing, nausea and tremors. The disease manifests itself outside the attack – such people are withdrawn and anxious.

Nervous asthma is different in that stress becomes the cause of exacerbation.

Nervous asthma symptoms

Symptomatic neurological asthma does not differ from other types of the disease. Signs of pathology are:

  • cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing;
  • feeling of tightness in the chest;
  • tachycardia;
  • choking, difficulty breathing;
  • chest pain.

The reason for this is the narrowing of the bronchi. The peculiarity of the disease is that its symptoms are caused by strong emotions. There are no other factors that can provoke them, but the manifestations become more pronounced with bronchitis or viral infections.

Since other diseases are accompanied by similar symptoms, conclusions about their cause can be made only after a comprehensive examination.


The examination process is the same as for other types of asthma:

  • general clinical tests are taken, and sputum is examined;
  • allergy tests are done;
  • instrumental examinations are prescribed: spirometry, peak flowmetry , ECG, radiography.

Diagnosis consists in the need to make sure that the cause of the pathology is precisely the response to stress, and not something else. For this, the features of emotional response are assessed. The doctor takes into account the information received from the patient about when the first attack occurred, what is accompanied by an exacerbation and what exactly is manifested in. This information is sufficient to determine the psychogenic nature of the disease and conduct therapy.

Treatment of psychogenic asthma

If the reason for the development of asthmatic attacks is nervous tension, then first of all, a psychotherapist’s consultation is prescribed. A similar disease can occur in adults and children, but adolescents and postmenopausal women are most susceptible to it. The frequency of exacerbations in a patient is reduced by the absence of stress.  

Often, therapy is complicated by the patient’s negative attitude. Asthmatics do not follow all the prescriptions because they are sure that there is no benefit from therapy. They are afraid of another attack, which also has a negative effect on the course of the disease.

Drug treatment involves the use of drugs to relieve spasms and eliminate seizures. An inhaler is used for administration. This category includes:

  • short- and long-acting beta- adrenergic agonists ;
  • cromones ;
  • glucocorticosteroids ;
  • combination drugs.

The severe course of the pathology requires taking a course of systemic steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. For bacterial complications, antibiotics are prescribed.

What should be in complex treatment

Also, therapy is carried out aimed at eliminating stress. People who are afraid of exacerbations of the disease need to understand that with the help of drug therapy, attacks can be completely controlled. An important step is to relieve stress and improve the psycho-emotional state. The patient is prescribed warm baths, physiotherapy exercises and massage.

Psychological training has been proven to be effective in the treatment of psychosomatic diseases. They must be combined with a change in lifestyle, normalization of sleep and rest. Treatment of bronchial asthma includes the following physiotherapy methods:

  • Spa treatment
  • mud baths;
  • electrophoresis;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • galvanization.

During the period of increased nervous tension, the body critically needs magnesium. The lack of this element leads to aggravation of nervous asthma. The cause of an exacerbation may also be unhealthy diet, taking diuretics, alcohol abuse, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs.

In the presence of nervous asthma, magnesium-rich foods should be preferred. These include:

  • dates;
  • cocoa;
  • sprouted wheat grains and bran;
  • nuts;
  • flax seeds;
  • spinach.

In the absence of effectiveness from the use of the above measures, medication is prescribed. These can be tranquilizers, antidepressants, or antipsychotics. The drugs are taken only under the supervision of a doctor, as they can be addictive and provoke withdrawal symptoms. As an auxiliary therapy, decoctions of herbs with a sedative effect are used: motherwort, lemon balm, valerian.

Most often, drugs are avoided. Stabilization of the emotional background occurs after psychotherapy and good rest.


Prevention methods will also help reduce the likelihood of attacks of nervous asthma:

  • try to minimize contact with allergens, especially pollen;
  • use hypoallergenic washing powder, linen, clothes;
  • wash bedding at a high temperature;
  • normalize the emotional background;
  • refuse to use carpets, upholstered furniture, a large number of toys in the house.

It is not always possible to relieve asthma attacks on your own at home; if symptoms appear, you should seek medical help.