A Breath of Laughter

Happy homes help asthmatic kids, says study

Happy kids afflicted with asthma suffer fewer symptoms than unhappy ones, says a new study from Australia.

When children live in a stable home environment, with clearly defined roles and expectations, along with emotional support, they seem to be less bothered by their asthma symptoms, says this story from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But children who live in more poorly organized, less-involved families seem more upset by the coughing and wheezing that comes with asthma.

"We found that quite independent of how severe their asthma symptoms were -- the frequency of coughing, waking at night or shortness of breath -- children seemed to be less bothered about their asthma when they have a stable family environment," says Dr. Michael Sawyer of Adelaide University.

Controlling strong emotions is important for asthmatics. While emotions like anger don't cause asthma, they can trigger an attack, according to this article from Wisconsin's Community Health Care.

This article from the Australian Web site My Doctor details how stress can affect asthma by causing the airways to tighten or prompting a change in breathing rate. The article recommends teaching children how to manage stress by exercising and eating right and using relaxation techniques.

Consumer News