Asthma symptoms could be aggravated by imbalance problems

Asthma patients could be at a higher risk of worsening symptoms due to problems with their balance, according to new research.

The study will be presented today (2 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna.

Researchers aimed to assess the link between asthma, anxiety and balance. Anxiety and imbalance are closely related. Muscles and joints are controlled by signals from the brain, which are, in turn, sent from stimuli from the eyes and inner ear. This function is also controlled by the in the brain, which is additionally responsible for emotions, such as anxiety.

It is well known that anxiety can exacerbate , yet there has been little research into whether balance abnormalities also have a on asthmatics.

The researchers measured levels of anxiety in 30 people with persistent controlled asthma and a control group without asthma. They used an established questionnaire, the Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults to measure a person's levels of anxiety. They also assessed using dynamic posturography, which tests a person's control of their posture in different positions.

The results confirmed previous findings showing that asthmatics regularly suffer with anxiety problems. 88% of people in the asthma group had a moderate or intense , compared with 46% in the control group.

The findings also revealed that the asthmatic group frequently performed worse in the balance test, compared with the control group.

The researchers suggest that balance abnormalities should be investigated in patients with asthma, particularly those with already high , to prevent the deterioration of their symptoms.

Lead author of the research, Dr Angelo Geraldo Jose Cunha, from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, said: "Our research has shed light on an area of asthma that has received little attention. The links we've seen between brain, lung and labyrinth suggest that asthma symptoms could be much worse in people with balance problems caused by anxiety or in people suffering from balance issues independent of anxiety problems.

"This study had confirmed that asthma has many clinical expressions that go beyond symptoms solely affecting the lung. In addition to healthcare professionals paying attention to balance disorders in asthmatics, this field of research requires further investigation to fully understand the link between balance, anxiety and asthma."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New tool to assess asthma-related anxiety

May 05, 2011

When children or adolescents with asthma and their parents become overly anxious about the disorder, it may impair their ability to manage the asthma effectively. A new, effective tool to assess asthma-related anxiety is ...

Mind out of balance, body out of balance

Jan 22, 2009

Many of the 40 million American adults who suffer from anxiety disorders also have problems with balance. As increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with anxiety, Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that ...

Study links asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder

Nov 15, 2007

For the first time, a study has linked asthma with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among adults in the community. The study of male twins who were veterans of the Vietnam era suggests that the association between asthma ...

Missed sleep may contribute to asthma morbidity

Jul 17, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Missed sleep may contribute to asthma morbidity in urban children, according to a study published in the July issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Recommended for you

New perspective on sepsis

Apr 17, 2014

In a review published in the April issue of Immunity, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, says it's time to take a fresh look at the medical community's approach to treating sepsis ...

Some immune cells defend only one organ

Apr 17, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system may fight cancers and viral infections. The finding could aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet Sep 02, 2012
As a childhood asthmatic myself, I could write so much about this subject. But I won't, because no asthma professionals are reading these comments. Unfortunately.