So what does it mean to have asthma? At its root, asthma is a chronic lung condition in which the airways become inflamed and narrow. This makes it harder to breathe — especially when you're exhaling — and can cause wheezing, coughing, and chest pain. Some people find that specific activities or elements of their environment can trigger the worst of their symptoms, possibly leading to life-threatening asthma attacks.
But it's also so, so much more than that. The condition often sneaks its way into unexpected areas of your life — including your mental health. As it turns out, not being able to breathe can be kind of a drag!
The good news is that, with a little perseverance, the vast majority of patients are able to find a treatment plan that works for them. So if your asthma is taking over your life (or you're just clinging to that rescue inhaler a little too tightly), definitely check in with your doctor to find another solution.
For now, though, read on to see some lesser-known ways asthma can impact your life — and some challenges that you now have permission to blame on the condition.