Did you know that if you or your child suffers from either ADHD or asthma, studies show that they may be more likely to develop another illness than a person who does not suffer from either? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Link Between ADHD and Asthma?
According to a study by The Lancet Psychiatry, ADHD and asthma share some interesting links. Although there are no obvious causes or correlations between the two, over 16% of ADHD sufferers also have asthma, while only 11.5% of non-ADHD sufferers have asthma.
According to Dr. Jocelyn Yu Pan, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and the director of Appletree Psychological Services.
“The association between ADHD and asthma is quite complicated. Children who have asthma seem to have a higher chance of developing ADHD. However, asthma medication may not improve ADHD. In fact, it is observed in the clinic that some children experience their attention deficits getting worse when they are taking asthma medication.”
Adding to that, the Lancet Psychiatry also states that almost 9% of asthmatics also have ADHD, while only 5.6% of non-asthmatics have ADHD.
While there is a definite link between the two chronic illnesses, the Lancet Psychiatry cannot give a clear reason as to why. Their study suggests that it could be due to breathing patterns during sleep or raised anxiety. In an effort to discover the “why,”, the study continues until answers can be found.
Taking Care of Chronic Illnesses
Whether you or your child suffer from asthma, ADHD, or both, it is important to take proper care of your chronic illness. Although the very term “chronic” implies an inability to eliminate the illness, you can still maintain it to make your life a little easier.
How can you manage these chronic illnesses? In many ways, the approach is similar.
Taking Care of ADHD and Asthma
Some of the more important steps you can take in managing your attention deficit disorder also apply to managing asthma.
Living a healthy life is a great way to manage ADHD and asthma. Control what you can by eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and enjoying some quiet time.
Since ADHD is an attention disorder, you can help train your attention by establishing routines and simple schedules.
You can also develop daily routines for managing asthma, such as logging triggers in your Asthma Action Plan.
Do your best to keep your personal belongings clean and organized. A tidy atmosphere increases focus. Cleanliness also reduces the number of environmental triggers that might be causing asthma issues.
4. Proper Medication
Of course, the best thing you or your child can do for both of these conditions is to consult with a doctor about the proper medication.
Common Questions About ADHD & Asthma
1. Is there a link between asthma and ADHD?
Research has shown that there are links between asthma and ADHD. In fact, data analysis has shown that having either asthma or ADHD increases the likelihood of having the other by between 45 to 53 percent.
2. Can asthma medication cause ADHD?
Studies on children with both ADHD and asthma have suggested that there is a connection between asthma medication and an increased risk of having ADHD.
3. Do inhalers cause hyperactivity?
Studies have shown that there is no evidence of a link between asthma inhalers and hyperactivity in children.
4. Can asthma inhalers cause mood swings?
The medicine used in an asthma inhaler can cause mild to moderate side effects, including mood swings.
5. Can ADHD cause shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath can be a side effect of taking stimulant medication for ADHD. This is a serious side effect and anyone experiencing it should call their doctor immediately.