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Does Asthma Affect Relationships?

Does asthma affect relationships? That is the question of the day. I would like to say it doesn’t. But, based on my personal experiences, I have to say it does. Sometimes it affects them in good ways. But, sometimes it affects them in bad ways. So, now that I said this, an explanation is in order.

How does asthma affects relationships in good ways?

I was the second of six children. I think I’m closer to mom than any of us. Mom has said that to me many times. She says, “You and I have the best conversations. We click on just about every subject.”

I like to think this is due to all the times we spent together because of my asthma. So many hours spent in emergency rooms. So many hours passing the time waiting for doctors. Or, just passing the time after being admitted to a hospital bed due to asthma. This resulted in many conversations.

And, of course, while the guys were doing guy things, I had to stay home with mom. When dad and my brothers were gathering wood for the wood stove, I stayed home with mom. When dad and the guys went to hunting camp, I stayed home with mom.

So, it only makes sense that we grew close.

In this way, I think asthma can affect relationships in good ways.

How does asthma affect relationships in bad ways?

Sure, the goal of an asthma management plan is to live normal lives with asthma. We try. We often say we do. But, truth be told, there are still things we cannot do. We must, for all practical purposes, avoid our asthma triggers. Mine are dust mites, mold spores, and pollen. I have severe allergies to each.

So, like, I really shouldn’t be doing any deep house cleaning. Dust mites are in closets, in boxes, basements, and under beds. So, when I clean in these spaces, sniffles, sneezes, and wheezes are soon to follow. These are usually followed by a few puffs of my inhaler. It may involve a nebulizer breathing treatment. It may involve days of me recovering.

So, like, I really shouldn’t be mowing the lawn either. Think of all the allergens that are inhaled when you do this chore. This causes sniffles, sneezes, and wheezes. Puffs on the old inhaler usually follow. The humming of a nebulizer may be heard by all in the vicinity of the asthmatic.

Sometimes I say, “I’m not doing that again.” Yet, next time the job needs to be done, it’s me who does it again. And no one stops me. Yeah! Like, why is this? It can be kind of frustrating if you’re the asthmatic.

So, what to make of this?

I personally cannot deny that asthma affects relationships. Sometimes, this impact is negative. It can cause frustration. And, trust me, this is no criticism of anyone. It’s just a natural phenomenon. Asthma is an invisible illness. If you don’t have it, you cannot fathom what it’s like. Even if you see the asthmatic suffer, if you don’t have it, you forget. It’s just the way it is.

Thankfully, the impact of asthma is usually positive on relationships. This disease is why I’m a respiratory therapist and writer for this site. So, in this way, it has introduced me to many people, some of which have evolved into great, long-lasting friendships.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • kassysteiger
    2 years ago

    I’ve had a pretty tough time with my asthma. Was diagnosed when I was a baby and then it went dormit until I was 18. I have to say that since it came back it has definitely affected my relationships for the bad but some good has come out of it! The worst part about it is I have been happily together with my now fiancé for 6 years and he didn’t understand what or how asthma worked and it was really frustrating when out of the blue my asthma flared up really bad. We were in and out of hospitals for a year before I found a really great doctor who finally understands the disease and wanted to fix it! My fiancé and I are trying to cope with the fact that my asthma is back and with a vengeance and it is really tough on us. Waking up in the middle of the night coughing up a lung and doctors appointments about one a week! It has seriously strained our relationship because he is always so worried about me and my breathing. On the flip of a dime my asthma can flare up and there’s nothing he feels he can do but drive me to the hospital. Having asthma sucks and has strained my relationships but I know that my fiancé and I are a stronger couple and I met some really great nurses at the hospital!

  • FeelingShy
    2 years ago

    YES. Thank you.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank YOU!!!!

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