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Laughing with asthma.

Asthma is nothing to laugh at. But laughing may trigger asthma attacks. Called mirth-triggered asthma (MTA), it's the flare-up of asthma symptoms that happens after laughing.

Previous studies found that in 16% of asthmatic children tickling them triggers a worsening of their asthmatic symptoms. Doctors at Sydney Children's Hospital, Australia, gave a questionnaire to the parents of 265 asthmatic children seen in the emergency department for acute asthmatic attacks. The questionnaire first asked general questions

about the children's asthma, and then five questions about laughter and asthma symptoms.

Nearly 35% of the parents reported that their children's asthma was made worse by laughing. Laughter was more common a stimulant of asthmatic symptoms that stress. Coughing was the most common asthmatic symptom of MTA. It usually began within two minutes after the child started laughing.

Doctors know that if tickling an asthmatic child brings on symptoms, then the child's asthma control needs improvement. The same applies for MTA--if it occurs the child's asthma medicines need to be adjusted.

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Title Annotation:mirth-triggered asthma
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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