Chest Tightness Allergies Asthma Or Anxiety?

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated March 28, 2022

chest tightness - allergies, asthma, or anxiety

I’ve had chest tightness lately. I’m becoming concerned that my allergies are flaring up or I have asthma. How can I tell the difference between allergies, asthma, and anxiety?

Chest tightness and shortness of breath can be caused by many reasons, including anxiety, stress, being out of shape, allergies, and other medical conditions, such as asthma. It can be difficult to tell the difference by yourself.

In this case, it’s best to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

Your doctor can assess your symptom-set and request medical testing, if necessary, to see if there is a medical cause for your symptoms. If your doctor finds a medical cause, following your doctor’s recommendation can help alleviate your symptoms.

We also want to keep in mind that medical problems can develop at any time, especially as we age, so we don’t want to chalk everything up to anxiety and stress.

This is why we recommend discussing all new, changing, persistent, and returning symptoms with your doctor to ensure all medical possibilities are ruled out.

If your doctor attributes your symptoms solely to stress, including anxiety-caused stress, you can focus on your anxiety disorder recovery work, and in time, your symptoms should subside.

If your doctor attributes your symptoms to asthma, following the recommended treatment plan can alleviate your chest tightness symptoms.

If you have asthma, it needn’t be a source of concern or despair. Many people have asthma and live normal lives.

Moreover, many people have medical issues they live with. But with appropriate treatment, these medical issues don’t have to interfere with a normal lifestyle. Again, following a prescribed treatment plan and making the necessary adjustments means life can still be good, fulfilling, joy-filled, and peaceful.

If your symptoms are allergy-related, following your doctor’s advice can alleviate them.

Keep in mind that research has found stress, including anxiety-caused stress, can aggravate allergies. Working on your anxiety issues could also cause a reduction in your allergies.

If your chest tightness symptoms are fitness-related, getting regular mild to moderate exercise can increase your fitness level, which could alleviate your chest tightness symptoms.

If you have been sedentary for a long time, also talk with your doctor about how to start a fitness plan. Generally, rushing into a rigorous fitness plan isn’t a good idea. It’s better to start slowly and gradually work your way to better fitness.

So again, discuss your symptoms with your doctor and proceed based on the diagnosis.

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The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions archive. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including How To Tell The Difference Between Allergies, Asthma, and Anxiety When You Are Having Chest Tightness Symptoms.