Social life and severe asthma

Enjoying your social life when you have severe asthma

Health advice > Severe asthma > Making life easier with severe asthma

Living with severe asthma shouldn’t mean you have to stop socialising. Here we give practical advice for managing your condition and social life.

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Making your social life easier

With a bit of planning, severe asthma shouldn’t mean missing out on social events altogether. There’s a lot you can do to make the most of good days, so that you can enjoy time with your friends and family.

But you may find having severe asthma sometimes stops you from doing things you enjoy. This might be because your symptoms are flaring up, or you need time to recover from an asthma attack. There may be times when it stops you from socialising at all.

Managing your symptoms

Managing your symptoms, even if you’re still experiencing some, will help you to enjoy your social life. It’s important to work with your healthcare professional team to keep your symptoms as well-managed as possible.

We have lots more information on how to manage your severe asthma.

Pulmonary rehabilitation

You can also manage your symptoms with pulmonary rehabilitation which is a treatment programme with physical exercises and advice on managing your symptoms. Ask your GP or specialist about attending classes. Pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to cut your risk of asthma symptoms and asthma attacks, and it can help improve your energy levels and quality of life.

Building your confidence

If you haven’t been out socialising for a while, it might take time to build up your confidence again. You might feel less confident because you’re embarrassed about using your inhalers in public too. If you feel this way, talk to your GP or specialist about how your severe asthma is affecting your life.

They can help you feel more confident about managing your symptoms by:

  • answering your questions about staying safe when you go out
  • checking your inhaler technique is correct
  • reassuring you that you’re already looking after your severe asthma as well as possible, which can boost your confidence.

Don’t forget, if you are feeling isolated you can always call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 or chat via WhatsApp on 07378 606 728 to talk about managing symptoms and going out. You can also read our information about managing mental health and severe asthma.

If you have concerns about socialising because of coronavirus, we have lots of information and support on how to keep yourself safe.

Planning ahead before you go out

If you have social events coming up, such as a wedding or party, try to save as much energy as possible beforehand by only doing essential things.

If you’re going away overnight, it’s a good idea to make a list of everything you’ll need to bring for your asthma management. It’s also a good idea to set reminders on your phone for taking medicines when you’re out.

Explaining severe asthma to your friends and family

Talking openly to friends, family and colleagues about your severe asthma can help them understand the condition. They may be more understanding about why you’ve had to cancel plans or take time off.

You can ask them to read our ‘What is Severe Asthma?’ page to help them understand that the condition is completely different to the kinds of asthma other people have.

Ask them to be part of your support team when you’re out – take a photo of your asthma action plan on your phone and email it to close friends and family so they know what to do if you have symptoms.

Other ways to connect with friends and family

When you have lots of symptoms and very little energy, try to think of other ways you can keep in touch with people. It can feel isolating when you’re living with a long-term condition, but it doesn’t have to.

There are a few things you can try:

  • If you can’t go out, invite your friends around for a meal or takeaway.
  • Stay in touch with people by using social media, video calls and messaging.
  • Talk to other people with severe asthma on our Health Unlocked forum.

You can call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (9am - 5pm; Mon - Fri) to talk to a respiratory nurse specialist for support with managing severe asthma and your social life. Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.


Last reviewed: March 2022
Next review due: March 2025

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