More than half of people with asthma have symptoms that are triggered by laughter, researchers have found.
Laughter is "one more trigger in a long list of triggers" for asthma, said study author Dr. Stuart Garay of the New York University Medical Center in New York.
However, among people with symptoms brought on by laughter, nearly half said they could laugh attack-free when their asthma was under better control. To Garay, this suggests that people who get asthma symptoms from laughing should consider tweaking their medicine to improve control of their condition. Laughter-induced asthma "may be a sign that you need some adjustment in your medication," he said.
Garay and colleagues asked 235 people with asthma if laughter affected their asthma. They found that 56% of people developed symptoms after laughing, most commonly cough and chest tightness.
However, 47% of people with asthma brought on by laughter said that when their asthma was under good control, they could laugh all they want, and have no symptoms. "When their asthma's not controlled, it's easier to bring out these symptoms," Garay said.
He emphasized that no one should try to live without laughter to avoid an asthma attack.
The researchers presented their findings last week at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.