Can Asthma Develop in Adulthood?

Can Asthma Develop in Adulthood?

Even if you have no history of asthma as a child, it can develop in adulthood. The condition, known as adult-onset asthma, leaves you short of breath and tight in the chest. You may wheeze as you exhale, suffer a dry cough, and find that colds move to the chest quickly and leave lingering symptoms.

About 20 million adults age 18 and older in the United States have asthma. Because asthma in adults shares symptoms with a few other conditions, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the underlying cause.

The team of professionals at Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center, led by Shailee Madhok, MD, are ready to help if you’re struggling with the symptoms of asthma. Here’s what to do if you suspect you have adult-onset asthma and how to manage it effectively. 

Asthma affects all ages

Asthma often starts in childhood, but that’s not always the case. Adults are diagnosed with new-onset asthma all the time, and it’s more common in women than men. Adults develop asthma due to a variety of factors, including: 

Reduced lung capacity as you age adds to the problem.

Symptoms that suggest asthma

Asthma symptoms often look like those associated with other conditions, such as chronic pulmonary obstruction disorder. 

Visit our office for asthma screening if you experience:

In children, asthma symptoms typically go away between flare-ups, while people diagnosed in adulthood often have persistent wheezing and other breathing issues.

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have asthma, especially if they’re short lived, but getting a screening can get you help if you need it. 

Know your triggers

Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Be aware of these potential asthma-inducing culprits:

Minimizing your exposure to triggers helps you manage the symptoms of asthma. Try to keep your house clean and free of allergens. If you’re a smoker, make it a priority to quit. Just a few precautions can minimize the impact of asthma on your day-to-day life.

Getting relief from asthma

We individualize your treatment for adult-onset asthma depending on the severity of your symptoms. One common course of preventive treatment involves regularly using inhaled steroids to reduce inflammation, and/or a long-acting bronchodilator inhaler to help keep the airways relaxed. We may also prescribe a rescue inhaler, or short-acting bronchodilator, to provide relief when you’re having an asthma attack. 

If you have asthma, it’s a good idea to test your lung function daily to detect any changes. We may recommend you get a peak flow meter to measure and track your ability to expel air from your lungs. We use this information to determine if your medication is working properly and to make any necessary adjustments.

Effective long-term management is possible

Asthma can’t be cured, but it can be effectively managed with the right medication and lifestyle changes. If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of adult-onset asthma, come see us at Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center. We have the experience and knowledge to help you. Call today or use this website to schedule an appointment. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Our Favorite Ways to Make Your Home Allergen-Free

Our Favorite Ways to Make Your Home Allergen-Free

If you and your family are prone to allergies, rest assured you can create an allergen-free home with the right strategies. By implementing the following tips, you can create a healthier indoor environment for you and your family to enjoy.

Recognizing Food Allergy Signs in Babies and Toddlers

Recognizing the signs of food allergies in babies and toddlers can minimize the risk of severe reactions and ensure the well-being of your little one. Take a moment to learn when you should suspect your child has a food allergy.
Myths and Facts About Allergy Shots

Myths and Facts About Allergy Shots

Allergy shots stand out as a long-term solution when it comes to persistent allergies. If you’re considering the treatment, don’t get misled by any myths you may have heard about allergy shots. Instead, learn the facts on their effectiveness.
Helping Your Active Teen Manage Their Asthma

Helping Your Active Teen Manage Their Asthma

An active teen can successfully manage an asthma diagnosis and still live a full and vibrant life. Learn how you can support them in sports and social activities while helping them manage their asthma along the way.
5 Common Signs of a Dairy Allergy

5 Common Signs of a Dairy Allergy

Are you wondering whether you or a loved one is allergic to dairy? Look for these five common signs to determine if you should be tested.