July 01, 2019

Adult asthma

Developing an action plan

Asthma can appear at any point in life, including later adulthood. Adult-onset asthma is more likely to cause persistent symptoms and require daily medication to keep it under control. A step-wise method of increasing or decreasing your asthma drug regimen an important part of managing symptoms.

Adult asthma

You had asthma as a child, but over time, the symptoms stopped. Or at least you thought they did until you went to stay at your sister's house for a week and spent time with her calico cat. Along with allergy symptoms that flared up, you started to experience that all-too-familiar shortness of breath and nagging cough. Could something that didn't bother you for many decades suddenly reappear?

Asthma can appear at any point in life. For some people, it's a condition that develops in childhood and either persists into adulthood or — if the condition improved during puberty — sometimes recurs at a later time. For others, asthma may not develop until adulthood. This is often due to triggering factors such as allergies or exposure to environmental irritants such as smoke, chemicals or mold. The use of certain medications, such as aspirin and other nonprescription pain relievers, may trigger asthma. Certain illnesses and infections — as simple as a bad cold — also may play a role in worsening the condition.

Adult-onset asthma is more likely to cause persistent symptoms and require daily medication to keep it under control. In addition, symptoms overlap with those of other serious respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For these reasons, it's important to have the symptoms evaluated.

Irritants and inflammation

Your lungs take in air with allergens and irritants — pollens, dust, smoke environmental chemicals and bacteria, to name a few — on a regular basis. Normally...