Asthma Is Becoming More Common
Asthma is on the rise worldwide. It affects 15% to 20% of the population in Western countries, say Sears and colleagues.
Cases can vary in severity. For many people, asthma is mild, but it can still hinder quality of life and the ability to work, the study shows. The researchers say that some authorities even recommend that people without symptoms, yet who have a history of asthma, should be screened out on the grounds of increased risk.
Asthma symptoms arent always constant. Up to a third of patients get at least a four-year break from it by age 26, say the researchers, citing another study.
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What Is Asthma And What Causes It
Asthma can start during early childhood or develop later in life the cause is most often unknown or identified as an allergic response of the upper airways to any environmental triggers. An asthma attack cannot only be induced by allergens, but also by sudden changes of air humidity or temperature, as well as inhalation of fumes generated by evaporation of chemicals, or from cooking or heating. Besides inhaled triggers, asthma attacks can be resulted from psychological stress, sports or food allergens. The question which mechanism links all these diverse triggers to develop asthma remains open.
New Onset Egg Allergy In An Adult
Abstract: We report newly presenting systemic and local allergic reactions to egg in a 55-year-old woman. The patient did not have a history of egg allergy in childhood or occupational exposure to egg proteins nor did she report any disease that is known to be related to food allergy. A skin prick test with commercial extracts, prick-to-prick test, CAP radioallergosorbent assay, and a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test were used to prove egg allergy. Because egg allergy mainly affects children and symptoms frequently disappear with age, the late onset in this patient is rare.
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How Is Asthma Treated
Asthma can be controlled, but there’s no asthma cure. There are, however, certain goals in asthma treatment. If you are unable to achieve all of these goals, it means your asthma is not under control. You should contact your asthma care provider for help with asthma.
Treatment goals include the following:
- Live an active, normal life
- Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms
- Attend work or school every day
- Perform daily activities without difficulty
- Stop urgent visits to the doctor, emergency room, or hospital
- Use and adjust medications to control asthma with little or no side effects
Properly using asthma medication, as prescribed by your doctor, is the basis of good asthma control, in addition to avoiding triggers and monitoring daily asthma symptoms. There are two main types of asthma medications:
Asthma medications can be taken by inhaling the medications or by swallowing oral medications . If you are also taking drugs for other conditions, you should work with your providers to check drug interactions and simplify medications when possible.
Pulmonary Structure And Function
Additional data suggest that advanced age, irrespective of any concomitant pulmonary disease, is associated with increased bronchial hyperresponsiveness., In a study of 148 subjects, ranging from age 5 to 76 years, age had an independent association with bronchial hyperresponsiveness as measured by a methacholine challenge. In another study, bronchial hyperresponsiveness to histamine challenge was associated with increased eosinophil count and allergic sensitization however, older age maintained an independent association with bronchial hyperresponsiveness, which was more prominent in subjects with respiratory symptoms. In addition to age, it is recognized that smoking and the baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second have strong effects on bronchial hyperresponsiveness., Furthermore, aging is associated with a progressive decline in lung function. Coupled with these findings, breathing is exaggerated through increased air trapping and a reduction in chest wall compliance with increased age. Actually, it is reported that bronchodilators, such as long-acting beta2 agonist , have an add-on effect to inhaled corticosteroid .
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When Asthma Appears Later In Life You Can Breathe Easier When It Is Managed Well
Chris Haromy has lived with asthma since childhood. He is also a registered respiratory therapist and certified respiratory educator with The Lung Association Ontario. Ive learned to stay on top of my asthma, constantly monitoring my health, taking all of my medication as prescribed, and living a healthy lifestyle. When hes not in the office, he is often out jogging or playing soccer.
Haromy has spent the last 21 years or more developing and providing patient education programs for children and adults to help them manage the vagaries of life with asthma, including the swelling and inflammation in the lining of airways , the coughing attacks, and the muscle contractions that narrow the airways all of which make breathing difficult.
In this country, 12.2 percent of children have the chronic disease, but its not limited to young people. About 6.3 percent of adults live with it, too many of whom were diagnosed after age 50, according to data from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
its a big adjustment for someone to be diagnosed with asthma as an adult.
Of course, its a big adjustment for someone to be diagnosed with asthma as an adult, says Haromy. But theres a lot they can do to ensure they continue living a full, active life. But the reality is, half of the people who have asthma dont manage it well. So many people with asthma seem resigned to just putting up with it.
- occupational exposures
Who Should Treat This Particular Aspect Of Asthma Or Allergies
Many older patients are treated for asthma by their internist or family physician however, if your asthma symptoms are not under control within three to six months, or if you have severe persistent asthma, or if you are having asthma episodes that need emergency treatment, it may be time to see an asthma specialist. Allergists/Immunologists or pulmonologists are specialists who treat asthma. Those who have completed training in those specialties are usually called board-certified or board-eligible.
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Q: What Increases Your Risk For Adult
A: Most childhood asthma disappears in adulthood. But having childhood asthma increases your risk of a relapse in your 30s or 40s. Other factors that increase the risk of adult-onset asthma include:
- Being overweight or obese: A low level of physical activity, changes in lung physiology and higher levels of inflammation are among several factors at play.
- Being female: Hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy and menopause can trigger asthma.
- Allergens: Cats, cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold or dust can trigger asthma.
Am I Experiencing Adult Onset Asthma
Up to 25 million Americans have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most people develop the condition in childhood, adult-onset asthma is also possible.
In fact, asthma symptoms can develop at any age and stage of life. Some people who have asthma as children age out of flare-ups as they get older, while others first experience the condition well into adulthood.
Would you recognize the symptoms of adult-onset asthma if you were to experience them?
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Symptoms Like Coughing Wheezing And Feeling Breathless Could Mean You Have Asthma See Your Gp To Confirm A Diagnosis Of Asthma And Start Treatment
Find out why its important to get a diagnosis so you can start treatment for asthma, how asthma is diagnosed, and how you can take positive steps to stay symptom free after a diagnosis.
- tightness in the chest
- feeling short of breath.
Not everyone with asthma will get all of these. For example, not everyone wheezes. But if youre experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.
Most people with well-managed asthma only have symptoms now and then. But some people have symptoms a lot of the time, particularly the small percentage of people with severe asthma.
A key thing with asthma is that symptoms come and go you may not have them all the time.
Why its important to see your GP to confirm a diagnosis
If youve noticed asthma-like symptoms, dont ignore them. Make an appointment with your GP or an asthma nurse as soon as you can.
The quicker you get diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right medicines to help you deal with your symptoms.
Differential Diagnosis Of Adult Asthma And Copd
Dyspnea due to cardiac failure is a common and important differential diagnosis for adult-onset asthma and COPD in the elderly, including acute exacerbations of COPD. Bronchiectasis is another important differential diagnosis for nonsmoking individuals with post-BD airflow obstruction and a productive cough, particularly for females. Bronchiectasis can complicate severe asthma in the form of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, where identifying proximal bronchial dilatation on high resolution computed tomography chest scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis. An accelerated FEV1 decline has been observed for those with clinically apparent bronchiectasis despite medical therapy, averaging 49 mL per year over an 8 year period. Around half of older COPD patients with moderate to severe airflow obstruction have been documented to have radiologically-defined bronchiectasis when screened with HRCT chest scans., As bronchiectasis is frequently associated with AHR and/or BD-reversibility, it seems possible that this entity could contribute to the overlap between asthma and COPD. Bronchiectasis in the presence of COPD is also a poor prognostic marker, where its severity has been independently associated with increases in all-cause mortality.
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Can You Develop Seasonal Allergies Later In Life
Can You Develop Seasonal Allergies Later In Life. As the trees and grasses begin to return to life, so does the the allergen then triggers the antibodies to develop histamines. Seasonal allergies can make adults and children alike miserable.
Seasonal allergiesalso called allergic rhinitis or hay fevercause itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and scratchy throats in certain people whose immune systems are prone to allergies. No, a child cannot develop autism later in life. Most of these allergies will be lifelong concerns, although some can resolve on their own. The actual triggers that cause these symptoms may vary from season to season. Rising temperatures extend the period.
Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago
Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.
Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.
Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.
Q: How Well Does Treatment Work For Adults With Asthma
Asthma can be more difficult to control in adults for several reasons:
- Asthma medications can be less effective later in life, particularly for those who are obese.
- Oral steroids can worsen glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis.
- Being on beta-blockers for heart problems can increase the severity of asthma.
- The lungs and chest walls are stiffer and the muscles supporting deep breathing are weaker in adults.
For these reasons, adults with asthma are at increased risk for flare-ups and even hospitalization.
Action Plans And Self
Action plans for exacerbations are effective in asthma, allowing patients to develop coping skills, anticipate early exacerbation symptoms, self-initiate appropriate treatment, and seek medical advice prior to significant deterioration. Trials assessing the effects of action plans in COPD management have shown conflicting results, with variable adjuncts to patient care likely contributors. Those with positive results, such as expedited exacerbation recovery and reduced hospital admissions, have included additional supports, such as intensive education and case management. In contrast, action plans with limited or no SME and no case management have little beneficial effect.
A recent randomized controlled trial that suggested an unexpected increase in all-cause and COPD-specific mortality with a comprehensive care management program including a COPD action plan for US veterans, highlighted the value of identifying those with adult-onset asthma for whom the benefits are well-documented. Putting this disturbing finding into the context of the COPD literature is important, and identifying factors predisposing to a poor outcome will be a challenge for those involved in developing clinical practice guidelines. While the association did not appear related to increasing age or COPD severity, these findings suggest that self-management programs may not be appropriate for all patients with COPD.
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How Is Adult Onset Asthma Diagnosed
Asthma symptoms can mimic other illnesses or diseasesespecially in older adults. Hiatal hernia, stomach problems or rheumatoid arthritis can create asthma-like symptoms. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has many of the same symptoms as asthma. COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is very common in older adults, especially those who are or have been smokers. To diagnose asthma, your physician will question you about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and conduct lung function tests. In addition, you may be tested for allergies. Your primary care physician may refer you to a pulmonologist or an allergist for specialized testing or treatment. If you have any asthma symptoms, dont ignore them or try to treat them yourself! Get a definitive diagnosis from your health care provider.
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Why Is Adult Onset
Adult onset-asthma symptoms are often blamed on other chronic health issues more common in adults, such as:
- Stomach problems and conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Physical deconditioning caused by inactivity, excess weight, or the effects of aging
The delay in an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment often leads to worsening lung function that makes adult-onset asthma more difficult to treat from the start.
Unfortunately, many of the medications used to treat asthma can interfere with the drugs used for coexisting, adult-type conditions such as heart failure, hypertension, and many others. This makes it more difficult to design an effective treatment strategy for adults with asthma.
Also, the muscles in your chest wall become weaker and lungs lose elasticity as you age, which can increase the problems associated with asthma and decrease the effectiveness of treatment in adults. This makes it doubly important that your asthma treatment plan is tailored to fit your circumstance.
For an effective, customized treatment plan thats designed to address the effects of adult-onset asthma, schedule an evaluation at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice today. Call our office or book your visit online.
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When To See A Gp
See a GP if you think you or your child may have asthma.
Several conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and correct treatment.
The GP will usually be able to diagnose asthma by asking about symptoms and carrying out some simple tests.
Find out more about how asthma is diagnosed.
Asthma & Older People
People are often surprised to find out theyve developed asthma later in life but its not unusual. Regardless of your age, its important to ensure your asthma is well looked after and under control.
Its very important to make sure your asthma is well controlled as you get older. Whether you have had asthma for many years, or you have just been diagnosed, you need to have an Asthma Action Plan in place to help you manage your condition.
People are often surprised to find out theyve developed asthma late in life but its not unusual. It is known as late onset asthma or adult onset asthma.
Sometimes asthma is harder to diagnose in older people because the symptoms such as being short of breath, can also indicate other conditions. Many people also think their symptoms are just a part of getting older and so they may not ask for help or seek medical attention.
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Managing Your Asthma Well In Later Life
Continue to have regular asthma reviews
Whether youve had asthma all your life or youve been diagnosed with it as an older adult, an asthma review helps you stay on top of any changes in your symptoms.
You can make sure your asthma action plan is up to date, review your asthma medicines, and check youre taking the lowest dose possible to stay well and avoid side effects.
Track your symptoms
Keeping track of your symptoms makes it easier to spot any changes. Write down your symptoms in a diary, notebook, or on your phone and take it along to your next appointment.
Remember to make a note of anything you were doing that day or any triggers you came across – you may notice youre sensitive to new things that were not a problem before.
Dont ignore symptoms like breathlessness, says Dr Andy. Its easy to think that feeling a bit more breathless is just another sign that youre not as fit as you used to be.
But if youre feeling out of breath climbing stairs or walking uphill, see your GP to get it checked out. Breathlessness can be a sign that your asthma is not well controlled. It could also be a sign of another health condition.
Act quickly if symptoms get worse
To cut your risk of an asthma attack, take action as soon as you notice symptoms getting worse. As we get older, asthma attacks can be more severe and take longer to recover from.
Check your inhaler technique
Ask about side effects
Get help for other conditions too