Why Am I Developing Asthma Now
The reason for the development of asthma at various ages is still unclear. There are no answers as to why some people develop asthma at an early age, while others develop the condition when they are much older.
In some cases adult onset asthma is a recurrence of a mild childhood illness. Sometimes people have had asthma as a child but didnt know because it was so mild or misdiagnosed as another illness, such as bronchitis. Other times people will know they had asthma as a kid but it may have disappeared at some point. For those who suffered from asthma as a child, it is possible that the condition will return again as an adult.
In many cases, however, adults who have never had asthma will develop the condition. In these cases it can be difficult for someone to realise they have asthma because they may mistake the symptoms for an infection or other illness. Although it may be hard to understand why a certain person has developed asthma for the first time, you can learn to understand the triggers.
If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment
Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.
Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.
Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.
Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.
In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.
In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.
Other Ways To Stay Well In Later Life
Studies have shown that people who keep exercising have more chance of staying healthy as they get older.
Even if your mobility isnt as good as it was or you find you get tired easily, there will be an activity you can do.
Keep to a healthy weight
Keeping to a healthy weight can lower your risk of asthma symptoms. Studies show that if youre very overweight, even losing a bit of weight, can make a difference to your asthma.
It can feel harder to shift the weight as you get older, particularly if youre less active than you were. Find out what support you can get.
If you smoke, youre more at risk from asthma symptoms and attacks, as well as COPD.
Giving up smoking not only lowers your risk, but it also means your medicines will be more effective.
Look after your mental health
If youre worried, down, or lonely, talk to someone about how you feel. Age UK has an Advice Line: 0800 169 2081.
We all need a support network of friends, family and neighbours, says Dr Andy. Share your asthma action plan, so that anyone caring for you knows what to do if symptoms get worse and who to call for help. And tell your GP or asthma nurse how youre feeling too.
You can talk to a respiratory nurse specialist on our Helpline: 0300 222 5800 . Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728
Next review due December 2023
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Sometimes Asthma Can Cause Long
Airway Remodeling If you have asthma, your airways become inflamed, which causes them to swell and produce extra mucus. Unless youre able to control this inflammation with medication, it can ultimately lead to a permanent narrowing or other structural changes in the lungs bronchial tubes, Dr. Rosenstreich says.
This airway remodeling is irreversible and can affect how well you breathe. Some people may ultimately need to use an assistive device, like an oxygen machine, to breathe.
Its believed that everyone who has asthma experiences airway modeling to some degree, however, severe airway remodeling is rare. When inflammation in the lungs isnt properly controlled by therapy with corticosteroids or bronchodilators, scar tissue can form and the airways are no longer able to open up, even after using an inhaler, Rosenstreich says. It can begin shortly after the onset of asthma, which is why we encourage people to stick to their prescribed therapy.
Anxiety and Depression As with some other chronic diseases, asthma may increase your risk for anxiety and depression. Some research has found that people with asthma are nearly twice as likely to develop depression as those without asthma.
Some research suggests the psychological stress and negative emotions associated with asthma are what put individuals with asthma at higher risk for these mood disorders. Sleep disturbances and inflammatory factors associated with asthma may also contribute.
Can You Get Asthma As An Adult What Causes People To Develop It Later In Life And Is It Triggered By Allergies
There is no cure for asthma and a severe asthma attack could even prove fatal
ASTHMA is a serious breathing condition which has no cure.
While there are treatments, occasionally an asthma attack can prove fatal.
According to the NHS the main symptoms of asthma are wheezing a whistling sound when you breathe breathlessness, a tight chest and coughing.
Treatment is usually in the form of an inhaler, which people carry around with them.
There are two types a reliever inhaler, which quickly alleviates symptoms for a short period, and preventer inhalers, which are used every day to prevent symptoms occurring.
In some cases, people can take tablets for their asthma.
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Childhood Asthma Vs Asthma In Adults
The symptoms of asthma are the same for children and adults. The symptoms for children, though, are generally more intermittent and may lessen or go away during puberty.
Adult-onset asthma is often more severe. The symptoms are more persistent. Adults are more likely to have frequent asthma attacks, and it does not go away with time. Adults may require daily medications to control their asthma.
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.
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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.
Is It Triggered By Allergies
There are numerous ‘triggers’ for asthma, and people will often soon work out what their individual trigger is.
The NHS says common triggers include
- Allergies to house dust mites, animal fur or pollen
- Smoke, pollution and cold air
- Infections like colds or flu
But in adults, asthma triggers are less likely to be allergies, such as pets, pollen, house or dust mites, and more likely brought on by hormonal changes or work-related.
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How Long Asthma Lasts For
Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.
In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.
The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems.
Asthma In Older Adults
Asthma is common in adults 65 and older. It is often missed or untreated in this group. Other health problems may make it hard to diagnose asthma. More asthma-related illness and deaths occur in older adults than in other age groups. Regular communication with your doctor is key to managing asthma.
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How Does Adult Onset Asthma Compare With Childhood Asthma
Unlike children who often experience intermittent asthma symptoms in response to allergy triggers or respiratory infections, adults with newly diagnosed asthma generally have persistent symptoms. Daily medications may be required to keep asthma under control. After middle age, most adults experience a decrease in their lung capacity. These changes in lung function may lead some physicians to overlook asthma as a possible diagnosis. Untreated asthma can contribute to even greater loss of lung function!
Asthma Symptoms Can Mimic Other Illnesses Or Diseases Especially In Older Adults For Example:
- Hiatal hernia, stomach problems, heart failure, or rheumatic 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.
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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.
Burden Of Disease Related To Asthma And Copd
Adult-onset asthma and COPD have become much more common in the recent past and are now major public health problems in many countries., Asthma prevalence has increased in epidemic proportions over the last few decades and continues to rise in most parts of the world. COPD burden is also set to increase during the next few decades, especially with the aging of the population and continued use of tobacco.
Adult-onset asthma differs from childhood asthma in that it is more often nonatopic and severe and has a lower remission rate. Although asthma has a relatively low mortality in younger adults, in the elderly, it is associated with substantial morbidity, healthcare utilization, and mortality. The prevalence of current asthma in Australian adults is around 10%, which includes both childhood and adult-onset disease. Substantial variation in the prevalence of adult asthma across 25 countries has been reported by the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, the largest international study of asthma in young adults. This variation has been attributed more to differences in potential environmental risk factors than to genetics, as variation was observed even across countries with similar ethnic populations.
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Asthma Uk Is Here To Support You
We also have lots of tips on living with asthma, from doing sports and going on holiday, to studying with asthma and having relationships.
Explore our health advice web pages and . The more you know about your asthma, the better youll be able to work with your GP or asthma nurse to manage it well.
Speak to someone about your asthma
You can also call our Helpline on 00 222 5800 to speak to a respiratory nurse specialist. Or you can WhatsApp them on 0307378 606 728.
You can ask them anything from symptoms and treatments to living life without asthma getting in the way.
Next review due February 2024
Asthma Can Cause Short
Asthma complications that develop over the short run, include:
Problems Engaging in Normal Daily Activities According to David Rosenstreich, MD, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, symptoms of asthma like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath may prevent you from attending work or school, impacting your productivity.
Asthma symptoms may also interfere with sleep or prevent you from exercising or engaging in other leisure or social activities. Disengagement from all of these activities can affect your overall health and increase your risk for conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
People who have poorly controlled asthma, either because of failure to adhere to treatment or because asthma is difficult to control with treatment, are more likely to experience work and overall activity impairments than people who have asthma under control.
Severe Asthma Attacks Up to 10 percent of people who have asthma may have whats termed severe asthma. For these people, asthma symptoms occur daily and are often difficult to control, says Patricia Takach, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine in the Section of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Some severe asthma attacks may require a trip to the emergency room or require hospitalization. Seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms are not responding to your usual treatment.
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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.
Differential Management Of Adult Asthma And Copd
Guidance for clinicians around the world is provided by the Global Initiative for Asthma and GOLD. However, clinical practice guidelines need to be adapted to national and local conditions., The detailed management of acute exacerbations is beyond the scope of this review.
There are features common to the management of both adult-onset asthma and COPD. Both conditions require the development of a partnership between patients and their health care providers. Both conditions also require the identification and reduction of exposure to risk factors. A short-acting beta-agonist such as salbutamol or terbutaline provides effective symptom relief in both asthma and COPD and may be the only medication that is required in mild intermittent asthma.
Optimal inhaler technique involving accurate coordination of device actuation and inhalation are necessary for appropriate delivery of any inhaled drug. These require adequate cognitive function, manual dexterity, and strength of the intrinsic muscles of the hand. Elderly individuals can have poor device technique although competence can improve through the use of education as well as breath-actuated devices or large volume spacers. Given that device selection can also be driven by convenience, cost, and patient preference, regular objective monitoring of inhaler technique and adherence is essential.,
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How Common Are Adult Allergies
Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Doctors dont know exactly how many adults are diagnosed with allergies for the first time each year. But nasal allergies affect more Americans every year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Allergies are caused when your immune system overreacts to an allergen. Your body releases histamine as it thinks the allergen might be harmful, and it does so in order to help ‘fight’ the allergen, causing respiratory symptoms, red and watery eyes, and more. Nearly 20 million adults in the United States have allergic rhinitis, which is commonly known as hay fever.
Are There Any Special Considerations For Adults With Asthma
Many adults take several medications and/or use over-the counter medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, regularly. Work with your doctor to simplify your medication program as much as possible. Explore the possibility of combining medications or using alternate ones that will have the same desired effect. Be sure to discuss potential drug interactions with anything you take, including vitamins. Some asthma medications increase heart rate. If you have a heart condition, discuss those side affects with your health care provider. Older “first generation” antihistamines can cause men with enlarged prostates to retain urine. Oral steroids can make symptoms of glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis worse. Adults with arthritis may need special inhalers that are easier to operate. Anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their doctor about getting a pneumonia vaccination. People with multiple medical conditions need to be aware of how their illnesses may affect one another.
This article was published by AAFA, copyright 1995. It can be accessed online at the following link.
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