HomeFactsCan You Get Asthma Later In Life

Can You Get Asthma Later In Life

Sometimes Asthma Can Cause Long

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

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.

People Who Develop Asthma Later In Life Are Also Less Likely To Experience Remission

The age of asthma onset may also be a factor. One old, large 1999 study found that middle-aged and elderly adults who developed asthma later in life were less likely to experience remission.

Researchers in the study above determined that of 6,610 people, only 6 percent reportedly entered remission within 10 years.

Top Triggers Of Seasonal Asthma

Seasonal asthma is finicky and can be triggered by any airborne allergen. Trees, grasses or flowers are suspects because they release pollen in the air on a regular basis. If you suffer from asthma, allergies can make it worse.

While symptoms in the spring are triggered by high levels of pollens, symptoms in the fall are usually set off by ragweed.

Each season has its own challenges for asthmatics.

While you cannot always see pollen, you may feel the effects through your breathing. Different triggers can cause problems so it is always better to have a management plan throughout the year.

Spring Brings Pollen And Trouble For Asthmatics

For many people, spring means new growth. But for asthmatics it means a long period of suffering. For those who have seasonal asthma, the pollen from the trees and the smell of the grass produce symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Other triggers that appear in the spring include mold, dust, and change of weather.

While spring may seem the best time to go outdoors, asthma sufferers should stay away from pollen by staying indoors, using air cleaners, and wearing allergy masks if possible. Pollen rises in the morning and circulates in the air until late afternoon. During this time you are a prime target for asthma symptoms.

The Hot Days Of Summer Can Make Breathing Worse

Fall Leaves May Cause Trouble

Stop The Cold Days Of Winter From Doing Harm

The Common Cold Can Be Also Be A Killer

Recommended Reading: Does Weed Help With Asthma

Other Ways To Stay Well In Later Life

Stay active

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.

Stop smoking

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.

Stress, anxiety and depression can all trigger asthma symptoms.

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

New Onset Egg Allergy In An Adult

By Unsel M, Sin AZ, Ardeniz O, Erdem N, Ersoy R, Gulbahar O, Mete N, Kokuluda? A.The Journal of Investigating Allergology and Clinical Immunology, J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2007 17:55-8.Source: Ege University Medical Faculty, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Bornova-Izmir, Turkey.

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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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.

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 aren’t 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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Do Kids Outgrow Asthma

While scientists are not exactly sure why, as many as half of all kids with asthma see a significant improvement, or total elimination, of their asthma symptoms with increasing age.

It is nearly impossible to determine which kids will outgrow their asthma or have significant reduction in symptoms. However, symptoms can come back at any time so it is more appropriate to think of it as a period of remission. In fact, many of these patients who appear to have outgrown their asthma will have a return of symptoms as an adult.

Vera 87 Years Old And Never Had An Allergy In Her Life

Adult Onset Asthma

Vera grew up in the countryside, raised a family and enjoyed dancing, cooking, baking and being outdoors. She sadly lost her husband just over a year ago. This was very painful for her as they were incredibly close, did everything together, and his illness and passing were both sudden and shocking. She has now developed quite wide spread psoriasis on her arms, elbows, hands and scalp. It looks unsightly, itches a great deal and leaves huge flakes of dry skin when she has a good scratch. She is finding it hard to manage but doesnt complain. None of the creams and emollients the doctors have been giving her are making very much difference. She uses olive oil to reduce the dry patches around her hair line and after trying Shea butter has found some relief as it reduces the dryness and redness. Her psoriasis isnt going away though, it keeps coming back. Vera is learning to manage this condition but doesnt like to bother the doctors. She now lives on her own and whilst she is mobile she cant walk far so doesnt really leave her house much. She hates to complain and doesnt like to bother her doctor, so why has a woman who has enjoyed what could probably be described as rude good health all her life suddenly develop dermatitis? She has also discovered that she can no longer tolerate carrots. They make her quite ill, so this means that she is worried about whether she will be able to order meals-on-wheels, as most of the dishes contain carrots.

Also Check: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse

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
  • Exercise
  • 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.

Risk Factors Triggers And Co

The role of genetic predisposition in adult-onset asthma is less clear than in atopic childhood-onset asthma. In adult-onset asthma, a family history of asthma is often lacking and atopy is not more common than in the general population. One study in a Chinese Han population found an association between genetic variants in chromosome 17q21 and adult-onset asthma, similar to that observed in childhood asthma . Although this study was flawed by the possibility of recall bias in self-reported age of asthma onset, it may point towards similar mechanisms in childhood- and adult-onset asthma, including exposure to environmental triggers such as environmental pollution or infection.

It is difficult to know exactly whether a condition is causally related or just a comorbid condition or a trigger factor. For example, obesity is a comorbid condition but is also a trigger factor for new asthma onset . In the literature, several exogenous and endogenous trigger factors have been associated with the development of asthma in adulthood which will be discussed in the following sections.

Also Check: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like

Causes And Triggers Of Asthma

Asthma is caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This makes the tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily narrow.

It may happen randomly or after exposure to a trigger.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • allergies
  • smoke, pollution and cold air
  • exercise
  • infections like colds or flu

Identifying and avoiding your asthma triggers can help you keep your symptoms under control.

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.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does An Asthma Attack Last

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.

Asthma is a long-term condition that needs regular preventer treatment. If its not treated, it could lead to an asthma attack which can be life-threatening.

What Causes Adults To Develop Asthma

At least 30% of adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies. People who are allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma. Exposure to allergens or irritants such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold, dust, or other substances commonly found in the persons environment might trigger the first asthma symptoms in an adult.

Prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults.

Hormonal fluctuations in women may play a role in adult onset asthma. Some women first develop asthma symptoms during or after a pregnancy. Women going through menopause can develop asthma symptoms for the first time.

Different illnesses, viruses, or infections can be a factor in adult onset asthma. A bad cold or a bout with the flu is often a factor in adult onset asthma.

Smoking does not cause adult onset asthma however, if you smoke or if you are exposed to cigarette smoke , it may provoke asthma symptoms.

Also Check: How To Help Your Asthma Without An Inhaler

How Is Asthma Different When Youre Older

You may notice new challenges with your asthma as you get older. For example:

  • Symptoms may feel harder to control
  • It can take longer to recover from an asthma attack or get over colds and flu
  • Side effects from asthma medicines can be more noticeable
  • Other conditions alongside asthma are more common.

Some of these challenges are to do with natural ageing. As we get older, our lungs are less strong, and our immune system can take longer to fight off infection.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to manage these changes, with your GPs support, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UKs in-house GP. And positive things you can do to keep your body and mind healthy in later life.

Diagnosed with asthma later in life?

Asthma diagnosed later in life is known as late-onset asthma. This kind of asthma is more common in women, often starting around the menopause.

Symptoms sometimes start after a viral infection. Some people may have needed steroid tablets or an inhaler for chest symptoms a while before they were given a diagnosis, says Dr Andy.

Late-onset asthma is often harder to control with the usual asthma medicines. Your GP will need to consider add on treatments, like LTRAs , or long acting bronchodilators, for extra support.

Its not uncommon for late-onset asthma to go undiagnosed or to be misdiagnosed as another condition, like a chest infection or heart disease, says Dr Andy.

Childhood asthma come back?

Increased Risk Of Infection

What Is Asthma, and How Is it Treated? | A Deep Look Into Respiratory Disease

With all types of asthma, exposure to irritants inflames your airway tissues, causing an asthma attack. It’s your body’s way of protecting the tissue, but it restricts air passage in and out of the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Chest tightness and wheezing are signs of inflammation.

Inhaled corticosteroids are often used to control inflammation in asthma. However, continual inflammation can increase the risk of lung infections because it allows infectious material to become trapped in the lungs.

Also Check: Can You Join The Army If You Have Asthma

Can You Outgrow Asthma

Some children with asthma stop having symptoms when they mature. By adolescence, 16% to 60% of children diagnosed with asthma seem to be in remission.

However, doctors don’t usually consider asthma “cured” since, even after years of living symptom-free, you could suffer an asthma attack at any time.

The wide range of remission statistics shows that studies have been inconsistent in their design, and more research is needed to fully understand how and why some children seem to “get over” asthma.

In some studies, children who were more likely to go into remission had asthma characterized as:

Male children are also more likely to go into remission.

If your childhood asthma appears to have gone away, it may still be a good idea to avoid triggers, especially allergy triggers, as they could cause symptoms to reappear.

Little to no research has followed adults who appear to have outgrown their childhood asthma, so there’s no clear picture of whether or not this reduces the risk of long-term health effects.

Can You Get Asthma As An Adult

Asthma is a lung condition which causes breathing difficulties, and often affects children.

According to the NHS, it can affect people of all ages.

Their website says: It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults.

Asthma UK states other causal factors are if you have a family history of asthma, allergies or eczema, a low birth weight, your mother smoked while pregnant, your parents smoke or you were around smoke as a child, or if you suffered from bronchiolitis as a child.

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