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.
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Why Do Males And Females Have Different Rates Of Asthma
- Male children are more likely to have asthma than female children. This trend reverses in adulthood, where female adults are more likely to have asthma than male adults.11
- Some studies suggest this trend reverses because of the effects of testosterone on lung cells. Testosterone, a male sex hormone, has been found to decrease the swelling of the airways in asthma.11
Medical Review February 2018, updated April 2022 by Sarah Goff, MD, PhD
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . 2019 National Health Interview Survey Data. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
2. Ferrante, G., & La Grutta, S. . The Burden of Pediatric Asthma. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 6.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . Asthma Data Visualizations.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . AsthmaStats: Uncontrolled Asthma Among Children, 20122014. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
5. National Center for Health Statistics. . National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2018 Summary Tables. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Living Well With Adult
Managing adult-onset asthma involves taking medication as prescribed, recognizing the signs of a flare-up, and treating symptoms as soon as possible. Avoiding known triggers and things that may exacerbate your symptoms also plays an important role in managing the condition.
Smoking is a major factor in worsening asthma symptoms. If you smoke cigarettes, you should quit. If you need help quitting, talk to your primary care provider about medication, counseling, and resources to help you quit.
More research is needed to understand the risks of developing adult-onset asthma. In some cases, changes in hormones may play a role in adult-onset asthma. Women are more likely to receive an asthma diagnosis in adulthood. Additionally, being overweight has emerged as a major risk factor for adult-onset asthma.
If you have asthma symptoms, dont ignore them. With the right treatment plan, you can control your symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and lead a good quality of life. For more information and for a complete evaluation, book an appointment online or over the phone with Riviera Allergy Medical Center today.
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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.
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How Do I Know If Stress Is Triggering My Asthma Symptoms
The first step is knowing that youre under stress sometimes we dont recognise the signs. Stress can make you feel more irritable, tired, more worried than usual. You might feel teary, restless or find it hard to make decisions.
The second is understanding that stress levels can make your asthma worse sometimes we dont make the connection between stressful events and our asthma symptoms.
To see if stress might be triggering your asthma symptoms try keeping a diary write down when and why youre stressed alongside any asthma symptoms.
You might start noticing patterns. For example, perhaps you got asthma symptoms more when you were moving to a new house, or your asthma seemed worse when you had exams coming up.
A written asthma action plan helps you keep an eye on symptoms getting worse and reminds you what to do if you notice any.
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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.
How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma
It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.
During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.
The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.
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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
Why Do Some Asthmatics Develop Copd
Researchers are still investigating this area. They are still not sure. But, one theory is the type of inflammation involved. Most asthmatics have inflammation caused by white blood cells called eosinophils. So, they have eosinophilic inflammation. This type of inflammation responds well to traditional asthma medicines.
Their asthma responds well to beta 2 adrenergics and corticosteroids. A daily dose of medicines like Advair or Symbicort help them obtain good asthma control.
When these medicines dont work, they may be diagnosed with Severe Asthma. The cause may be a different type of inflammation, such as neutrophilic inflammation. This is similar to the type of inflammation seen in COPD airways.
Plus, Severe Asthmatics may have airway scarring. Inflammation can cause damage to airway tissues. Tissues then become scarred. This scar tissue makes airway walls thicker. This also is similar to what happens with COPD.
Thicker walls make airways abnormally narrow. There is no medicine for treating this. And this may cause persistent airflow limitation. When this happens, a diagnosis of COPD can be made. It may result in a diagnosis of Asthma/ COPD Overlap Syndrome.
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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.
How Is The Condition Diagnosed
To diagnose asthma, your physician will question you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and conduct lung function tests. You also may be tested for allergies.
Your internist or family physician may refer you to an allergist or pulmonologist for specialized testing or treatment.
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 permanent loss of lung function. If you have any asthma symptoms, dont ignore them, and dont try to treat them yourself. Get a definitive diagnosis from your health care provider.
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What Causes An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.
How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
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Adult Vs Childhood Asthma
Its common for children to have asthma symptoms that come and go, for example triggered by allergy or a respiratory infection. Adult-onset asthma tends to have persistent symptoms that are often not associated with allergic triggers.
About one in ten adults with asthma have uncontrolled symptoms and exacerbations despite treatment. Such difficult-to-treat asthma can reduce quality of life and also lead to more deaths than we see with childhood asthma. We dont know why adult asthma doesnt respond as well to treatment as childhood asthma. It may be because adult lungs can be stiff and function less well than a childs lungs. Also the bodys immune response may change as we get older.
Its reassuring to remember that death from asthma in adulthood is still uncommon.
Adults also tend to have other illnesses that are affected by asthma and allergy medications. For example oral steroids can worsen the symptoms of glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis.
Youre Using Your Inhaler More Than Usual
If youve been having to use your quick-relief inhaler more often than usual, or youve started to feel like it doesnt help as much when you do use it, your severe asthma may be getting worse.
It can be hard sometimes to keep track of exactly how many times you use your inhaler during a given week. If you suspect your usage is increasing, you may want to start keeping track in a journal or in a note-taking app on your phone.
Keeping a log of your inhaler usage can also help to identify what may be triggering your severe asthma symptoms. For example, if you mainly use your inhaler after being outdoors, an environmental trigger like pollen may be causing your asthma to flare up.
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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 dont 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:
- Less atopic dermatitis
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 theres no clear picture of whether or not this reduces the risk of long-term health effects.
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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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.
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.
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