Asthma in Adults

Updated at: Mar 26, 2012
Asthma in Adults

Asthma in adults can be more damaging than at a younger age. At any stage after you have become an adult, asthma can be worsen the lung functioning.

Vatsal Anand
AsthmaWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Mar 26, 2012

Children are more prone to getting asthma but adults, especially the elderly can also develop the condition. The diagnosis of asthma is critical to prompt treatment but the symptoms are so identical with those of other diseases that that it is easy to confuse it for other diseases. The symptoms of asthma in adults are much similar to those of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and some types of heart diseases.

Childhood asthma can recur in adults. In some cases the condition simply persists in adulthood, while in others, it disappears only to come back later. So, if you were not diagnosed at all in childhood, it was a case of mistaken diagnosis. Symptoms of bronchitis or some other disease can easily be confused with symptoms of asthma.

These include:

  • Wheezing.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Cough, particularly at night.
  • Chest feeling choked and tight.
  • Lot of mucus is produced.

Asthma’s chance of occurrence and severity depends on various risk factors such as gender, race, obesity, medical condition such as GERD, side-effects of medications such as aspirin.


Asthma Triggers

Patients suffering from adult onset asthma are sensitive to certain triggers that are the same as the triggers for younger people. You need to limit your exposure to the allergens or other things that trigger an asthma attack.

  • Allergens such as mould or pollen.
  • Dust mite allergen
  • Cigarette smoke.
  • Harmful fumes and unpleasant odours.
  • Infections.
  • Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers.
  • Exercise and physical exertion.

Cigarette smoke is a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms. Other lung illnesses are caused by smoking, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is often hard to tell whether someone has adult onset asthma or some other kind of smoking-related illness because the symptoms can be similar. Managing your symptoms means quitting cigarettes.


As people get old, their lungs do not function as well. Getting asthma at any stage after becoming an adult can hasten the worsening of lung functions. Once the lung functions have declined, it is not likely to recovers. That is why it is important that adult onset asthma is properly managed. This means taking preventive medication on a regular basis, as prescribed by your healthcare provider, to protect the lung functioning at all times.


Read more articles on Understand Asthma




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