Adult-onset Asthma: Know Fact from Fiction

Adult-onset Asthma: Know Fact from Fiction - Large

1. Asthma Doesn’t Occur in Adults

Fiction: Asthma symptoms can occur at any age. After the age of 20, women are more likely than men to develop adult-onset asthma, and obesity increases your risk of developing asthma.

2. Shortness of Breath and Wheezing Are the Only Symptoms of Asthma

Fiction: It’s true that wheezing and shortness of breath are typical symptoms of asthma, but they’re not the only signs. Lesser-known symptoms include a persistent cough, trouble sleeping and even chest pain! You may feel short of breath after engaging in physical activity. Recovering from a respiratory infection may take an unusually long time. You could have increased mucus secretion in your airways, a general feeling of congestion and/or pressure in your chest.

Left untreated, asthma can cause permanent damage to your lungs.

3. Adult-onset Asthma Looks Different from Childhood AsthmaAdult onset Asthma Know Fact from Fiction - In Content

Fact: Childhood asthma symptoms tend to come and go and are caused by allergies or respiratory illness while adult-onset asthma tends to persist and may require daily medicine to manage symptoms. The way the symptoms show up may be different for childhood and adult-onset asthma, but the symptoms themselves are the same.  

4. You Can Live a Healthy Life with Asthma

Fact: With the help of your health care provider, you can get the treatment you need, which may involve medication and a management plan for what to do when symptoms increase. You can also test your lungs at home using a peak flow meter. That gives you and your doctor the ability to see changes and patterns before they result in symptoms, so you can update your management plan to address them.

5. Asthma Can Go Away on Its Own

Fiction: If you are having trouble breathing, sleeping or catching your breath after exercise, it is important to get checked out by your physician. Your doctor may test your lung function, evaluate you for allergies, assess your symptoms and give you a physical exam. If you have asthma, it is important to get your condition diagnosed so that you can receive treatment. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent damage to your lungs.

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