It’s a common misconception that only children get asthma. While children are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma because of their developing lungs, asthma often lasts into (and can occasionally develop in) adulthood. In this article, we will cover exactly what asthma is and how it may affect adults specifically.

What is Asthma?

Athma is a chronic lung condition in which airways become inflamed. This can prevent air from getting into the lungs.  When triggered, the muscles in the airway tighten, restricting air flow in and out, making it difficult to breathe. These episodes are commonly known as asthma attacks.

 

Asthma can be triggered by a number of environmental factors. Triggers for an asthma attack may include:

 

  • cold air which can dry out the airway
  • heavy breathing due to strenuous exercise
  • common pollutants, which can irritate and inflame the lungs
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Air pollution.

 

In some cases, stress can also set off an asthma attack. This is because stress increases the sensitivity of the airways, making them more susceptible to triggers. This can also include anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

How Does Asthma Affect Adults?

Although asthma in adults is less commonly diagnosed than asthma in children, the symptoms can be more persistent. Whereas childhood asthma is often triggered by outside factors, adult asthma is often characterized by persistent symptoms and requires daily medication.

 

Occasionally, children grow out of asthma, only to have symptoms reappear several years later. There’s no clear way to determine who will and won’t be diagnosed with asthma, but studies have shown that young adults who are allergy-prone tend to be at highest risk for developing, or relapsing into, asthma.

 

Living with Asthma

 

Common telltale signs of asthma include dry cough, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, and severe shortness of breath after exercise. Many adults overlook or misdiagnose their asthma as a lingering cold, or anxiety.

 

Asthma is generally not a life threatening condition. That said, those who suffer from it will need to be treated regularly to prevent potentially dangerous symptoms.

 

The most effective way to treat asthma is by controlling the air quality in an environment. Since asthma is often triggered by environmental factors, reducing potential risk factors can go a long way towards breathing easier.

 

Air quality can be treated on a number of levels, the broadest being with an air purifier or humidifier

More directly, those with asthma can use a nebulizer to deliver medicated steam directly to the airways and lungs.

 

Other alternative medications to reduce asthma symptoms are inhalers, oral medication, and injections.

 

For more information on asthma treatments, be sure to visit us at Medical Supply Depot!

 

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