WHAT IS ADULT-ONSET ASTHMA?
Asthma is a respiratory condition that makes it difficult to breathe. Airways are triggered to swell and produce an excess of mucus, which induces smooth muscle spasms. Adult-Onset Asthma is Asthma first diagnosed in an adult who had no evidence of having had Asthma as a child. It is possible that the allergic response was always there, but the stimulus had been avoided until adulthood. Common examples include never having had a pet and then developing Asthma after bringing a pet home or starting a new job where there is exposure to chemical fumes. Sometimes a viral infection can reveal asthmatic symptoms.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms include coughing (especially at night or during exercise), shortness of breath, chest tightening and wheezing.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Initial diagnosis is based on your symptoms and how often they occur. Your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor may draw blood or perform a skin prick test to determine if allergens are triggering your response. A common test for Asthma utilizes a spirometer. This device measures the total amount of air you pull into your lungs and the amount you can exhale yielding information on how well your lungs are functioning.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Treatment options will depend on the identification of the trigger. If allergens are suspected, avoidance is best. Medications may be prescribed but may be limited due to other chronic conditions present or other medications you take. Often the use of a rescue inhaler containing a bronchodilator that can reduce swelling and inflammation is used to treat symptoms when they occur. Your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will determine what treatment options are best for you.