When it comes to asthma, the majority of people who have the condition developed it as small children. If you develop it as a child, symptoms usually are worse during exercise and allergy season, but are intermittent. But did you know that you can develop adult-onset asthma?

Even if you sail through your childhood and early adult years, there is a chance that you may develop asthma at some point in your life. It is not unheard of for people in their 50s or 60s to suddenly experience asthma-like symptoms!

Why does this happen? Our crew at AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga has the answers you are looking for below.

How Does Adult-Onset Asthma Work?

Adult-onset asthma works similarly to childhood asthma where your airway becomes irritated, inflamed and swollen due to any sort of environmental factors or strenuous activity. When your airway becomes inflamed, it can cause coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing. Some of the most severe cases are life-threatening.

When you develop asthma later in life, a lot of the time it is due to a variety of factors, or the environment with which you surround yourself. There are some examples below.

Causes of Adult-Onset Asthma

  • Prolonged exposure to allergens or hazards at work
  • Hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause
  • Various illnesses like a cold or flu that persists (typically in those with allergies already)

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Developing Asthma?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do for yourself! Eat well, exercise frequently and avoid chronic stressors to your lungs like smoking or work hazards. Inspect your house frequently for mold and dust buildup, and keep your home tidy.

If you do end up developing asthma as an adult, you can still lead a normal life! You just have to be aware of what your triggers are and make sure you fully understand how to use your medications.

Tips for Managing an Adult Asthma Diagnosis

  • Make a management care plan with your medical team.
  • Get regular physicals and be seen often for any concerns you have.
  • Take your medicine and always have a current inhaler prescription.

Your asthma shouldn’t define you! If you have questions about your diagnosis, come see us AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga.