Conditions > Adult Asthma
When an adult develops asthma, it is often the result of a major life change. The major life change, like moving, could expose an individual to a new allergen. Another factor in developing adult asthma is stress and/or smoking cigarettes and making other poor nutritional choices (a diet high in fat and salt content) because of stress. Most adults who develop asthma have a predisposition for developing asthma as the susceptibility to develop asthma does run in families.
The symptoms of adult asthma are: shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing. Narrowed airways cause shortness of breath when walking upstairs, running or playing a sport. Someone with asthma may feel as if there is a tight band around his or her chest or as though someone is pressing down on his or her chest. This is caused by stale air trapped in the chest that has not been able to find an exit out of the narrow airways. Coughing is a helpful symptom. It forces mucus out of the lungs. Wheezing sounds like a whistle in the chest.
Less common symptoms associated with adult asthma do exist. One may develop a sharp chest pain. This chest pain may cause an adult asthmatic to fear that there heart is beating too rapidly or that just maybe it is a heart attack. The pain is not a heart attack and is nothing to worry about. The sharp chest pain is simply the rib joints, sore stretched-out membranes around the lungs and rib joints.
A fairly rare form of asthma is a narrowing of the trachea in the upper portion of the windpipe. An asthmatic with this condition will feel as though someone is strangling them. In general this form of asthma takes a longer period of time to regain control of.
There are several different forms of asthma that can be developed in adults. Chronic Asthma simply means long term asthma. Brittle Asthma is unstable and difficult to manage. A physician should always prescribe a treatment plan for each asthmatic. For those with brittle asthma it is much more difficult to find an effective treatment plan that can be relied on to work each time. Occupational Asthma only occurs in the workplace and is a direct reaction to a substance in the workplace.
Exercise Induced Asthma occurs after a workout. It is normal to be out of breath after a good workout in which one has exerted his/herself. It is not normal to be severely out of breath post-workout and to have the breathing worsen instead of improve after a few minutes of rest. Someone with Exercise Induced Asthma may take more than ten minutes to regain control over his/her breathing. This form of asthma should be taken seriously. It can be just as fatal as any of the other forms of asthma.
If you suspect you have asthma it is important to see your physician. If you have developed a form of adult asthma you and your physician will develop a treatment plan together. It is essential that one follow the prescribed treatment plan. Asthma is a controllable illness. Most fatalities caused by asthma could have easily been prevented by following a positive treatment plan.