Asthma Symptoms and Treatment in Adults
- Author Tom Alter
- Published June 6, 2007
- Word count 855
Asthma in young adults, those in their twenties and thirties is very similar to the childhood asthma. In fact most of the young adults who develop evident symptoms of asthma are those who have remained undiagnosed and therefore untreated in their childhood. Many children who have susceptibility towards chest infections and other bronchial disorders are often termed as “bronchial” children. They may be having asthma which does not get diagnosed. As adults they show signs and symptoms that can no longer be denied.
When asthma strikes a person in his or her middle ages it is a very different kind of disorder with very different kinds of symptoms and repercussions. Like when a person in his forties gets diagnosed with asthma it is usually non-hereditary and inheritance through the family history plays no role. Generally it is seen that in this stage in life asthma is usually of intrinsic or non-allergic type. Adult asthma is considered to be also more serious than the childhood asthma.
This is because it is more difficult to control and also because the unpredictability factor is very high. Also it strikes the women much more than the men, so there are clear indications that the disease is gender biased. Adults with asthma are more susceptible to allergy of aspirin and related drugs. In fact many times the adult asthma may remain hidden and then one day strike with full fury after getting an allergic reaction to aspirin. Also sulphite reactions, other allergies, chronic sinus problems and nasal polyps are also more common in adults.
Asthma is extremely common in the people as the age advances. In fact there are distinct indications that the frequency of asthma is rising with the advancement of age. Sometimes people do not show symptoms till they are well over sixty five years of age. But it is generally believed that such incidents are rare. Nearly one-third of all asthma cases begin in childhood and the early teens.
There are not many studies to confirm the exact statistics but it is believed that most people who get diagnosed with asthma at a later stage in life may not have been properly diagnosed earlier for asthma. This is because in adults especially in senior citizens the symptoms of coughing and wheezing are also associated with so many other diseases as well.
Another reason for this diagnostic failure in elderly is that the main perception of symptoms of asthma in senior citizens is that of chronic cough with production of mucous, while they may only show sudden bouts of wheezing. And this may be associated with emphysema or chronic bronchitis. But with breathing tests they show clear indications of asthma and respond well to conventional treatments of asthma.
Asthma triggers are very difficult to zero down to, in adults. As the age advances pin pointing them keeps getting more and more difficult. These triggers are also mostly associated with respiratory tract infections and air pollutants. As the age advances considerably there is a lot of confusing signals given out by the patients that may make the diagnoses difficult further still. Asthma symptoms may also be manifesting in the form of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath or cough.
They are also many times misinterpreted as cardio-vascular problems. The disturbance in the patterns of sleep that is associated with asthma may also be confused with urinary tract disorders. But many of the patients who are given a confirmed diagnoses for asthma after the age of fifty also are believed to have shown distinct symptoms earlier in their life, which may have either gone unnoticed or undiagnosed and untreated.
After the diagnosis is complete the next step is to take adequate precautions so as to not get caught unawares with the fury of an asthmatic attack. Most young people respond very well to conventional treatments. These coupled with some regular precautions and disciplined changes in the lifestyle make them lead healthy, happy and perfectly normal lives. Since they are in the prime of their lives and sexual activity is also important, it is advised to them to use a puff or two of inhaler before indulging in any sexual activity.
This is because the exercise factor involved in any normal sexual activity is equivalent to walking about six kilometres in an hour or can be compared to climbing about two to three flights of stairs in a few minutes. This may be very hectic for a person suffering with asthma. It is also worth mentioning that some of the drugs especially some corticosteroids taken for asthma may cause impotency or temporary decrease in sexual desires.
Asthma treatment in the elderly people my have several difficulties. There are many drug interactions with conventional asthma treatments. Glaucoma or high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers may enhance the symptoms of asthma. It is also seen that because of multiplicity of treatments in elderly people for various diseases happening all at the same time, the asthma medications may be required in smaller dosages. An average dose for a young adult may prove to be a toxic dose for an elderly patient.
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