Asthma Can Get You In Adulthood
In fact asthma is a diseases that attacks more children than adults. This is due to the fact that they are weaker targets of those things that cause inflammation of their developing lungs. We adults are easily misled because nearly 90% of asthma victims are in their teens or younger. If you are a parent with a child that suffers from asthma, you know the symptoms full well so they are easily identified should you begin to wonder if you are suffering the same disease.
You can be in your 30’s without a hint of asthma, then, suddenly in your midlife find yourself with asthmatic symptoms. However, one can get some idea as to the symptoms by giving some thought to past history. Daily exposure to harsh chemicals or other substances usually through work or hobbies can give a clue. Even the use of some seemingly mild household cleaners can do damage over a long period of use.
These exposures may take time, easily going into adulthood, to feel the effects of the damage. Suddenly you are having ill health effects that come as a total surprise. But, like aging, it is a gradual process that literally sneaks up on us, except with asthma, it cannot be seen or felt until it creates problems with day-to-day living.
Before you panic, however, you need to be sure that you, in fact, have asthma. The first thing to do is check your work, home, and recreational environments. I spend a lot of time around race cars and classic cars so I am exposed to paints, cleaners, fuel mixtures, and lots of fumes. All these contribute to the danger of becoming asthmatic but I have long been aware of the danger and have taken all the precautions available. As technology improves I follow along with taking the appropriate safeguards.
In your daily environment, look for any type of fumes, odors, dust, or particles that you are exposed to and eliminate them if possible. If you cannot eliminate them, wear masks and goggles and install better ventilation. If the allergens are in the workplace, demand that your employer install safety equipment. If that fails, go to the government. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will come in and investigate.
If you cannot eliminate allergens in your personal space, replace the allergens with less harmful versions of the products. Look for products with natural or non-toxic ingredients that will do the same job. Once you do all you can to minimize exposure and still have symptoms, it is time to make an appointment with your doctor for a professional opinion and diagnosis.
One of the first things you doctor will do is listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Asthma damage can be heard in your breathing because it causes restriction in your lungs. Basically your lungs are damaged by whatever has caused the irritation. Your physician can hear this clearly if you are asthmatic.
If you appear to be asthmatic, your physician may move to testing you with a meter that measure the power and volume of your breathing. Asthmatics cannot exhale with any amount of normal volume which is easily seen by the float in the meter. It’s a simple and painless test that tells volumes about the condition of your lungs. You will blow through a mouthpiece into a tube with a flow mechanism inside that will rise based on your power to exhale air in one burst. This takes but a few seconds and will give your doctor a good idea of your lung health and whether you are asthmatic.
If your care-provider or doctor determines you have asthma he may move you into starting treatment that may include mild inhalers. The degree of your lung impairment will determine the type and number of inhalers and the frequency of use. This prescription will be temporary and you will return to the doctor with a few weeks for another flow meter test to gauge the effectiveness of the treatment. When your subsequent breath test shows improvement, this means you have asthma and your doctor will prescribe a more permanent course of maintenance.