According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways which affects 8.3% of the American population. Out of the 26.5 million, 20.4 million are adults and 6.1 million are children. Based on this data, it is obvious that asthma is more prevalent in adults than in children. So, what are the differences between adult and childhood asthma?
When symptoms of asthma appear when you are already an adult, you might have adult onset asthma. In many cases, asthma usually develops during childhood, however, this chronic illness can actually arise at any age. As a matter of fact, according to the American Lung Association (ALA), 1 in 12 adults has asthma.
Doctors still cannot pinpoint a definite explanation as to why some adults develop asthma but there are a number of factors that might cause the development of the illness. This might include exposure to chemicals or irritants in the workplace. There’s a type of asthma that is caused by or worsened by exposure to substances in the workplace. This type of asthma is called occupational asthma.
Occupational asthma is usually caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust, or other substances that you are sensitive to in your workplace. This exposure to substance leads to an immunological response which then triggers asthma symptoms. Occupational asthma can occur in almost any work environment including stores, offices, medical facilities, and hospitals.
Some of the most common triggers are not normally considered hazardous.
Another factor that can cause adult onset asthma is the age of a person. In an article published by AAAAI, adults between 45 and 64 years of age have the highest work-related asthma. Allergies are another possible cause of asthma. It triggers at least 30% of cases of adult asthma. Some of the common allergens include pollen, mold, dust, and cigarette smoke.
Childhood asthma or pediatric asthma is not that different from the kind of asthma that adults get. However, the illness affects the children differently. Their airways may easily get inflamed when they are exposed to allergens such as pollen or mold. The symptoms may affect the quality of life of children as they may not be able to play outside or take part in certain sports. In addition, childhood asthma may cause dangerous asthma attacks which makes it important to always carry with them their medications. Childhood asthma, just like in adults, is not curable but there are ways where the asthma symptoms can be controlled and manageable.
Just like adult onset asthma, childhood asthma is not yet fully understood but certain factors may actually take part in its development. Although triggers may vary from one child to another, some of the factors that can cause asthma are allergies, genetics, airway infections, and exposure to different substances such as air pollution and cigarette smoke. It is important to note that asthma symptoms can also occur with no apparent triggers.
Perhaps the most apparent difference between adult and childhood asthma is how often they experience symptoms. In childhood asthma, the symptoms are intermittent. This means that they come and go, and sometimes the illness will just go away forever once a child reaches puberty. However, even if at some point in a child’s life the asthma symptoms are gone, it is still possible that they will return later in life.
For adults who have asthma, the symptoms are chronic and persistent. Adults have to deal with the symptoms every day and unlike childhood asthma, it does not just simply go away. Even though childhood asthma is as serious as adult onset asthma, more care should be taken when it comes to dealing with the latter. This is because of the persistent nature of the condition which puts the adults’ health even more at risk.
Being knowledgeable about what triggers childhood asthma and adult onset asthma is crucial as it helps prevent and manage its symptoms. Should you have any questions regarding the treatments of childhood or adult onset asthma, you can visit Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics. We provide professional allergy, asthma, and immunology services to clients using established methods and technological advances. Schedule a meeting with them and get yourself checked.